Each year, rear-end collisions account for nearly 2 million of all reported automobile accidents in the U.S., according to the Washington Post. This type of accident results in hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries annually. The typical rear end accident results from distracted driving and is thus avoidable. If you are the victim of a rear-end accident, seek the advice of an auto accident attorney to get the compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes a Rear End Collision?
Simply put, when a vehicle hits your car from behind, that constitutes a rear end accident. In general, it is the responsibility of the driver behind you to be aware when you slow down or stop, and brake accordingly. When this does not occur, either due to driver inattention or a decision not to slow down, the blame for the collision almost always lies with the driver behind you.
What Determines Fault?
Police and insurance inspectors are very likely to place most of the blame, if not all of it, on the driver in the back. Perhaps the motorist was following you too closely or failed to see you had stopped until it was too late. A tailgating driver who does not leave a safe distance between your cars to allow for sudden stops is willfully making a decision that often leads to a rear end collision.
However, you may also be partially at fault if your brake lights are not functioning when the accident takes place. If you stop suddenly to turn without signaling and then do not follow through, you could be held partially at fault for a rear end accident. California traffic law allows for comparative liability, so if you were 20 percent responsible for the collision, you would qualify for only 80 percent of any damages.
What Kinds of Damages Result from Being Rear-Ended?
Even in a minor rear end collision, you or your passengers could suffer physical and psychological injuries, such as:
- Spinal damage
- Head injuries caused by inflating air bags
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fear of getting back behind the wheel
- Chronic pain/suffering