Rear-end accidents vary widely from minor fender benders up the road to catastrophic pileups on major highways. In all cases, if you were injured in a rear-end accident at little to no fault of your own, you should consult with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party, and the best way to get your case going on the right foot is by starting early.
The personal injury attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, are ready to help you fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Our legal team has decades of experience representing injury victims throughout Connecticut. Follow this link to learn more about results we have obtained on behalf of our clients, and do not hesitate to call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney near you.
Rear-End Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,457,155 rear-end accidents nationwide in 2020, accounting for 27.8 percent of all collisions between moving vehicles in that year. Fortunately, the vast majority of these resulted in property damage only. Even so, rear-end crashes involving passenger vehicles also resulted in 308,282 injuries and 1,243 deaths.
Is the Rear-End Driver Always at Fault?
One of the most common questions we hear in rear-end car accident cases is, “Are rear-end drivers always at fault?” When one vehicle is traveling behind another, the driver following is normally positioned better to avoid a rear-end accident. Therefore, in most cases, they are entirely or primarily at fault when one occurs.
That said, the driver in front can also be liable for a rear-end collision in certain situations. For example, they may be liable for accidents caused when they slam on their breaks without warming, reverse into the following vehicle, or operate their vehicle with malfunctioning brake lights.
Every rear-end collision is different, including rear-end accidents. Therefore, each one should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by an experienced attorney to determine fault.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Because many factors can come together to give rise to an auto accident, it can be difficult to generalize about causation. Even so, recurring patterns do emerge. Some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Following too closely
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Road rage
- Mechanical defects
- Bad weather or poor road conditions
What Evidence Is Used to Establish Fault in a Rear-End Accident
An experienced attorney will start building your case by combing through the available evidence to establish fault, which is normally shown by proving that someone was negligent (i.e., that they failed to take reasonable care to avoid causing a wreck). A driver who causes an accident by violating a traffic safety law may also be held negligent per se. Evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault, as well as that you were minimally responsible, may include things like:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Photos from the crash scene
- Eyewitness accounts
- Expert testimony
- Surveillance footage
- Forensic accident investigations
What Compensation Is Available Through a Lawsuit?
The most common form of compensation in personal injury cases is legally referred to as “compensatory damages,” which covers both economic and non-economic losses. The specific amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, as well as the extent of any other losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for things like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lowered quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Damaged personal property
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Rear-End Accident Claim?
Yes. In most cases, the deadline for filing personal injury claims in Connecticut, including those involving rear-end accidents, is two years from the date of injury. If you miss this deadline, your case will most likely be dismissed in court, and your right to seek legal compensation will be eliminated. Consulting with a rear-end accident attorney early on will ensure that your case gets started on the right track, including by making sure the filing deadline is not missed.
What to Do If You Were Involved in a Rear-End Collision
Even before you hire an attorney, there are a number of proactive steps you can take yourself to start building the foundations of your case. These include:
- Seek medical treatment right away and save all of your medical records. These documents will reveal the extent and severity of your injuries, which will directly correlate with the amount of compensation you receive through your claim.
- Preserve any evidence you have from the scene, such as photos and the names of eyewitnesses. You will need evidence to prove that the other driver was at-fault and that you were not. The scene of the accident is the best place to begin collecting and preserving this evidence.
- Do not post anything about the accident on social media. When you file a claim, insurers may scour your social media for anything that underestimates the severity of your injuries, diminishes the other driver’s culpability, overestimates your own, and that otherwise undermines your claim. Therefore, it is best to avoid publicizing the accident.
- Avoid speaking to insurance companies before you have secured legal representation. Your own insurance policy probably requires that you report your accident to preserve coverage. Therefore, call them to make a brief report, but let your attorney do the rest of the talking. However, if the at-fault party’s insurer calls, you are not legally required to speak to them at all. Simply decline to comment on the accident and refer them to your attorney.
Consult With a Connecticut Rear-End Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a rear-end accident at little to no fault of your own, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer early on to get started on the road toward compensation. The rear-end accident attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, are standing by to help. We will make sure you understand your rights and that your case gets started on the right foot. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney near you.