Rear-end accidents can and often do result in major injuries and painful recovery. On top of this, the victim will likely miss work for some period of time and may even be unable to return to the same job as before the accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end accident, your goal is simply to get your life back to normal. That’s where retaining the dedicated personal injury attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. will make a difference.
Why Do Rear-End Accidents Happen?
The plaintiff in a rear-end accident lawsuit has the burden of explaining how and why the accident occurred. To meet this burden, and thereby demonstrate the defendant’s liability, the victim needs to understand a few of the most common reasons these wrecks happen. Here are just a few:
Distracted driving. Cell phone use (e.g. texting while driving) is one of the main causes of rear-end accidents. But this category includes other distractions such as talking to passengers, changing radio stations, and more. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road makes it more likely that person will rear-end another vehicle.
Driving under the influence. Drugs (whether legal or not) and alcohol have mind-altering effects on drivers. One of the consequences of driving under the influence is a delayed reaction time, which increases the chances of a rear-end crash.
Following too closely. As a general rule of thumb, a driver should allow one car length between his or her vehicle and the vehicle in front for every ten miles per hour of speed. Of course, few drivers actually obey this rule, and many follow much too closely. Doing so makes a rear-end automobile accident more likely.
Speeding. Any time speed is involved, an accident is much more probable. This is especially so with rear-end collisions. Speeding, particularly when heavy traffic or environmental conditions like bad weather are present, can make the accident catastrophic.
Aggressive driving. This includes tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, or trying to intimidate other motorists. Because these behaviors can lead to a criminal charge of reckless driving, they are strong evidence of the driver’s civil liability as well.
Poor vision. Weather conditions – including rain, fog, or even the bright afternoon sun – should make drivers more cautious. Drivers should also be careful if they’re on the road at night, especially with bad lighting. Failure to adjust one’s driving in these circumstances, such as by slowing down, could result in an accident.
Poor road conditions. These could be caused by precipitation (such as snow or ice) as well as general neglect by the city or state government. Bad enough roads could trigger multi-vehicle rear-end crashes.
Steps You Should Take After Being In A Rear-End Crash
If you’ve been in a rear-end automobile accident, don’t panic. Although your emotions and adrenaline will likely be running high, it’s important to focus on the situation and calmly handle it. Here are some suggested steps for doing so:
Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, or that your injuries are minor, get medical attention right away. To begin with, not seeing a doctor or visiting an emergency room could worsen your injuries. It often takes time for an injury to manifest itself, so proper treatment is essential.
Not seeing a doctor may also jeopardize your legal rights. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will look for ways to deny or underpay your claim. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the worse your injuries may get. But the insurer will blame you for not seeing the doctor earlier and attempt to shift the blame from the driver to you. Don’t let this happen; get medical attention.
Call 911 and ask for a copy of the police report. Calling 911 can help you get medical attention and also cause the police to show up to generate an accident report. This document will include basic information about the rear-end collision such as the time, date, and location. Ask for a copy of the police report because it will support your legal claim.
If the at-fault driver fled the scene, don’t attempt to chase him or her. Give whatever details you know about the vehicle to the police so they can apprehend the driver.
Start gathering evidence. Collect as much information as you can on your own. Talk to witnesses and get their names and contact information. Write down everything you can remember about the wreck. Take pictures and record videos of the accident scene and your vehicle.
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Retaining a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will help protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will assist with the following, among other things:
- Investigating the accident scene
- Collecting evidence to build a case against the responsible driver
- Obtaining evidence held by third parties (for example, surveillance footage)
- Identifying all responsible parties, which could include individuals and/or entities in addition to the other driver
- Determining the nature and amount of your potential damages
- Negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Taking your case to court if it cannot be settled for a reasonable amount
- Hiring expert witnesses to explain to a jury how the rear-end accident happened
Contact Our Queens Rear-End Accident Attorney
When you hire Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. to represent you in your automobile accident, you will have a dedicated attorney who represents you from start to finish. We will seek the maximum damages available under the law, diligently advocate for your best interests, and answer whatever questions or concerns you have. Give us a call today to schedule your confidential consultation.