Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident, accounting for approximately 29% of all crashes each year. In a rear-end collision, the front of one vehicle hits the back of another. Every year, rear-end collisions are responsible for a large number of injuries and fatalities – and substantial property damage. In 2019, rear-end crashes killed 2,346 people and accounted for 7.1% of fatal crashes.
What Causes Rear-End Accidents?
The leading causes of rear-end collisions are distracted driving and tailgating. In most rear-end accidents, the lead vehicle is stopped or moving very slowly before the crash. Traffic plays a major role in this type of collision.
Other common causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Drunk driving
- Texting and driving
- Multi-car pileups
Like other types of accidents, rear-end crashes can range in severity. Many rear-end collisions are fender benders, but others cause serious injuries and traffic fatalities.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Rear-End Crashes Cause?
Rear-end accidents frequently cause whiplash injuries, which occur when the head and neck are snapped forward by sudden movement. The impact of rear-end crashes can also cause more serious back, neck, and spinal cord injuries.
Rear-end accidents also cause:
- Arm and wrist injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractured ribs
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you have been injured in a rear-end accident, you should not have to suffer the consequences alone – especially if you did not cause the accident.
Who Is Liable for Rear-End Collisions?
The rear driver is almost always at fault for rear-end accidents. Still, there are exceptions, including when the lead driver is reversing, or one car gets sandwiched between 2 others in a multi-car pileup.
Rarely, lead drivers can also be held accountable for sudden stops and erratic driving behaviors, particularly if the lead driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What to Do If You Get Rear-Ended?
If someone hits you, stop your vehicle immediately and pull over to the side of the road if it is safe for you to do so. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call 911 if anyone requires immediate medical attention. Even if everyone seems alright, you should still report the accident to the police.
While you wait for the police to arrive, check to make sure the other driver is okay and exchange contact and insurance information with them. Take pictures of the scene of the accident, the damage to both cars, and any injuries that occurred. Write down what happened exactly as you remember it.
Whatever you do, do not discuss fault with the other driver, and do not apologize, as your expression of sympathy could be misconstrued as an admission of fault. When you speak to responding officers, stick to the facts and avoid speculating about who caused the accident. Write down the responding officers’ badge numbers and ask for a copy of the police report.
After you leave the scene of the accident, seek medical attention at a nearby hospital or urgent care clinic. You can also schedule an appointment with your regular doctor, but keep in mind many physicians do not see patients after car accidents.
You may feel fine, but you should see a doctor anyways. Some injuries may not be obvious, and others will not present themselves right away.
Don’t worry about medical bills, missed wages, or anything else because if you are injured in an accident that someone else causes, you may be entitled to compensation.
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help you recover compensation for all your accident-related expenses. We have been handling cases like yours for more than 20 years, and we prioritize our clients.
Don’t talk to insurance companies before talking to us. Call us at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online to get started today.