Rear-End Collision Car Accidents
Rear-end accidents frequently occur at intersections, on freeways, and in parking lots across the State of Texas. As more and more drivers engage in multitasking while driving, rear-end accidents are on the rise. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 28% of all crashes are rear-end collisions. Sadly, the majority of these car accidents could have been prevented if drivers practiced good driving techniques and maintained focus on the road.
When you’re in a rear-end collision, it’s important that you get the right personal injury lawyer to make sure that you get compensated for your injuries and vehicle damage. The legal team at Hernandez Law Group, P.C. have extensive experience working on all kinds of car accident cases and will make sure that you receive the full compensation that you deserve for your damages.
Common Injuries after a Rear-End Collision
Due to the nature of these kinds of accidents, many of the injuries caused by a rear-end collision are head and neck injuries. Jarring forces cause a whip-like motion and can lead to dangerous and life-changing injuries—even at low speeds. Some of the most common rear-end accident injuries include:
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
• Soft tissue injuries to back, neck, and shoulders
• Broken bones
While deaths are not as common in rear-end accidents, they sadly do still occur. More common, however, are injuries that lead to disabilities and lifelong complications. Whiplash alone can lead to pain, suffering, decreased quality of life, and an inability to continue with your chosen profession. When this occurs, you will need compensation to pay for ongoing medical expenses, surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Does Texas have No-Fault Insurance?
Certain states require drivers to carry “no-fault” insurance. This covers the injuries of a driver and their passengers after an auto accident. This type of coverage – known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – is not required in Texas; however, it is available as an add-on to your personal liability coverage. In many cases, it will automatically be included as a part of your personal liability insurance unless you specifically reject this coverage.
If you have PIP coverage, you can only receive compensation for injuries if you or a passenger is diagnosed with an emergency medical condition (EMC). Such conditions may include serious injury to internal organs, serious impairment to bodily functions, or danger to patient health.
If you Rear-End Someone, are you Always at Fault?
In most cases, the driver in the back will be found at fault for a rear-end collision. However, there are certain cases in which the driver in front may be found at fault. To prove that the driver in front is at fault, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible – including camera footage and witness statements if available. The most common conditions in which the driver in front may be at fault for the rear-end collision include:
- When another driver cuts you off
- When another driver turns or makes a U-turn when you have the right-of-way
- When another driver is driving recklessly
- When the brake lights of the driver ahead of you aren’t functioning
- When another driver is at a complete standstill on the roadway
- When the driver ahead of you reverses unexpectedly
Multiple Rear-End Collision Fault
When multiple cars are involved in an accident, it becomes more complicated to determine fault. Multiple drivers will likely be held at fault because Texas is not a no-fault state, and it is a modified comparative negligence state. Modified comparative negligence essentially assigns a percentage of fault to the drivers involved in a car accident. If someone decides to sue for car accident damages, the plaintiff must be found less than 50% at fault for the wreck to receive compensation.
In most cases, the driver in front of a multiple-car collision will not be at fault; however, the same guidelines listed above may cause them to be assigned at least part of the blame. On the other hand, the rearmost driver in the multi-car collision will likely be assigned the majority of the blame for the vehicle wreck.
How to Avoid a Rear-End Collision
Whether you’re behind or in front of another vehicle, there are certain steps you can take to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Keep a safe following distance. One of the most important steps to avoid causing a rear-end collision is maintaining a safe following distance. This will help keep you from crashing into the car in front of you if they brake suddenly.
- Pay attention to other cars. Even if you’re a safe driver, you may be in a car wreck if another driver is not driving safely. Look out for cars that are driving aggressively, tailgating you, driving recklessly, or are otherwise likely to cause an accident. Whether or not you’re found at fault for the accident, your insurance rates will go up because the insurance companies will claim that you didn’t practice proper “defensive driving.”
- Drive carefully in bad weather. Rain and snow make the roads slick and may decrease visibility. You should always maintain a greater following distance and slower speed anytime there are bad weather conditions. Furthermore, since drivers in Texas tend to drive poorly when it’s raining, it’s especially important to pay attention to the drivers around you.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Texting and other distractions may keep you from paying proper attention to the road, making you likely to get into a car wreck.
- Pay attention to road conditions. Potholes and other poor road conditions may make your vehicle careen out of control, so try to avoid these issues.
- Stay off the roads if you’re impaired. Fatigue, illness, alcohol, and drugs impair your ability to drive safely, so don’t drive unless you feel completely focused.
- Move off the road if your car malfunctions. If your car begins to malfunction, move onto the shoulder or otherwise off the roadway so that no one crashes into you.
- Maintain a safe speed. Speeding is one of the biggest causes of car accidents, so make sure you aren’t driving too fast to stop safely.
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, contact the legal team at Hernandez Law Group. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you determine how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. Only 2% of the attorneys in Texas are board-certified in personal injury law, and Juan Hernandez is one of these rare board-certified personal injury lawyers. To hire one of the foremost experts in personal injury law, contact us today.