Why Do Rear-End Collisions Happen and Who’s to Blame?

Imagine you’re driving along, listening to your favorite podcast, then wham! Someone hits you from behind. Or you’re behind another vehicle, and suddenly the driver in front of you slams on their brakes. You can’t stop in time and crash.

Rear-end collisions can cause significant injuries to the neck and spine and damage your vehicle. Often, the rear-driver is to blame for a rear-end accident — but not always. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer to protect your interests.

Facts About Rear-End Accidents

Not only are rear-end collisions very common, but they’re also among the most dangerous types of accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of all traffic accidents are rear-end accidents. They’re often caused by driver negligence on the part of the person behind, but not always.

Oftentimes, they occur when one car is stationary or moving slowly, and the car behind hits at a much higher speed. The impact of the car propels the passengers’ neck back and forth sharply, causing whiplash and possibly other injuries. The person in front often has no chance to get out of the way.

Did you know that rear-end accidents comprise more than 7% of all road fatalities? Nearly 20% of those fatalities resulted from a two-vehicle collision. These types of accidents can also cause significant damage to both vehicles.

Who Is to Blame for a Rear-End Accident?

Missouri is an at-fault state for car accidents, so assigning responsibility for the accident is essential. The at-fault driver is responsible for damages to the other party’s vehicle and for covering any medical care for injuries from the accident. 

This is why it’s critical to call the police and emergency services right after a rear-end accident; the police report may contain preliminary determinations of fault and can be used to pursue your claim for damages.

Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents?

All drivers are expected to use good judgment and follow all traffic laws, including leaving enough room between themselves and the driver in front of them. 

Common causes of rear-ending accidents include:

  • One driver slams into another driver who is slowing for stopped traffic
  • A driver doesn’t see a vehicle turning and hits them
  • One driver tries to make it through a changing light but the person in front of them is stopping for the light
  • A driver stopped for a red light assumes the car in front will go right when the light changes and accelerates too soon

In all of these cases, it’s clear that the rear-driver is to blame for the accident. However, both drivers may share fault for the accident in other circumstances. 

For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • The car in front suddenly slams on their brakes
  • The brake lights of the leading car don’t work
  • The leading driver doesn’t use a turn signal when slowing for a turn

In these cases, the leading driver may be considered negligent. Documenting these facts in the police report can help protect the rear driver from legal action.

If you’ve been car accident, whether you were the driver in front or behind, it’s important to retain good legal counsel. If you weren’t at fault, the other driver’s insurance company may be required to pay for the damage to your vehicle and your medical care, including hospital bills and any ongoing treatment you may need.  

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1424 Washington Ave Suite #300 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

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