A rear-end accident is one of the most severe types of accident. But how common are injuries from rear-end accidents in Virginia? The answer is in this article.
There are different motor vehicle crashes that Virginia residents get involved in. It could be a single-vehicle accident, head-on collision, side-swipe collision, or T-bone accident. Another common type of automobile accident is a rear-end collision. A rear-end car accident happens when a car strikes another from behind.
Some rear-end collisions lead to chain-reaction crashes especially if the accident occurred in an area with heavy traffic. If the collision is a high-impact crash, where the rear-end driver was speeding, it might result in catastrophic injuries. Injuries like this have life-altering consequences for the injured victim.
This is why Virginia law allows crash victims to seek compensation from the party responsible for the accident. However, a personal injury attorney is always needed when making an accident claim. So, it would be best to hire an experienced car accident attorney from VACAIL. But first, let’s look at how common injuries from rear-end crashes are in Virginia.
How Often Do People Suffer Injuries From Rear-End Accidents?
It’s a universally accepted fact that motor vehicle accidents lead to deaths and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people suffer fatal injuries in road traffic accidents globally. Unfortunately, rear-end crashes are among the collisions where these lives ended.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, between 2012 and 2014, almost half of all two-vehicle crashes were rear-ended crashes. In addition, these crashes killed more than 1,700 people each year within that period. The Washington Post also reported that 1.7 million rear-end crashes happen in the U.S. yearly.
Hence, it isn’t farfetched to conclude that injuries and death are common in rear accidents. So, what type of injury do rear-end accident victims suffer? We look at some of them below.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When a vehicle hits another behind, the impact throws the front vehicle driver forward. The sudden force may cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull, leading to a concussion. In addition, the injury could cause impaired brain function with common symptoms like confusion, dizziness, loss of balance, and drowsiness.
Severe rear crashes like those seen in truck accidents may cause a tear in the brain or laceration injury on the skull. At worst, a brain trauma victim may die from the wound or be in a vegetative state. As such, seek immediate medical attention after a rear-end accident.
This is one of the most common injuries sustained in this type of accident. It is a neck strain caused by the sudden jerking of the beck forward, backward, and sideways. Ordinarily, whiplash is not severe but can become aggravated if not treated promptly.
Internal injuries refer to wounds affecting the organs or bleeding. This injury is usually not visible, and the injured person may need emergency medical care to survive. Get a full-body checkup after the crash to avoid the risks associated with internal injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries/Back Injuries
Even with a seat belt on, the impact of rear crashes can leave a severe strain on the back. The force can fracture the vertebrae, compress intervertebral discs, and strain back muscles. At worst, the injury could affect the spinal cord, making the possibility of paralysis more real.
Other severe injuries from rear motor vehicle accidents are bone fracture, rib fracture, and neck injuries. Again, medical attention is crucial following an accident. You don’t have to worry about the medical bills as the financial compensation you get in a personal injury claim covers them.
What Causes Rear-End Collisions?
No matter the type of accident you’re involved in, the root cause is driver negligence. A negligent driver fails to obey traffic rules and regulations, breaching their duty of care. Several factors contribute to rear-end accidents. We discuss some of them below.
Tailgating or following too closely is one of the most common causes of rear-end crashes. A rear driver tailgates when they fail to keep adequate distance between them and the motorist in the front. In addition, a driver who exhibits aggressive driving behaviors and tailgates will be unable to stop in time to stop a rear-end crash.
A distracted driver is one whose attention is diverted from the task of driving. It takes a distracted driver about three seconds to crash. Thus, a driver must avoid all forms of distractions, in addition to exercising reasonable care when driving.
Speeding causes severe rear-end collisions. Add it to an adverse road condition, and the accident may result in death or catastrophic injuries. The worst thing about driving over the speed limit is that the driver can not slow down in time if faced with potential danger. Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are also bad combinations resulting in rear crashes.
Weather contributes to rear-end incidents. While drivers are expected to exercise ordinary care when on the road, they must be vigilant during bad weather. The latter includes fog, heavy rain, fog, and ice.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Virginia?
There is a presumption that the rear-driver is always at fault, but this is not true. The driver behind will be responsible for accident damages if they fail to exercise reasonable care. However, the front driver can be the fault party. This happens if the front motorist suddenly stops mid-traffic or moves to turn without turning on their indicator.
Note that the preceding does not mean the rear driver can escape liability. For example, suppose the driver was distracted and failed to see the front driver turning in time. Then, if a collision happens, the two drivers will share the liability.
How To Prove Fault in Rear-End Crashes
Since liability is not always clear in collisions of this nature, you need to take steps to ensure you get fair compensation for your accident injury. The first thing you need to do is call the police and make an accident report. The police will examine evidence from the accident scene and get an accident reconstruction expert to reconstruct the accident scene.
Next, you need to gather evidence. Typical accident evidence includes the police report, witness statements, photo of the crash scene, video footage, etc. If your injury keeps you from gathering evidence, your accident compensation lawyer will launch an accident investigation to get the needed evidence.
What Compensation Can You Get for Rear-End Accident Injuries?
Generally, Virginia law allows an injured party to file a compensation claim against the responsible party. In the case of a multi-vehicle accident, it could be negligent parties if more than one person contributed to the occurrence. A victim of a rear-end collision case gets compensatory and exemplary damages.
Compensatory damages are divided into economic and non-economic damages. They don’t only cover physical injury but emotional injuries as well. As a result, fair settlements for the victim cover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage, etc.
Exemplary damages or punitive damages punish the at-fault person for their gross or malicious conduct. It is not compensatory, and you only get in court judgment and not accident settlement. It means if you only filed an insurnace claim, you will not get punitive damages. An experienced attorney will help you get the best compensation.
Who Pays Damages in Rear-End Collisions?
The accident injury claim process begins with the at-fault driver insurance company. Although the driver caused the accident, their auto insurance coverage covers the ability they incurred. So, the insurance company pays compensation after their insurance adjuster ascertains that you have a legitimate claim.
Note that the payment does not happen overnight. Before agreeing, your legal team and the insurance company will have several settlement negotiations. Your injury lawyer may recommend a personal injury lawsuit if they fail to agree. Your lawyer may also recommend a lawsuit if the negligent driver auto insurance provider offers a lowball settlement or intentionally tries to delay the case until the Statute of Limitations runs out.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today!
A rear-end collision is more than a fender bender accident. It causes severe injuries and death, and as such negligent and aggressive drivers have to pay for their actions. At our personal injury law firm, we put our clients’ interests above all else and get them the best financial compensation possible.
We will do the same for you if you hire an auto accident attorney at VACAIL to handle your accident case. So let’s get started with a free accident case review. Contact us today.