Rear-end accidents can be more dangerous than you might believe. While it’s easy to think of a head-on collision causing severe injuries, some people picture rear-end collisions as being fender-benders or maybe causing a mild case of neck pain.
But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear-end collisions make up around 29 percent of traffic accidents that cause serious injury.
The Insurance Information Institute adds that rear-end accidents are responsible for just under 7 percent of fatal crashes (6.8 percent).
Why Should You Seek Help From a Georgia Rear-End Collision Attorney?
Although it should be simple to seek compensation for your damages in a rear-end crash, we’ve seen that sometimes it isn’t. Here are just a few examples of ways the other driver and their insurance company might argue that they weren’t at fault:
“I Didn’t Rear-End Them, They Cut in Front of Me!”
This is a common defense to claims against a rear-end driver and their insurance policy. The assumption of fault in a rear-end accident is that the rear driver was following too closely and going too fast to stop in time if the front driver abruptly stopped.
However, vehicles already in a lane have the right of way. If a driver switches lanes and cuts in front of another, the rear driver may not have time to slow down to accommodate a safe following distance.
It can also be very hard to prove which scenario happened – did one car rear-end the other, or did one car cut in front of the other? Either way, the rear car is likely to have front-end damage, and the front car is likely to have rear-end damage.
Even witnesses may not be sure what they saw – there could be conflicting accounts from those present at the scene.
In these cases, a Georgia rear-end collision attorney can be very helpful. We’ll study the pictures of the car damage for signs of a rear-end crash versus a car-cutting-in-front crash.
Additionally, we’ll search for any potential video evidence, such as footage from doorbell recorders or security cameras. These videos are usually erased frequently due to storage space issues, so the sooner you contact a lawyer about your accident, the better.
“The Front Driver Was Backing Up and Hit Me!”
We’ve met some clients who were surprised to learn that they had backed into the car behind them – because they did no such thing! Unfortunately, without witnesses besides the two drivers, this can turn into a “you said/they said” situation.
When the two stories conflict and there is no clear evidence supporting either one, the responding officer may not cite anyone for lack of evidence, and their final report could be inconclusive.
The other driver’s insurance company will take an inconclusive police report to mean their client wasn’t at fault (so they have an excuse not to pay).
As in the last scenario, your lawyer will fight to prove what really happened. If we can’t find a video of the crash, we can examine your car’s black box data, which records a number of data points around an accident, including the speed and direction the vehicle was going.
“I Didn’t See Their Brake Lights Go On!” or “They Didn’t Use a Turning Signal!”
A rear-end collision often damages the brake lights or turning lights of the front car, making it difficult to prove whether the lights worked before the collision.
Worse, the front driver may be unable to conclusively say whether their brake lights or turning signal were working because they weren’t behind the car. However, many newer cars have an onboard warning system that lets you know if brake lights or turn signals aren’t working.
If your car is not particularly old and you didn’t have any warning lights on the dashboard, there’s a good chance the lights were in good order. We may even be able to get this data from your car’s black box in some cases.
“They Stopped for No Reason!”
The good news is that this one is very difficult to prove, and there is still an expectation that the rear driver should maintain a safe following distance (because unexpected situations can happen at any time).
It’s also possible you stopped suddenly due to a hazard the rear driver couldn’t see. Unless the rear driver can show evidence that your driving was very reckless or you truly had no good reason to stop, it will be hard for them to gain traction with this excuse.
Still, it’s best to consult an attorney who can help prove you were not to blame.
What if I Was the Rear Driver and One of Those Things Really Happened?
Then you should speak with a Georgia rear-end collision lawyer right away. Sometimes, the front driver really does back into you or cuts in front of you from another lane, but you will need solid evidence to prove it.
Our skilled investigators will seek out this evidence, including video from local sources and black box data from both vehicles involved in the crash. But don’t wait – the sooner we start looking for evidence, the better our chances of finding it.
For example, security camera video is often erased after a few days or weeks if nothing concerning happens.
Is It Always Easy to Get Compensation if You Were Rear-Ended?
If another driver has rear-ended you, you might think it should be easy to get the other driver’s insurance policy to pay for your damages. Rear-end collisions are often thought of as automatically being the fault of the rear-end driver.
While this is often true, there are situations where the rear-end driver is not at fault and even more where the rear-end driver claims that you were at fault. More than one victim of a rear-end accident has found themselves unexpectedly trying to prove they didn’t cause the crash.
Sometimes, the rear driver’s insurance company may even deny their claim!
The Role of Modified Comparative Negligence in Georgia Rear-End Collision Cases
As we continue the discussion about fault in rear-end accidents, it’s essential to talk about modified comparative negligence. This legal theory is used in Georgia personal injury or tort statutes to acknowledge shared fault.
In other words, it’s possible both you and the other driver had some degree of fault in a rear-end collision. It’s also possible one of you was entirely at fault.
If your case went to trial, a jury would be asked to designate a percentage of fault for both you and the other driver. They could assign any numbers that add up to 100.
For instance, they might decide the rear driver was 70 percent at fault, and you were 30 percent at fault. This might happen if perhaps you did have a broken brake light you didn’t know about, but the rear driver was still much too close and going too fast.
What happens in a shared fault situation? The person who is mostly at fault (more than 50 percent) is expected to pay damages to the person who is less than 50 percent at fault. However, the lesser-responsible party’s percentage of fault is subtracted from their award.
So if you were 20 percent responsible and had $20,000 in damages, you would receive $16,000.
As a result, some of the above defense arguments from a rear driver could cause you to get a smaller recovery than you deserve. Getting legal help as soon as possible is the best way to reduce the risk of having your settlement reduced.
Does That Mean I Have to Go to Court to Argue My Case?
Probably not. Modified comparative negligence is used in court cases, but most personal injury claims are settled out of court.
That doesn’t mean that modified comparative negligence is unimportant, though. Before negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, we will gather as much evidence as possible to show that they were at fault and you were not.
If the insurance adjuster sees that there is strong evidence of their client’s culpability, they will usually be more willing to negotiate a fair settlement. After all, they don’t want to spend time and money going to court just to lose.
Beware of the Fast Settlement Offer
There is also another possible scenario when it’s clear that the other driver was all or mostly at fault: The insurance company makes you a quick settlement offer. Getting a fast payout seems like a good thing, but in many cases, it isn’t.
The insurance adjuster may be trying to reduce their losses now that they realize they can’t get out of paying the claim entirely. What this means is that your quick offer might be a lowball one for far less than your claim is actually worth.
Worse, the quality of the offer isn’t always apparent, especially to an accident victim who is handling a claim on their own. Calculating damages is complex, and it’s easy to forget about some categories of damages.
You may have all your medical bills, for example, but do you need additional treatment in the future? How do you estimate those costs?
What about your lost wages? You can probably add up the days you missed at work, but will you be able to do the same work at the same pace now, or has the accident affected your ability to continue working?
If so, it may have reduced your earning potential, which is another possible damage. How will you calculate your lost future income?
Your attorney will be experienced in answering questions like this. They will talk with you about your injuries, your costs so far, whether your treatment is complete, and how you’re doing at work.
Additionally, they will cover other topics such as permanent disability or disfigurement and pain and suffering. Once you’ve discussed all possible damages, they will help you come up with a reasonable amount you should expect in damages.
If the insurance company’s offer doesn’t come close, your lawyer will negotiate for a better deal, showing evidence of your damages and the other driver’s fault.
The Negotiations Process
Fault isn’t the only consideration in the negotiation process. Sometimes the insurance adjuster may deny that you need a specific treatment or that your injuries are as severe as you say.
This can also be frustrating, but your lawyer will fight back and explain why you need the treatment or have specific injuries.
How Long Will It Take To Negotiate a Settlement for My Rear-End Collision?
The answer varies depending on the complexities of the case. Generally, the more severe your injuries are, the longer it will take to work out a fair settlement.
Additionally, the level of disagreement about fault plays a substantial role in timing. If the insurance company eats up a lot of time arguing about the other driver’s percentage of fault, it will take much longer to reach an agreement.
Your attorney should be able to give you a time estimate after reviewing your case, but in general, it can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the details of the accident and injuries.
How Do I Get Help From a Georgia Rear-End Collision Lawyer?
Please reach out to the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation about your case. Our team of compassionate, client-focused attorneys will review the details, answer your questions, and explain your options moving forward.
If we take your case, you won’t have to pay us anything until we win or settle it for you, so there are no initial costs to worry about.
The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm was founded by attorney Ali Awad, who quickly built it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. Mr. Awad is determined to fight for his clients and secure the settlements they deserve.
When he’s not in the courtroom or negotiating with insurance companies, he’s on social media delivering down-to-earth legal advice to more than a million followers.
If you need help with your rear-end collision case, call 888-307-3792 today.
Find Out What Your Case Is Worth Here
Tell Us More About Your Injury Below So That We Can Get You The Most Money
All Fields Required *
Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.