In Texas, Is a Rear-End Accident Automatically the Fault of the Driver Who Hit the Other?
Anderson Injury Lawyers | August 15, 2019 | Car Accidents
Although the driver in the rear is often at fault, there are exceptions.
A rear-end collision occurs when the front of one car hits the rear of another car. In our experience, the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is at fault approximately 95% of the time.
However, there are exceptions. The most accurate way to determine who is at fault in a rear-end collision is to evaluate all available facts carefully.
Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision
Who is to blame? It depends on all involved parties.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows that driver error or negligence causes most crashes, including rear-end collisions. According to the National Law Review, rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents.
Accidents in Which the Rear-End Driver Is Liable
Rear-end collisions typically take place when one car is stopped with another vehicle approaching from behind, such as:
- Stop signs
- Traffic lights
- Yield signs
- Congested traffic areas
In these accidents, it is usually the driver’s fault who rear-ended the vehicle in front of them. For example, a car strikes the back of a car, making a complete and legal stop.
Accidents in Which the Front Vehicle Driver Is Liable
There are other situations in which the front vehicle driver is at fault. This often happens when a driver pulls out of a parking lot onto a road. The vehicle entering the street from a private drive or parking lot must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic.
Chain Reaction Accidents or Pile-Ups
Rear-end collisions that happen in traffic or at high speed can create a chain reaction accident. The car from the rear hits the vehicle in front, then hits the car ahead of them. It can be challenging to determine who was the source of the accident in a pile-up.
Evidence of Liability
What types of evidence are used to determine liability?
The liable driver in a rear-end collision can be held accountable for the other party’s injuries and damages. In most cases, the injured party files an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s carrier.
Evidence typically used to determine liability includes:
- Police or crash reports
- Witness statements
- Physical evidence such as tire tracks and skid marks
- Red light or closed circuit videos
- Accident recreation technology
Insurance companies need proof of liability before they pay for medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Some insurance adjusters look for loopholes or reasons to deny or delay legitimate claims, even with proof.
Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
Always get medical care after a rear-end accident.
Injuries from a rear-end collision may vary depending on several factors:
- Speed of the moving car at impact
- Size disparity between vehicles – a compact car versus an SUV
- Whether vehicle occupants used proper restraint systems such as car seats for children and seat belts for older children and adults
However, some injuries are more likely in a rear-end collision. Rarely do the occupants in either car have a chance to take evasive action or even brace themselves for impact.
Whiplash & Other Neck Injuries
According to the Mayo Clinic, rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash. Whiplash and similar neck injuries are caused by the forceful, rapid back-and-forth motion of the neck at impact. This motion is similar to the cracking of a whip.
Concussions & Brain Injuries
Occupants can hit their heads on the steering wheel, dashboard, or the seat in front of them if they are sitting in the backseat. A concussion is a sharp, sudden jolt or blow to the head. A severe concussion is called a traumatic brain injury, which can be fatal.
Kneecap, Leg & Feet Injuries
Rear-end collision victims often suffer from injured kneecaps, legs, shins, feet, and even toes. These injuries occur when an individual collides with the seat or dashboard on impact.
Air Bag Injuries
Drivers and front-seat passengers may experience burns or cuts caused by the rapid inflation of airbags. These are usually minor injuries, but occasionally, a person may suffer significant face or head trauma.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Rear-end collisions may also cause broken or fractured bones in the hands, wrists, fingers, or lower extremities. These injuries are caused by people instinctively putting their arms and hands to shield them and bracing their legs and feet against the vehicle’s floor.
Compensation for Rear-End Collision Injuries
Victims may receive compensation to pay for medical care, lost pay, and more.
The most common form of compensation for rear-end accident victims comes from the at-fault party’s insurance coverage.
Depending on the extent and severity of the injuries, victims could receive compensation for:
- Medical care and treatment
- Lost wages for missed time at work due to injury
- Property damage, including car repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
When rear-end collision injuries are fatal, surviving family members could be entitled to wrongful death compensation.
Getting Help for Rear-End Crash Damages
An experienced car accident attorney can help you collect compensation.
Navigating the insurance claim process is difficult on your own. An experienced rear-end accident attorney can be a valuable resource in getting you paid the compensation you deserve.
A car accident lawyer who handles rear-end collisions takes care of the many details involved in an insurance claim, including:
- Gather evidence of liability
- Compile medical and injury reports
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf
- File and manage your claim
- Negotiate for maximum compensation
Often, a rear-end crash is resolved through an insurance settlement. However, a car accident attorney can also represent you if you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Were You Hurt in a Rear-End Collision?
If you were injured in a rear-end collision that was not your fault, call Anderson Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. You could be entitled to compensation.