Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle strikes the back of the vehicle in front of them. In many cases, these are minor accidents that don’t result in serious injury. Other times, accident victims can sustain suffer injuries that greatly reduce their quality of life.
Generally speaking, it’s thought that the driver who rear-ended another is automatically at fault for the accident. But that’s not always true. If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision in South Carolina, you should speak to a car accident attorney to ensure that insurance adjusters don’t try sneaky tactics to shift the liability onto you.
The attorneys at David Blackwell Law are familiar with all of the strategies that insurers use to avoid paying accident victims the compensation that they deserve. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
Call or contact us today to arrange a free consultation.
How To Avoid Rear-End Collisions
The vast majority of rear-end collisions are preventable. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, just one additional second of time could percent 90 percent of all rear-end crashes from happening.
Here are three easy ways to prevent a rear-end accident.
- Maintain a safe distance: The best way to avoid a rear-end collision is to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. The general rule of thumb is to remain three seconds behind the vehicle ahead. When weather conditions are bad or there are visibility issues, this distance should be extended to four or five seconds.
- Remain aware: Simply being aware of your surroundings can go a long way when trying to prevent rear-end collisions. If you see another driver following you too closely, try to change lanes, if you can do so safely. If you’re approaching a vehicle, remain aware of the space between you, and always leave enough so you have time to react to a driver suddenly stopping.
- Remain predictable: Many accidents could be prevented if drivers simply acted more predictably. Slow down gradually when making a turn or coming to a full stop, and always use your signals to indicate when you want to change lanes. Also always make sure your taillights, turn signals and headlights are always in good working condition.
Advancements in car technology have focused on preventing rear-end collisions, with warning alarms and brake alerts sounding when a person’s car is fast approaching another. But not all cars are equipped with those technologies yet, so it’s more important for drivers to remain aware of their surroundings than to rely on modern safety features.
Common Causes Of Rear-End Accidents
There are many causes of rear-end accidents, although some are more common than the others. These include:
- Distracted driving: When drivers are distracted, either by their phone, rowdy passengers, or eating, they take their eyes off the road. Doing this for even just a second can have disastrous results, as drivers may not realize they are approaching another vehicle.
- Tailgating: Following too closely on the road doesn’t give drivers enough time to stop.
- Speed: When drivers speed, they approach other vehicles too quickly. There’s little room for error if the driver ahead stops suddenly.
- Driving under the influence: Impaired drivers have slowed reaction times and difficulties with perception. This can cause many different types of accidents, including rear-end collisions.
When a driver causes a rear-end collisions due to any of these causes, they may be found negligent in a car accident claim. In these cases, accident victims can hold the at-fault party liable by demanding compensation for any injuries and property damage.
Injuries From Rear-End Collisions
All types of injuries are possible depending on the severity of a rear-end collision. However, some injuries in particular are commonly seen in rear-end accidents. These include:
- Whiplash: When a person’s vehicle is struck from behind, their neck often moves back and forth in rapid succession. While it does this, the body remains straight due to the seat belt. This results in whiplash, an injury that can resolve in days or lead to more serious health problems.
- Brain injuries: After being hit by another vehicle from behind, the head of the driver in the first car commonly hits the steering wheel or the window. This can result in concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries: When a person is rear-ended on the road, their body experiences a significant jolt. This can cause flexion and extension injuries, which is damage to the soft tissue in the spine and other areas.
- Herniated discs: The soft tissues aren’t the only parts of the back that can become injured in a rear-end collision. The discs in the spine can also become ruptured or slip out of position. These injuries often remain with a person for years to come, and many accident victims are unable to work during the recovery period.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are common in many car accidents, including rear-end collisions. In many cases, an accident victim suffers from multiple broken bones that require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
When accident victims suffer these or any other injuries in a rear-end collision, it’s important they understand they can file a claim for compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses.
Who Is At Fault In A Rear-End Collision?
In South Carolina, the automatic fault rule generally applies to rear-end accidents. This law assumes that the driver was following too closely or engaging in another negligent behavior when the accident occurred.
However, there are exceptions to this automatic fault rule. For example, if the vehicle that was hit had defective tail lights or came to an abrupt stop in well-moving traffic, the driver of the vehicle in front could be found liable. It will depend on which driver acted negligently.
Another possibility is that both drivers are found at fault for the accident. This is called shared fault. In South Carolina, it is possible for an injured party to obtain compensation for injuries as long as they are found less than 51 percent responsible for the wreck. Anything over that percentage can prevent a victim from collecting compensation.
Because the stakes are so high, having an attorney by your side to evaluate liability after a rear-end collision can be invaluable. An unfair portion of fault could cause you to miss out on thousands of dollars in compensation.
What Are The Legal Remedies For Rear-End Collisions?
The first step to obtaining compensation after a rear-end accident is to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. This will provide compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with your claim.
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, motorists can file a claim with their own insurance company, as uninsured motorist coverage is required by South Carolina law.
How Can David Blackwell Law Help Me?
At David Blackwell Law, our knowledgeable car accident lawyers are committed to helping South Carolina victims claim the compensation they are owed. We will collect evidence to substantiate your claims to prove liability and fight any arguments of fault from the other side.
You can count on us to keep fighting for the results you deserve.
We believe that all victims deserve a right to learn about their legal options, regardless of cost. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.