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.
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 thing 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 injuries including:
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:
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:
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:
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.
Determining Fault for a Rear End Accident in Texas
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:
- Intentionally trying to cause an accident
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:
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.