One of the most common types of vehicle crashes to occur in the United States is rear-end collisions. Each year there are around 1.7 million rear-end collisions across the country that range from minor bumper taps to fatal crashes. Rear-end collisions can happen in a variety of ways, including while actively driving on the road, driving at higher speeds on the highway, or while stopped at a traffic light. Rear-end collisions can be tricky because there may only be a small amount of damage to your vehicle, and you may not feel that you have been injured after being hit. Even the most minor rear-end crash can cause unseen structural damage to your car and injuries that can leave you with chronic pain. Injuries can result in lost time from work and costly medical bills. You do not have to be actively driving while being rear-ended to have a case against the person who hit you. If you or a loved one has been rear-ended while stopped at a stop sign, yield sign, traffic light, or while parked, you may have a valid claim for financial compensation for your losses.
Data from the National Transportation Safety Board shows that 87 percent of all rear-end collisions are caused by distracted drivers. If a driver is not paying attention to the road ahead because they are distracted, they will not notice a vehicle stopped ahead and will not be able to brake in time to prevent a collision. Common distractions while driving include talking on the phone, texting, reading messages, interacting with a GPS system or radio, eating, drinking, or interacting with passengers. Some other common causes of rear-end collisions include speeding, reckless driving, road rage, falling asleep at the wheel, driving under the influence, and mechanical issues with the vehicle. Rear-end collisions usually occur directly behind the vehicle hit, however, a vehicle can also be hit at an angle from behind and the accident be considered a “rear-end collision.” The way that your vehicle is hit and the speed of the driver who hit you directly contribute to the severity of the accident.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
The types of injuries commonly seen in rear-end collisions range from minor to severe. The severity is dependent upon how fast the driver who hit you from behind was going – the higher the speed, the more severe the injuries. The moment you are hit from behind, your body will fling forward and back, being held down by the seatbelt, and you may hit the steering wheel, windshield, and other parts of your car that can cause bruising, cuts, and whiplash. Head, neck, and back injuries are extremely common in rear-end accidents, especially when the vehicle hit was stopped completely. That vehicle’s driver and passengers take on the full force of the impact. In severe rear-end collisions, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding can occur. There may also be cognitive injuries resulting from a concussion or post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychological injuries are just as important as physical injuries and should be treated properly. It is essential to seek medical treatment immediately after being rear-ended. Documenting your injuries will be critical in the legal battle to come.
Steps to Take After Being Rear Ended
After a car accident occurs and you have obtained medical treatment, make sure to speak to the police and let them know you were rear-ended while stopped. Take pictures of the accident site, your injuries, and your vehicle for documentation if you are physically able. It is important to also get a copy of the police report and contact information for the driver that hit you, including insurance information. Medical bills and car repair costs will start to add up after a rear-end collision. Not only do you want to get medical treatment, you will want to make sure your vehicle is still safe to operate after being hit. In most cases, if you were properly stopped at a stoplight, stop sign, yield sign, or parked in a parking spot, and are rear-ended by another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle is at fault.
The other driver’s insurance company will try to pay as little as possible to you as possible and will make it very difficult to obtain your rightful compensation after the auto accident. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer will be incredibly useful. A lawyer will make sure the claim is filed appropriately with the insurance company and will make sure you receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and any pain and suffering that you may have experienced as a result of the read-end collision, among other car accident injuries and losses.
Your lawyer will build your claim around the negligence of the at-fault driver. They will prove the driver had a duty of care to keep their eyes on the road and not hit the vehicle stopped in front of them. Having the appropriate documentation can help your case move quickly and will give your lawyer everything they need to prove your case. Important documents to give your lawyer include:
- Police report
- Copy of your medical bills
- Copy of your medical records
- Vehicle repair estimate
- Tow truck bill
- Rental car receipts
- Documentation of missed work hours and lost wages
- Accident scene photos and video
- Photos and video of your injuries and damage to your vehicle
- Witness statements
These items will help your lawyer fight the at-fault driver’s insurance company’s legal team. Having someone on your side to stand up for your rights after being rear-ended will reduce the amount of stress you take on after the accident and help you recover full compensation for your damages.
Houston Rear-End Collision Lawyers
The experienced Houston rear-end collision lawyers at Adame Garza LLP will analyze the details of your situation and determine the best course of action. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision, our team of lawyers can put your mind at ease. We have helped hundreds of car accident victims across Houston, and we can guide you through every step of seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.