A rear-end accident occurs every eight seconds in the U.S., according to the United Transportation Union. Additionally, 2.5 million rear-end collisions occur annually and account for 29 to 30 percent of all car accidents, making them the third leading cause of all vehicular wrecks.
Like any other car accident, rear-end collisions can cause catastrophic injuries or death, often resulting in permanent physical harm even at relatively low speeds. For those who have been injured in a rear-end collision, the consequences can be devastating. However, you have the lawful right to seek compensation from the party responsible for the accident. It may be wise to consult with an experienced Georgia auto accident lawyer to assist you throughout the legal process.
Dangers of Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end accident occurs when a driver hits the back of the vehicle in front of him or her. These types of accidents often occur on highway off-ramps, on highways themselves, and at intersections. They may occur due to any number of reasons:
- Distracted driving. If a driver is operating the motor vehicle while distracted, he or she may not realize that the car in front of him or her has stopped.
- Tailgating. A driver may be more likely to hit the vehicle ahead if he or she is tailgating or following too closely; there is little or no time to react should the first car suddenly brake.
- Accelerating too fast. If a driver is too eager to move from a stop sign or a red light, the driver may rapidly accelerate before the car in front has a chance to move.
- Slow stopping distance. Keep in mind that larger vehicles such as semi-trucks have a longer stopping distance than traditional passenger cars because the former has more momentum.
- Speeding. If a driver is speeding, he or she will have greater momentum and will likely be unable to stop in time.
Everyone is at Risk
Not only are the driver and passengers in the hit vehicle at risk for injury or death but the driver at fault for the collision may also be hurt in the accident. Common injuries of a rear-end collision include:
- Airbag injuries. While everyone is at risk of sustaining an airbag injury, children are most susceptible. Air bags may deploy in the event of a rear-end collision and cause permanent, life-threatening complications or even death.
- Soft tissue injuries. While whiplash is the most common type of soft tissue injury, other parts of the body may be affected following a rear-end crash as the joints, ligaments, and muscles absorb the impact of the crash, regardless of the speed of the vehicles.
- Whiplash. One of the most common injuries following a car accident, whiplash occurs when the neck is thrown forward too quickly and rapidly back again, damaging the soft tissues, ligaments, and muscles in the neck as well as the spinal discs in the back. Whiplash pain may last for days, weeks, or months following the incident, but many insurance providers are hesitant to pay claims for this injury and it may be difficult to prove you are suffering.
Other common injuries sustained by victims of rear-end collisions include brain injuries, lacerations, back injuries, and bone fractures. If you or someone you love has been injured in a rear-end accident, consider seeking legal counsel from a Georgia rear-end car accident attorney to learn more about your rights and pursuing a claim for compensation.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a rear-end accident, contact Van Sant Law so we can talk about what happened, your injuries, and how to best proceed to obtain compensation. The time to file a legal claim is limited and trying to work directly with an insurance company could be a serious mistake leading to a substantial loss of compensation.