Being rear-ended leads to more than just pain and suffering. It can also contribute to severe injuries that may require rehabilitation, urgent medical attention, or long-term care. These costs can quickly mount up, leading to financial stress for you and your family. At CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we want to ensure that you are fully compensated for all of the expenses you have incurred due to your rear-end collision. Contact our firm today at (833) 254-2923, or online to find out how we can help.
Many Georgia drivers are likely aware of the potential for severe injuries in an accident. Rear-end accidents involve slower vehicles backing up for various reasons, be it the driver’s faulty brakes, unexpected obstacles on the road, or simply because of drowsiness. These types of accidents often end up with the vehicles behind colliding into the cars in front. Since rear-end accidents are usually caused by driving too close to another vehicle or hitting another vehicle after it has come to a stop, property damage and personal injuries, including death, can result.
The most common of these injuries are head and neck injuries stemming from whiplash-like symptoms that occur when a driver is jolted forward or backward or even left to right by the impact of the crash.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions account for roughly 90% of all accidents in the United States. Whether you’re the driver of the vehicle or a passenger, injuries from rear-end collisions can be severe and life-changing. Below are some of the reasons leading to rear-end collisions:
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a serious hazard on the roads. It’s estimated that half of all accidents are due to distractions from something inside your vehicle. Distractions can take many forms, but they mostly have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with driving. Distractions include, but are not limited to cell phones, using your GPS, conversations with passengers, eating or drinking while behind the wheel, watching videos on a phone or tablet, pets in the car, pagers, and beepers, reaching for objects in the car, grooming, smoking cigarettes, reading a newspaper, talking to other passengers and more.
There are a wide variety of drugs and alcohol which can affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. These substances may be either a person’s prescription medication, over-the-counter medicine, or illegal street drug. It doesn’t matter if you took the substances legally, got them from another individual, or decided to get behind the wheel after downing a few alcoholic drinks. There is a heightened danger that you could get in a rear-end collision in all of these situations.
- Weather Conditions
Inclement weather makes it difficult to control or stop a vehicle. If you live in a cold climate where heavy snow is, you know just how difficult driving can be during the winter months. Drivers aren’t prepared for the amount of traction lost when there isn’t any snow or ice on the roads— which causes them to slam on their brakes hard or swerve out of the way. Rainy conditions are also tricky to navigate throughout city traffic.
The distance between cars seems to be a problem for everyone and is at the root of most rear-end collisions. Most drivers don’t realize how much distance they cover when braking or how much space they need between their car and the one in front of them. It becomes hazardous when the driver behind you speeds up to try and cut the distance between the two vehicles.
Driving a vehicle entails a responsibility to the general public. This is why driving laws exist, to protect others from individuals who may not be driving safely or who may cause distractions when they should be focused on the road. Georgia rear-end collision laws do not stipulate a driver must be negligently operating a motor vehicle for a rear-end collision to occur. Still, they can affect the claim process. If you cause a rear-end collision, the amount of your liability will depend on any violation of Georgia law that contributed to the accident.
Injuries caused by Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. After all, you hit the steering wheel and windshield because you rear-ended a flatbed truck that was close to your vehicle. The common injuries that people suffer from rear-end collisions include:
- Whiplash is the most common injury in rear-end collisions. This occurs when the head is thrown forward and snaps back. When the head is thrown forward, it causes the soft tissues in the neck to stretch. When the head snaps back, these tissues snap back. The sudden stop in movement can cause injury to the ligaments and tendons in the area. The severity of the injury depends on how fast the impact was, how far the person’s head moved, and the force of the crash. This can cause pain and discomfort for weeks or months after the accident. It can also result in long-term problems, such as chronic headaches, shoulder stiffness, and arm weakness.
- Lower Back Pain. The force of a rear-end collision can also cause lower back pain, even in otherwise healthy people. The impact force travels up through your body when involved in a rear-end collision, which can result in strained or injured muscles or vertebrae in your lower back.
- Broken bones – If you’re not wearing a seatbelt, the sudden stop will throw your body against the steering wheel or into the dashboard. If you are wearing a seatbelt, it might save you from being thrown forward, but it won’t protect your spine from the forward jerk as the belt tightens. The sudden force can break your neck, back, or ribs in either case.
- Concussion – A blow to your head will injure your brain. This type of injury is much more likely if you’re thrown into the windshield or against another hard surface inside the car. Concussions can lead to serious neurological problems that may not show up for weeks, months, or even years after the accident occurs.
- Spinal damage. Stress on the spine due to a rear-end accident can cause damage to the discs between each vertebra. Suppose you have experienced numbness or tingling in your arms or legs due to a rear-end accident. In that case, it could be a warning sign of more serious spinal problems that could eventually lead to paralysis.
Proving Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Atlanta
When two vehicles collide from behind, it can be hard to assess blame. One of the drivers might have braked suddenly, for example, to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. But generally, the first driver is at fault for failing to accelerate or brake as needed to avoid hitting the car ahead of them.
You may think that your accident was caused by someone else, such as the other driver or the person who made a dangerous turn in front of you. But in some states, you do not have to prove who is at fault to get compensation for your injuries. These states are known as no-fault states, and you can still receive benefits from your insurance company to cover your medical bills and lost wages if you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Georgia follows the legal doctrine of comparative fault. This means that all drivers involved will be held liable by an amount determined by how much they contributed to the accident. The percentage of contribution can be used as a negotiation tool during a settlement discussion. When an accident occurs, it is often unclear who is at fault. Both drivers may have behaved negligently, or one driver may have acted more egregiously than the other.
Many factors are used to determine the comparative negligence of various drivers. Factors like experience, health, and sobriety are considered when determining fault. It helps to consult a personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of negligence law in your state.
How can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
Car accidents are common events in Atlanta, Georgia. Some are directly related to negligence or careless drivers breaking the law, while others are simply an unfortunate series of circumstantial events with no one party to blame. Many times these accidents are minor, but they can also wreak havoc on your life.
Rear-end collisions can lead to severe injuries that can permanently change your life. Whether an accident occurs on a highway, a country road, or even in a parking lot, rear-end collisions can lead to critical injuries. Frequently, they are the fault of the driver who rear-ended you, and our attorneys at CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm can help you understand what legal options are available.
Insurance companies may deny your claim, make lowball offers, or require you to go back to work when you are unable. That’s where Ali Awad’s rear-end collision attorneys can help. We know how insurance companies work and how to deal with them effectively. Always tell the truth, but don’t let them fool you into thinking you’re not entitled to what you deserve. Put our experience to work for you and call us at (833) 254-2923 or contact us online. Our injury and accident attorneys will walk you through the entire legal process and explain your rights under state and federal laws.