According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), rear-end collisions contribute to almost 30 percent of all automobile accidents, making them the most common type of collision on U.S. roads. These accidents happen when a motor vehicle crashes into the rear of the vehicle in front of it, which often has a domino effect that results in multiple cars being hit.
In California, the rear driver is usually (but not always) found at fault for these types of accidents. The driver in front often has little to no warning that the crash is going to occur, so they are unable to avoid the hit in time. If you have been rear-ended in an accident that has left you injured, it’s important to speak to a Bakersfield lawyer right away in order to protect your rights.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end accidents often happen because a driver is following too closely to another driver, also known as tailgating. Tailgating is very dangerous because traffic can slow down or stop abruptly, and the rear driver won’t have enough time to react to avoid crashing into the car in front of them. Other causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and making sudden stops
- Inclement weather conditions
- Driving while under the influence
- Poor road maintenance
- Worn-out tires or brakes
- Faulty tail lights
Some of these situations indicate the negligence of the rear driver. In that case, a lawyer can help you explore your legal options. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we can review your case to determine whether you should pursue compensation from the other driver. By proving you were driving in a reasonable manner and had no opportunity to prevent the collision yourself, we will work to establish the other driver’s liability in order to maximize your settlement.
Types of Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions
The National Transportation Safety Boardreported that there were more than 1.7 million rear-end crashes in 2012 alone with more than 500,000 people being reported as injured. Whiplash is the most common injury among auto accident victims. Whiplash occurs when a high impact causes a person’s head to move backward and then forward suddenly, stretching the individual’s neck beyond its normal range of motion, resulting in an injury.
Other injuries that can be caused by a rear-end crash include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Bruises, cuts, or burns
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Facial disfigurement
- Herniated or slipped neck disc
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Some of these injuries may not be present at the time of the crash. Symptoms can often appear days later, so you should get medical treatment immediately to rule out any injuries. Seeking medical assistance promptly after an accident will also help your case should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver.
What to Do Next
The first thing you should do after an auto accident is to move your vehicle to the side of the road if possible. Then, assess your injuries and check on the other driver if you’re able. If needed, call 911 for urgent medical assistance.
After a rear-end accident, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. If the police did not arrive at the scene, call them to get instructions for filing a report of the incident. Look for any eyewitnesses and ask them to write down what they saw happen.
Most importantly, do not admit fault to the other driver. Ideally, you will want to speak to a Bakersfield lawyer before making any type of official statement to the police or to the other driver’s insurance company.
Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
An auto accident can have a substantial impact on your life. Not only can it leave you with injuries and high medical bills, but it can also result in you being unable to work as you recover. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to pay for car repairs. As the victim of a rear-end collision, you may be able to obtain compensation to cover these costs.
A Bakersfield lawyer can inform you of your legal options. Successful claims may achieve compensation for:
- Vehicle damages
- ER bills and follow-up care
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and future lost income
All drivers in California are required to follow a legal principle known as “duty of care.”This means that drivers should act reasonably on the road, which involves keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and following all traffic laws. If your lawyer can prove the rear driver did not follow this standard and acted recklessly, you may be entitled to compensation.
Get Legal Assistance in Bakersfield
If you’ve been injured, the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones will work hard to reach a reasonable agreement with the party responsible. Depending on your case, we may:
- Investigate the incident
Our office will determine what caused your accident and figure out who is at fault. We do this through eye witnesses, police reports, and other pieces of evidence.
- Document the details
It’s crucial to document your injuries through medical records if you’re to prove you were injured as a result of the other driver’s negligence. Keep all receipts for medical payments to give to your lawyer.
- Handle paperwork
Preparing the claim paperwork accurately is essential as incomplete paperwork can delay or reduce your claim. We can take care of the paperwork for you throughout the process.
- Negotiate with the other party
Our office will work with the other driver and/or their insurance company to prove you’ve been negatively impacted by the incident. We’ll attempt to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. In the unlikely event that we’re unsuccessful, our firm will represent you in court to seek compensatory damages.
Contact Us Today
Hurt in a rear-end collision? Don’t delay getting legal representation. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we’ll work hard on your behalf to achieve the maximum settlement you’re entitled to. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.