New Hampshire Rear-End Accident Attorney
Filing a Car Accident Claim After a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collisions, in which one vehicle hits the back of another, are some of the most common types of car accidents. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most serious. Due to the immense forces involved, even a relatively minor rear-end crash can lead to extensive property damage, catastrophic injuries, and even deaths.
If you were involved in a rear-end accident in New Hampshire, whether as the driver or occupant of the front or rear vehicle, you could be entitled to compensation for your vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Because of the state’s unique insurance laws, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options for collecting compensation and protect your rights during the filing and litigation processes.
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., our trial lawyers bring more than 140 years of combined experience navigating all types of complex auto and motor vehicle accident claims. We know the law, and we know how to fight for you against the insurance company’s interests.
Who Is at Fault for a Rear-End Accident?
Many people believe that the driver of the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision is always at fault in these types of accidents. While it is true that motorists have a responsibility to keep a safe distance between their vehicles and those in front of them, as well as to drive carefully and attentively to avoid colliding with other cars, there are some situations in which the following driver may not be entirely to blame. As in all auto accident cases, fault generally lays with the individual who acted negligently or wrongfully, regardless of their position in the crash.
The front driver may be at fault for a rear-end collision if they:
- Failed to repair or replace a defective or broken taillight on their vehicle
- Stopped suddenly on a highway or busy road without reason or warning
- Merged into the path of an oncoming vehicle that had the right of way
- Changed lanes abruptly, cutting off another driver who could not reasonably slow or stop
- Pulled out unexpectedly and suddenly in front of another vehicle
While following drivers are not automatically presumed to be at fault in rear-end collisions in New Hampshire, they often are to blame.
The rear driver may be at fault if they failed to stop in time to avoid an accident because they were:
- Following too closely/tailgating
- Texting, using a cell phone, or otherwise distracted
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or driving aggressively/recklessly
- Driving while fatigued
- Violating traffic laws (running a red light, failing to yield, etc.)
In some cases, these accidents even occur due to a third party’s negligence or wrongful conduct. For example, if the driver of the rear vehicle was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the car in front of them because of an auto defect, it may be possible for both victims to bring claims against the auto manufacturer.
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., our New Hampshire rear-end accident attorneys conduct exhaustive investigations into these claims to determine exactly what happened, who was at fault, and what avenues of compensation are available. We know that nothing is a given; even in the most straightforward-seeming claims, various complexities can arise. Our team knows how to navigate these challenges and fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.
Recovering Compensation After a Rear-End Accident
Rear-end collisions often result in serious injuries, such as back and neck injuries, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Victims may be hospitalized and could require weeks, months, or even years of ongoing treatment. The true cost of a rear-end accident extends far beyond the initial vehicle repairs and medical care; you need compensation for your immediate needs and future losses.
Our firm can help you fight to recover for the following damages:
- Initial emergency care
- Ambulance and hospital fees
- Medical treatments, including surgery and rehabilitation
- Medications, medical devices, and medical equipment
- Ongoing and future medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Loss of expected/reasonable future earnings
- Loss of earning capacity due to disability
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Counseling and/or therapy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions
When it comes to filing your claim, there are several options. New Hampshire follows a fault-based system for car accidents, meaning the most common way of recovering compensation after a crash is filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. However, New Hampshire is also one of very few states that does not require its motorists to have minimum liability insurance. This means the driver who caused the rear-end accident could be uninsured. To recover compensation, you would need to file a lawsuit against them and seek a verdict from a judge in court.
In some cases, you may be eligible for compensation after a rear-end accident from your own auto insurance provider. You will need to have purchased the appropriate coverage, such as Medical Payments (MedPay), collision, or comprehensive coverage. Our attorneys can review your policy to determine if you are covered and what coverage may apply.
What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?
Because every case is unique, there is no real “average” payout for a rear-end collision claim. Various factors—including the severity of your injuries, the extent of the damage, fault and liability, available insurance, and more—affect the total recovery you can expect to receive. A rear-end accident claim may resolve for several thousand dollars, or it may result in a much higher settlement or verdict.
The most important thing to remember after a rear-end accident is that the insurance company is not on your side. Adjusters from the other person’s insurance provider may reach out to you in the hours or days after the crash. They may offer you a settlement that covers your immediate medical needs and some other miscellaneous expenses. While it can be tempting to accept this offer, believing it to be the quickest and easiest way to resolve the issue and move forward, we strongly recommend that you refrain from speaking with the other person’s insurance company until you have talked to a lawyer.
Insurance companies often offer lowball settlements, taking advantage of the fact that injured accident victims just want to move forward. They hope that you will accept this settlement so that they do not have to pay you for your future medical expenses, lost income, and ongoing pain and suffering. However, you deserve to be compensated for all your losses, including both your current and future damages.
When you turn to the New Hampshire rear-end collision lawyers at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., you can trust that we will do everything possible to secure the maximum settlement you are owed. We consider every physical, emotional, and financial loss you have endured due to the accident, as well as the challenges you are likely to face in the future. We then draw on more than 140 years of collective experience, as well as extensive legal resources, to develop a case aimed at securing the best possible outcome for you. If the insurance company refuses to play fair, we will take your case to trial.
Contact Us Now for a Complimentary Consultation
After a rear-end accident, you should be focused on getting the proper medical care you need to get back on your feet. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you will be able to afford to have your car repaired, how you will get to and from medical appointments while your car is undriveable, and how you will manage day-to-day expenses while out of work. At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we understand that these concerns are your reality, but our team is here to help.
We are ready to fight for every penny you deserve. For decades, we have been serving clients throughout New Hampshire, recovering numerous favorable settlements and verdicts on their behalf. We provide free initial consultations and contingency fees, so it costs you nothing upfront to hire our firm. Instead, we only collect attorney fees if/when we win your case.