There are ways that you can avoid rear-end collisions, although none are fool-proof. Being rear-ended is often something that the victim will hold no fault for, and in some cases attempting to avoid a rear-end collision can result in another accident taking place.
Evasive action and proactive steps to avoid accidents are usually best but always survey the entire situation before doing anything. These seemingly inevitable accidents may be avoidable, but they may also be better than the alternatives.
Can You Avoid A Rear-End Collision?
There are many things you can do in an effort to avoid rear-end collisions, and many of them are just general good driving habits. Always look further ahead on the road to ensure that you have time to brake gently and to warn those behind you that you’re braking. Additionally, you should check your mirrors (all of them) often.
While you’re driving, you should also look around for possible evasive routes or escape paths. If the person behind you can’t stop in time, you may be able to get onto the shoulder or into an empty lane safely. These tactics aren’t always helpful or safe, though, so use evasive maneuvers only when it’s safe for everyone on the road.
Finally, always leave a decent gap between you and the car in front of you. If you’re hit from behind, the force could send you into the car in front of you. Then you have a car sandwich and may be liable for the second accident which took place for not leaving enough space.
Know How to Respond to a Rear-End Wreck
Doctors and car accident injury lawyers see it all the time. Severe cases of whiplash, head trauma, or other injuries that would not have happened if the victim hadn’t stepped on their brake during the impact. It’s an impulsive move to apply the brake and brace when you can see that a crash is going to happen.
But, keep in mind that this response can lead to more serious injuries. When you’re in a rear-end crash, don’t hit your brake. Instead, allow the car to take on the force and distribute it. The car lurches forward or hitting the curb will result in less damage to you, but more damage to your car. Anything to reduce injuries to the people inside the vehicles is always the better option.
You don’t need to accelerate, but if you have time, you can plan on where to direct your car. Guardrails, curbs, and shoulders are always best because they can help slow your momentum while likely only causing damage to your vehicle. But, keep in mind that diving into other lanes of traffic is not safe.
What Happens if Avoiding a Crash Leads to Another Accident?
If you avoided one crash but caused another, then you will likely need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. In Virginia, car settlements work based on a fault system, and you’ll have to prove that you weren’t at-fault for the car crash that actually happened.
However, the decision will almost always come down to a claims supervisor that works with the insurance company involved. They probably won’t want to hear about the other driver or what could have happened. Instead, they’ll focus on your actions and build their case around you. However, there are options to argue against their decision.
You can take your claim to the Virginia State Corporation Commission with a written complaint about how the insurance company failed to consider all the factors in the crash. This process would benefit from an attorney as they can explain how the insurance company had an obligation to evaluate all the situational aspects that led to the crash, including the person who would have hit you. In these cases, it may come down to partial fault, or a “more likely than not” determination.
Contact a Richmond, VA Car Accident Attorney at CAIL
Richmond is host to numerous rear-end collisions every day. Each one is unique, and they’re not always avoidable. Many times the person in the stopped car, or the car in front, is simply a victim of another driver’s poor decisions. If you were in a car accident in Richmond and need help handling the resolution of your claim, then contact CAIL.
At Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, our legal team uses a healthy mix of experience, skill, and knowledge to build strong cases for our clients. Our goal is to recover the financial compensation that you need to begin recovering from the crash.
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