REAR ENDED ACCIDENT LAWYER

Houston Rear Ended Accident Lawyer

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear end accidents account for approximately 29% of all crashes that result in severe injuries or deaths. This makes rear end accidents one of the most common types of accidents in the United States. If you or someone you love suffered injuries or death from this type of crash, you need an experienced rear ended accident lawyer on your side. Attorneys at Reich & Binstock will fight for you and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at 713-622-7271 for a free consultation.

rear ended accident lawyer Houston

What is a Rear End Accident?

A rear end accident happens when one car hits the back of another car.

Common Causes of Rear Ended Accidents

A variety of factors can cause rear end crashes including tailgating, distracted driving, quick changes in speed, bad weather, and mechanical problems.

Tailgating and Quick Changes in Speed

Everyone has probably tailgated at least once in their driving history. That doesn’t make it a good habit, though. Tailgating greatly increases a driver’s risk of getting in a rear end accident 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 feed
  • Eating
  • Messing with the radio
  • Looking at something on the side of the road for too long

Bad Weather

Snowy, icy, or rainy weather is another common cause of rear end accidents due to lack of visibility and slippery roads. Even the most responsible drivers can find themselves in a rear end 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 accident. 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 Accidents

Drivers involved in rear end accidents can suffer countless injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries. Listed below are the most common injuries resulting from rear end accidents:

Whiplash

This is possibly the most common rear end accident injury. 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.

Back Injuries

Even the most minor accidents can cause serious back pain and injuries. The force of hitting a car or getting hit by a car 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
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Sharp or shooting pain in the limbs

Airbag Injuries

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
  • Concussions
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Whiplash
  • Internal bleeding

Paralysis

As stated previously, the force on the body from a car accident can cause severe back injuries. The worst case scenario is paralysis, which happens when a nerve (or several nerves) in the spinal cord is severely damaged. 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 common injuries in severe car accidents. A driver or passenger can suffer a TBI if they violently hit their head on the steering wheel or against a window, for example. Symptoms of a TBI depend on the severity of the condition, but can include:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Impaired speech
  • Difficulty moving parts of the body
  • Major changes in behavior and mood
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss or difficulty making new memories
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Nausea or vomiting

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

Face Injuries

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.

Determining Fault for a Rear End Accident in Texas

Proving fault in a crash basically means that a rear ended accident lawyer has to prove that a driver was negligent. Rear ended accident lawyers generally do this through proving the elements of negligence.
  • Duty of care: The at-fault 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?

Fault is not automatically assigned in a rear end accident 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 at fault driver for further compensation if they are unable to meet the price of your damages.

51% Bar in Texas

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 percent or more at fault for their injuries or losses, according to the ruling. So if you were somewhat to blame for your accident but the percentage of culpability is less than 50%, you may still be eligible for compensation.

When is the Front Driver Held Responsible for a Rear End Accident?

As previously stated, the back driver is usually at fault for rear end accidents. But depending on the specifics of the 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 accident
  • Driving with some kind of vehicle malfunction and failing to put on hazard lights
  • Intentionally trying to cause an accident
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving with broken tail lights

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 these compensatory damages:
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

Call a Rear Ended Accident Lawyer Today

At Reich & Binstock, we know how painful it is to have suffered from a 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 for a free consultation.