Auto Accident Settlement
Rear-End Car Accident FAQ
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us that rear-end collisions are the most common type of traffic crash on the road today. In fact, they make up approximately 30 percent of all collisions each year.
If you have been involved in a rear-end accident in Florida’s Treasure Coast, being able to separate myth from fact is important. You are better equipped to enforce your rights when you have accurate information on your side. You can also gain awareness about your options for recovering your financial losses when you are hurt in an accident that was not your fault.
Who Is At Fault for a Rear-End Car Accident?
Common knowledge goes that the following driver is always at fault in a rear-end collision. In other words, the person driving the car who hits another vehicle’s rear bumper is going to get the blame. In these cases, the rear driver will often be cited for following too closely or failing to pay attention.
However, in other cases, it can be possible (albeit rare) for the driver in front to be considered at fault. Or, the driver in front may have contributed to another accident, only to get rear-ended, causing them to be at fault for one collision but not the other.
If you have been involved in a rear-end car accident in the Treasure Coast, the details matter. Specific factors can change the entire characteristics of a case, often affecting who is at fault, who can claim compensation, and whether that compensation is reduced or split because of shared fault.
Reviewing factors like the ones below can help you better predict the outcome of a case, but the only way to know with confidence is to speak to a Treasure Coast rear-end accident lawyer. When you speak with an attorney, they can analyze all relevant factors, help you document evidence, and help you fight for the maximum compensation available.
What Causes Most Rear-End Collisions?
Distracted driving is widely considered a top cause for rear-end collisions. A driver reaches for their cell phone, turns to talk to someone in the back seat, or even stretches to change the radio station. Any of these things can cause a person to take their eyes off the road for several seconds. In that blink of an eye, the vehicle in front can come to a screeching halt. When you aren’t paying attention, you notice the stopped car too late or, worse, don’t notice it at all.
Another very common cause is a driver who follows too closely. “Tailgating” is common in all traffic speeds, even on the interstate when the speed limit is 75 mph! Drivers who follow too closely have less time to react and less room to stop in the event of an accident.
Drivers who get in rear-end collisions may also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they may have been generally driving aggressively such that they didn’t have time to react to a vehicle in front of them. All of these factors — sometimes at once! — can contribute to a rear-end collision.
What Happens If You Rear-End Someone?
Whether you are hit from behind or you hit someone, police will arrive on the scene and conduct an accident investigation. Officers will attempt to determine which drivers deserve a citation based upon their driving behaviors. Here are several reasons why the lead driver may be cited:
- Broken brake light
- Brake checking
- Suddenly reversing
- Driving with a known hazard (blown tire, etc.)
Outside of these instances, it is typically the second driver who will be found at fault. The most common ticket issued is “following too closely.” It is considered a safe driving habit to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. When you fail to do this, you leave yourself no room to maneuver should the lead vehicle stop suddenly.
Once the police conduct their investigation, both drivers will need to report the accident to their respective insurance companies. Lawyers may become involved, and lawsuits may be filed.
When rear-ended, injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. If you rear-end someone, you could be held liable for the medical bills and other losses of the victim.
What Is The Payout for a Rear-End Accident?
Despite what you have seen on television, chances are very rare that you will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars as a payout in this type of accident. Your damages specifically depend on the extent of your medical costs and the impact of the injury on your life. You can, in general, reasonably expect to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
No attorney will be able to tell you down to the penny what your case is worth, but an experienced personal injury attorney can give you an estimate based on the facts. What is important to note is that insurance companies usually have their own best interests in mind, not yours. It is never wise to assume that the settlement offer you receive is a fair one. You should also be cautious about what you say, lest you give an insurance company an excuse to claim you were at fault or that your injuries aren’t as serious as you initially reported.
Do You Need An Attorney After a Rear-End Collision?
If you have sustained an injury in a rear-end accident, you can likely benefit from the services of a lawyer. Here’s what an attorney can do for you:
- Work out a settlement with the insurance company
- Determine when negotiations simply aren’t moving forward
- File the appropriate paperwork in court to compel at-fault parties to pay
- To represent you in a personal injury lawsuit
Insurance companies know that you mean business when the person they are speaking to is your hired attorney. An agent or adjuster may be more likely to work with you in reaching a favorable settlement when they know you are being legally represented. An attorney also has enough experience to know when negotiations have stalled and it is in your best interest to file a civil suit.
We Are A Fierce Advocate for Rear-End Car Accident Injury Victims
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we have the knowledge and experience to fight for the rights you are entitled to by law. We have represented victims of rear-end car accidents successfully, and we are ready to do the same for you. You may feel as though you are alone in this fight, but we promise, you are not. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options. Reach us at 866-460-1990 or when you contact us online. Let us get to work for you!
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