Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They account for 30% of all accidents each year.
This high number might come as little surprise, especially as the use of smartphones, GPS units, dash cams, and other devices are within the reach of the driver. Distracted driving, as a rear-end accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL might tell you, is often the cause of this kind of accident. Unfortunately, a rear-end accident can feel extra frustrating because often it could have been prevented. The good news is that for these collisions, proving fault is often straightforward.
How Liability is Determined
Except for a limited number of situations, the driver who rear-ends another driver is typically at fault. In some instances, the lead vehicle will bear a level of liability. Examples of this might include:
The driver slammed on the brakes without any valid reason
The driver suddenly reversed, and for no reason
The driver was operating the car with a flat tire, or mechanical problem, but did not pull over or use their hazard lights
The car had a broken brake light or other faulty equipment
When the above scenarios, or a similar one, are not present, a rear-end accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL will likely assign fault to the driver behind the car that was hit. Of course, this will depend on an investigation and is never certain until that process is carried out. Another issue that might come up, once fault is determined, is compensation. This is where things can get a bit complicated. Having a good lawyer on your side can be very beneficial.
Obtaining Compensation After an Accident
Getting compensation for vehicle damage after a rear-end collision tends to be uneventful. In general, all parties will reach an agreement on liability. Damage to the vehicle is typically objective, and most insurance companies will pay the damage claim.
That said, getting compensation for injuries can be cumbersome. This is because one of the most common injuries in these accidents is whiplash.
Whiplash is a neck injury that tends to result in all rear-end collisions. This is because the drivers’ head is whipped back and forth in a sudden motion. Injuries to the neck, shoulders, and upper back may be the result.
Usually, these are soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains to the tendons and muscles. These are difficult to prove and quantify – even though they are very real. Unlike a broken bone or torn muscle, sprains and strains can be difficult to diagnose. Even when they do show up in an MRI, the extent of damage can be argued.
Whiplash injuries are usually subjective. They may involve symptoms like headaches, pain, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating. Unfortunately, this means it’s possible for the injured driver to exaggerate their injuries. Thus, the insurance company may be more skeptical.
This skepticism can be so bad, that some lawyers don’t even use the term whiplash. Rather, they claim myofascial injuries instead. If you suffered whiplash in a rear-end accident, or any other kind of damage, you should not delay in calling a rear-end accident lawyer in Vero Beach, Florida.