Rear-end Collisions

Alabama Car Accident Lawyers Discuss Rear-end Collisions

Fighting for the rights of those injured in car accidents throughout the state

While waiting on the light to turn green at an intersection you feel a heavy thud as a car bumps into the back of your car. Rear-end collisions occur thousands of times each day, and they often end up with only a slight amount of property damage. But some rear-end collisions end in serious injuries especially when the rear vehicle was moving fast.

At Mezrano Law Firm, our experienced Alabama car accident attorneys will represent you as you pursue compensation for your injuries regardless of the type of car accident in which you were injured. You may schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, and you never need worry about how you will afford a lawyer because we take cases on contingency. You will not pay attorney fees until we have recovered compensation for you.

What occurs during a rear-end car accident?

At its simplest, one car collides with the car in front of it. If the rear car was following too closely and the front vehicle stopped quickly and unexpectedly, the rear vehicle does not have enough space to apply the brakes and stop the vehicle before crashing into the other one. While fault is almost always attributed to the rear car that struck the forward car, there can be cases where the forward car shares some of the fault in the collision.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that 33.4% of traffic crashes in a recent year were rear-end crashes. About 6.8% of those crashes had fatalities, and there were about 556,000 injuries in rear-end traffic crashes in the U.S.

What causes rear-end car accidents?

Have you ever been stuck in traffic on Rte. 20 on your way into Birmingham in a slow-down caused by an accident up ahead? When you finally pass the accident scene, you notice that it’s another rear-end crash. You can see the wreckage of the mangled front-end of one vehicle smashed into the mangled back-end of another vehicle. There are several factors which can lead to a rear-end collision including:

  • Tailgating, or following too closely. One of the first lessons from driving school is to keep a safe following distance between you and the car ahead of you to allow time and space to apply the brakes should the forward car stop unexpectedly.
  • Speeding. Aggressive driving and darting in and out of lanes can lead to a rear-end crash when the speeding driver does not have time to notice that the car in front is slowing down to stop.
  • Distracted driving. In the few seconds it takes to reach down and grab something, to scroll through your phone, or perform grooming tasks in the rear-view mirror, a negligent driver may not notice that the car ahead of him or her has turned on the blinker and has stopped before making a turn.
  • Drowsy driving. In some cases, driving fatigued can be as bad or worse than drunk driving because of how much a driver is impaired by fatigue.
  • Drunk driving. Alcohol use impairs the driver’s reaction time, and distorts judgement making it easier to misjudge the distance between the impaired driver and the car ahead.
  • Automotive defects. Brakes failures, tire tread failures, or other mechanical defects could be the culprit in causing a rear-end crash.
  • Dangerous weather conditions. An ice storm, blizzard, heavy rain, or heavy fog can cause a chain reaction or multiple car pileup which started with one rear-end accident.

Examples of injuries from a rear-end car accident

There are several variables which will affect whether a person will walk away uninjured, or suffer a serious, life-altering injury some of which include how fast the vehicles were traveling at the time of the crash, whether the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seat belts, and other factors. The following are a few examples of injuries that might occur from a rear-end crash:

  • Concussion. A concussion can occur from blunt force to the head. The symptoms of a concussion are not always evident immediately following the accident but may begin to emerge in the next 24 hours or more.
  • Traumatic brain injury. TBI happens when the brain crashes repeatedly against the inside of the skull. The strong forces in the crash can damage the delicate structures of the brain even when the head does not receive a direct hit and without a fractured skull.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Even if you do not sustain broken bones in a car accident, you can still sustain painful, debilitating injuries to the soft tissues in your back, neck, and shoulders. The faster the vehicles were moving at the moment of impact, the more serious the injuries tend to be, but even in slow speed crashes you can still find serious, painful injuries from the body being pushed forward and slammed back by the gravitational forces at play in the crash. If you are restrained in a seat belt, the places where the seat belt did its work to keep you in your seat may also show bruising. The symptoms of a soft tissue injury include neck and back pain, dizziness, vertigo, severe headaches, and blurred vision.
  • Whiplash. This is an injury that is commonly associated with rear-end collisions. When you are hit from behind in a car crash, the body is thrust forward and then jerked backward causing trauma to the neck, shoulders, and back. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) describes whiplash as, “a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck, usually because of sudden extension and flexion.” NINDS reports that whiplash may also include injury to the intervertebral joints, discs and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Whiplash symptoms may include:
    • Neck stiffness
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Burning or prickling sensations
    • Shoulder and back pain
    • Memory loss
    • Impaired concentration
    • Nervousness and irritability
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Fatigue
    • Depression
    • Herniated disc
    • Bone fractures

Other possible injuries from a rear-end crash could include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Bone fractures
  • Knee, leg, or foot injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations

Establishing fault in a rear end accident

In most cases, the driver of the rear vehicle that struck the forward vehicle is found to be at fault in causing the crash. The safety and courtesy rules of the road require that drivers keep a safe driving distance, which allows them plenty of time and space to stop in order not to hit the vehicle in front which may have slowed down or come to an abrupt stop.

There are additional factors which can contribute to a rear end crash such as poor weather conditions or a mechanical failure. The front vehicle could also be responsible for a portion of the fault if the brake lights were not working at the time of the crash.

When your Alabama car accident lawyer investigates the cause of your car accident, these and other factors will be considered. If the person in the forward vehicle wants to pursue compensation for his or her injuries in the accident, he or she must be able to prove that the driver of the rear vehicle caused the crash, and that he or she was not at all culpable in causing the wreck. Because Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state, if the injured party has even one percent of liability in causing the accident, he or she will be barred from receiving compensation.

How much compensation can I recover after getting rear ended?

The severity of this type of crash can range from a minor crash with minimal property damage and no injuries, to significant property damage and serious injuries and death. In the same way that no two accidents are the same, there is no way to tell how much your car accident injury case is worth in the beginning. Despite what you may have heard about what your case is worth based on a claims evaluation by Colossus, the insurance industry software that claims adjusters use, we understand the shortcomings of technology. At Mezrano Law Firm, we take all the factors of your case into consideration, the extent of your injuries, your medical expenses, lost wages, the pain and suffering, and disability because of the injury. Our experienced Alabama car accident injury lawyers fight for fair compensation for you.

Types of Cases We Handle

Our attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:

At Mezrano Law Firm, when you’re injured, our Alabama car wreck attorneys answer your call

Our Alabama car accident lawyers represent clients who have been injured in a car accident. We are here to help the injured throughout the state with offices in Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa, and we are always nearby when you need our services. You are welcome to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer. Please call 205-206-6300 or fill out our contact form.

If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us today to learn more.