According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents, accounting for 29 percent of all crashes. Any accident can be devastating, but a rear-end crash can come with no warning at all, changing your life in the space of a couple of seconds.
A rear-end collision can lead to serious damage to vehicles and to the passengers inside them. One of the most common causes of rear-end collisions is inattention on the part of the driver of the vehicle that crashes into the back of the other vehicle. This inattention can be a result of any number of factors, but in recent years has commonly tended to be a result of texting while driving. A driver who is distracted with his or her cell phone will be less likely to pay full attention to the road, making an accident more likely.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim. Get medical attention, and make sure your condition is stable. Then get in touch with The Stoddard Firm today. Contact us online or give us a call at 678-RESULTS.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions
The major cause of rear-end accidents is driver distraction. The NHTSA found that 64 percent of drivers involved in rear-end crashes were not looking at the road when the crash occurred. This means that if you were hit in the rear by another driver, the odds are good that it’s because the other driver wasn’t looking when the accident happened.
Cell phones are the most obvious distraction, but almost anything could threaten to cause an accident. A buzzing fly, a radio, or any other distraction that could pop up on the road could take a driver’s attention away from where it should be. These distractions can have serious consequences, not only for individual drivers, but also for their passengers and anyone who shares the road with them.
Here are a few of the most common forms of injury sustained in car accidents:
- Neck Injuries Whiplash is the most common neck injury, although far more severe injuries are possible. Whiplash occurs when a person’s neck is jerked forward and back very quickly, which often strains ligaments.
- Leg and Knee Injuries These can range from scrapes and bruises all the way up to crushed legs. If the vehicle gets crushed, there’s a high probability that legs will get crushed in the process.
- Broken Bones Broken bones always require medical help. The most severe broken bone injuries are called “compound fractures,” in which the bone pierces the skin and protrudes from the rest of the body.
- Back Injuries Back injuries can range in severity, but the most severe back injuries are to the spine itself. These injuries can lead to partial or total paralysis.
- Concussions In a concussion, the brain is jerked out of place and slams into the inside of the skull. Some concussions are fairly minor and will resolve themselves on their own, given time and rest. But some concussions require substantial medical treatment.
What are Your Legal Options?
If you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim. This should at least cover medical bills, lost wages, and any other pain and suffering you may have sustained as a result of your injuries. If you have a credible case, it’s likely that the insurance company will offer you a settlement out of court.
It’s important that you talk to a legal professional who can guide you through this process. The insurance company will try to get away with offering you as little as possible, and they’ll also try to get you to say something that will reduce the value of your claim. So unless you know exactly how to deal with insurance companies already, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced lawyer who knows how to deal with these situations. It will be very much worth your time.
What to do if you’ve been injured in an accident
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, you should first seek medical attention. You should also make sure you contact authorities. If your injuries were the result of neglect by another party, you should seek legal assistance. The Stoddard Firm has years of experience handling accident injuries, and we even offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 678-RESULTS.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.