Of all the types of car accidents out there, the most common are rear-end crashes. It is estimated that as many as 1.7 million rear-end collisions take place annually on U.S. roads. Approximately 1,7000 people die in those collisions and another 500,000 are hurt. Whether the lead vehicle was stopped, traveling at a low speed, or moving quickly prior to the crash, accidewnts where vehicles are hit from behind can result in a wide variety of serious injuries as well as fatalities.
If you were injured after the car you were riding in was rear-ended, or if such an accident has proven injurious or fatal to someone you love, the attorneys of Wapner Newman can review your case and advise you whether you have grounds to seek financial compensation. You may be able to file a claim to recover your losses, including medical expenses, property damage, loss of current and future earnings, loss of future enjoyment, and pain and suffering. Serving communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our Eastern PA injury invite you to discuss your unique situation by calling us at 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form. We have been successfully representing clients injured in a variety of personal injury accidents for more than 40 years. Let us help you.
All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles at a safe following distance. If one car hits another from behind, in most cases, the fault will lie with the striking driver. Following too closely, also known as tailgating, is prohibited by both Pennsylvania and New Jersey traffic code. Drivers are expected to not be behind another vehicle “more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Drivers who violate tailgating laws are likely to be found responsible for any rear-end collisions that result. Possible exceptions include circumstances that were unavoidable or unintentional. This can happen when the driver of the first car:
- Fails to take proper precautions when pulling out of a parking lot or driveway
- Has an emergency
- Has broken brake lights or turn signals
- Suddenly reverses
- Suddenly stops.
Modified Comparative Fault System
In these instances, the driver that was rear-ended may be considered partially at fault for the accident. Under the modified comparative fault system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, that driver can recover damages as long as he or she is determined to be less than 51 percent at fault. A driver found to carry more than 50 percent of the fault is unable to seek compensation for damages. Assigning fault is a complicated process that may involve police accident reports, accident scene photos, witness testimony, traffic camera footage, or cell phone records. Since fault varies on a case-by-case basis and has a direct correlation on recovery possibilities, it is wise to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in a car accident.
Low Speed Rear End Collisions
Some rear-end crashes are at such low speeds, there is minor to no property damage. However, lack of vehicle damage does not mean that the people inside it were not damaged. When the front-end of one vehicle strikes the rear-end of another, there is a transfer of energy that is absorbed by the struck car and its occupants. At a minimum, that energy can cause their necks to move abruptly and abnormally, resulting in hyperextension. More commonly known as whiplash, such soft tissue injuries can be difficult to diagnose and easy for insurance companies to dismiss. This is one of many reasons why accident victims should seek prompt medical testing.
Common Causes of Rear-End Crashes
A 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that driver inattention was the primary reason for rear-end collisions. In this study, nearly nine out of ten times a driver was not paying attention to the traffic ahead. Driver inattention also played a critical role in nine crashes the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated between 2012 – 2014 that killed 28 people and injured 90 more. All nine of them resulted from a driver who failed to respond in time to a problem ahead. Other common causes for rear-end collisions include:
- Disregarding traffic conditions
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Failing to use turn signals
- Failing to yield
We Can Help Victims of Rear-End Crashes
If you were involved in a rear-end crash, it is in your best interest to hire legal representation. Trust your case to the skilled Philadelphia rear end accident attorneys at Wapner Newman. We have the resources and experience to fight for you. For almost four decades, we have been the trusted advocates for countless injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form and let us help you.