Houston Rear-Ended Accident Lawyer
What is a Rear End Collision?Rear-end collisions are the most common types of auto accidents. Rear-end accidents happen when the front bumper of one vehicle collides into the rear of another vehicle. These types of accidents may occur as a result of a driver’s intoxication or distraction, adverse weather conditions, etc. Most rear end collisions, however, are primarily caused by negligence.
Common Causes of Rear-Ended Auto AccidentsWhen a driver fails to stay at least a car length behind the lead car or doesn’t break fast enough to avoid a rear-end crash, he or she is responsible for the crash. Therefore, the driver’s insurance company is responsible and liable for the costs associated with the rear-end crash. A variety of factors can cause rear end crashes including tailgating, distracted driving, quick changes in speed, bad weather, and mechanical problems.
- Tailgating and Speed Changes: Tailgating greatly increases a driver’s risk of getting in a rear-end collision because if the car in front of them were to stop without warning, they wouldn’t have any time to stop. Drivers generally feel the need to tailgate due to road rage.
- Distracted Driving: Any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road for even a few seconds can result in a rear end crash. Common distractions while driving include texting, talking on the phone, checking social media pages, eating, adjusting the radio, etc.
- Bad Weather: Snowy, icy, or rainy weather is another common cause of rear end collisions, due to lack of visibility and slippery roads. Even the most responsible drivers can find themselves in a rear-end car accident because of sliding across an icy road and then hitting the car in front of them.
- Mechanical Problems: If a car isn’t properly taken care of, it could suddenly malfunction on the road and easily cause a rear end collision. Broken tail lights are another common cause of rear end accidents. If a car behind you doesn’t know that you’re stopping because of broken tail lights, their chances of hitting you are much higher. Also, if your car was engineered with an auto defect, this could cause an accident.
Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
Drivers involved in rear end accidents can suffer countless injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries, such as broken bones or brain injuries.
Listed below are the most common injuries sustained from Houston rear end collisions:
Whiplash injuries are the most commonly suffered injuries for rear-end collisions. Whiplash is a result of the head and neck violently moving forward and backward. Common symptoms include neck soreness and pain, dizziness, headache, loss of range of motion in the neck, tingling in the arms, and more. With proper treatment, whiplash patients can recover within a few weeks. However, some whiplash patients have long term pain and complications.
Even the most minor accidents can cause serious back pain and injuries. When one car collides into another, the force generated can compress the discs and nerves in the spinal column. The most common back injuries from car accidents include:
- Lower or upper back vertebrae fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated discs
- Facet joint injuries
- Sharp or shooting pain in the limbs
Airbags can reduce the chance of death from a car accident by up to 52% according to the IIHS. But because airbags can deploy between 15 and 20 miles per hour, drivers and passengers can still suffer some pretty brutal airbag injuries including:
- Broken ribs
- Broken nose
- General bruising on the face
- Broken arms
- Cuts and scrapes on the face, hands, arms, and legs
- Sprained or broken fingers and wrists
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Internal bleeding
- Burn injuries on the face, hands, arms, and legs
Out of all the significant injuries, paralysis has to be one of the hardest to live with. There are many different types of paralysis, including:
- Monoplegia: Paralysis in one arm or leg
- Hemiplegia: Paralysis in one arm and one leg on the same side of the body
- Paraplegia: Paralysis in both legs
- Quadriplegia: Paralysis in both arms and both legs
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a common serious injury associated with car accidents. A driver or passenger can suffer from a brain injury if they violently hit their head on the steering wheel or against a window, for example.
Seat Belt Injuries
Similarly to airbags, seat belts are crucial for saving lives. In fact, the CDC reports that seat belts reduce the risk of death in a car accident by 45%. But seat belts can unfortunately cause some pretty severe injuries in the process of saving your life, including:
- Broken ribs
- General bruising across the body
- Internal bleeding
- Cuts and scrapes where the seat belt lies across the body
- Seat belt syndrome, which is a group of injuries in the abdomen, chest, and spinal cord that’s associated with wearing a seat belt
Drivers and passengers who survive rear end crashes often suffer extensive facial injuries from hitting the steering wheel or getting struck with glass. These injuries can include severe bruising, a broken nose, a broken jaw, and even detached retinas.
Establishing Liability for Rear-End Car Accidents in Texas
Proving fault in a crash basically means that a Houston car accident lawyer has to prove that the other driver was negligent. Rear ended accident lawyers generally do this through proving the elements of negligence.
- Duty of care: The negligent driver undoubtedly owed you a duty of care and responsibility on the road. You owe the same to other drivers.
- Breach of duty of care: This duty of care was violated by the at-fault driver.
- Causation: As a result of the breached duty of care, a driver suffered extensive injuries and car damages.
- Damages: Compensation may be able to cover a driver’s injuries and other monetary losses caused by the crash.
Is Fault Automatic in a Rear End Accident in Texas?
Fault is not automatically assigned in a rear end collision in Texas. While the back driver is generally to blame for tailgating or driving while distracted, the front driver can also be at fault. Other possible contributors to a rear end accident can include another car, a pedestrian, or even poor road conditions.
Texas as an At-Fault State
Texas is one of 38 states that is an at-fault state. In Texas, the tort responsibility system states that the driver who caused the crash is legally obligated to pay for the other driver’s injuries and vehicle repairs. If you’re not at fault, this will spare you the headache of filing a claim and paying a deductible with your own insurance. You can also sue the negligent driver for fair compensation if they are unable to meet the price of your damages.
Not only is Texas an at fault state, it also has a negligence rule called the 51% bar. A driver won’t be compensated if they were 51% or more at fault for their injuries or losses, according to the ruling. So if you were somewhat to blame for your rear-end car accident but the percentage of culpability is less than 51%, you may still be eligible for compensation.
When Is the Front Driver Held Responsible for a Rear End Accident?
The back driver is usually at fault for rear end accidents. But depending on the specifics of the car accident, the front driver can be at fault sometimes too.
These situations may shift blame from the back driver to the front driver:
- Pulling out in front of other cars
- Stopping suddenly
- Reversing into another car
- Road rage causing the rear-end car accident
- Driving with some kind of vehicle malfunction and failing to put on hazard lights
- Intentionally trying to cause a traffic accident
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving with broken tail lights
Maximum Compensation For a Rear End Accident
If you suffered severe injuries or car damage as a result of a rear end accident, you may be eligible for damages. How much compensation you’ll receive for your injuries depends on how extensive the physical and property damage is, as well as how experienced your Houston car accident lawyer is.
You may receive the following damages through a personal injury lawsuit:
- Current and future medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
How a Houston Rear-End Collision Lawyer Can Help
If you were involved in a Houston rear-end car accident, then an experienced personal injury attorney will be of great assistance, especially when dealing with the insurance company.
The legal team at Reich & Binstock knows how to work with the insurance company to get you the maximum compensation necessary to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages you sustained as a result of a serious crash.
When you partner with an experienced attorney at Reich and Binstock, we’ll:
- Talk about your personal injury claim during a no obligation consultation, consider all of the potential at-fault parties and start calculating a fair settlement.
- Investigate the accident scene and gather evidence from the police, compile information from any medical treatment you’ve already received, review insurance information, and obtain video footage from surveillance cameras, if applicable.
- Interview witnesses from the crash scene, first responders who provided medical attention, and police officers.
- Handle all of your legal requirements, paperwork, and court appearances.
- Hire crash reconstruction experts to help prove liability.
- Negotiate a fair settlement for your rear end collision with your insurance company.
- Fight for your legal rights in court, if necessary.
Call a Rear Ended Accident Lawyer Today
At Reich & Binstock, we know how painful it is to have suffered from a Houston rear end accident. Sometimes, the aftermath of medical bills and recovering physically and emotionally from injuries can be even worse than the accident itself. That’s why you need an experienced rear ended accident lawyer to fight for you. Call us today at 713-622-7271 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.