Hurt in a Rear End Collision in North Carolina?
Auto Accident Lawyer Offers Free Consultations on Distracted Driving Cases
A rear end collision generally involves the front of one vehicle colliding directly with the rear of another vehicle. These types of collisions can cause serious occupant injuries, including whiplash, many of which can take years to fully heal. Rear end accidents often happen at stop lights and signs when one vehicle slows or stops, but the following driver either does not or cannot brake in time to avoid a car crash. This commonly happens as a result of distracted driver, following too closely and/or other driver negligence.
At the law offices of Riddle & Brantley, LLP, our team of legal professionals have extensive experience handling even the most complex rear end accident cases. We proudly offer free consultations to determine if you have grounds to file a claim. If so, we can represent your interests in either a car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What are the Most Common Causes of Rear End Collisions?
Typically, a rear end collision occurs because one vehicle is not able to stop in enough time to avoid smashing into the vehicle in front of them. To avoid this, drivers should use the cautionary “two-second rule” when driving behind another vehicle in order to allow enough distance to suddenly brake if need be. This means that you should be far enough behind that at least two seconds elapse between the lead car passing a point of reference and your car reaching that same point. However, these types of car accidents can happen even when a vehicle rolls into another at a stop sign if the brakes are not applied in time or with adequate force.
Some common causes of rear end collisions include:
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of read end collisions. Driver distraction causes slower reaction times, which means that motorists may not notice cars ahead slowing or stopping. Driver negligence at stop signs or lights can also cause a driver to remove pressure from the brake. This allows the vehicle to roll forward into another car.
What Common Car Accident Injuries Result from Rear End Accidents?
Any rear end collision may result in serious personal injuries for drivers and passengers of both vehicles. Even minor car accidents at slow speeds can result in long-lasting injuries and pain. However, if speed is a factor, then the risk for serious disabling injuries and wrongful death increases. Some common types of personal injuries a rear end collision may cause include:
Most vehicles have “crumple zone” which work to absorb the energy of an impact during a collision. However, cars with minimal “crumple zones” such as a SmartCar or minivan may cause passengers to suffer from more serious injuries like broken bones, or neck and spinal cord injuries.
Who is at Fault in a Rear End Accident in North Carolina?
In most cases, the driver of the car in the rear will be found to be at fault for causing a collision of this kind. However, in some rare cases, the driver of the car in front may be responsible for the wreck. More commonly, the leading driver may share liability if he or she contributes to the accident. For example, a speeding driver may cause a rear-end collision at a stop sign. This driver will likely be mostly liable for the car crash. However, if the lead car’s taillights were inoperable, then that driver may be partially liable. The reason is working lights may have allowed the following driver to brake earlier and prevent an accident, despite speeding.
However, North Carolina law includes a Last Clear Chance doctrine. This means that even if you contribute to an accident, the other driver may remain 100 percent liable if he or had the last clear chance to avoid the accident, but failed to do so.
Still, even though the following driver is almost always at least partially responsible for a rear-end collision, it can be difficult to get a fair settlement from that driver’s insurance company. The at-fault carrier may try to deny payment for medical expenses, downgrade the worth of your vehicle or dodge your calls. The adjuster may even try to shift the blame to you, the leading driver. However, an auto accident lawyer can help ensure that this does not happen.
For example, our law firm represented a victim of a rear end collision who suffered herniated discs, bulging discs and nerve displacement from the crash. Despite the insurance company’s initial low offer, we obtained a settlement of $296,000 to cover our client’s medical bills. In another case, our client was rear ended by a dump truck while waiting to make a left turn—our firm was able to recover $101,000 for the plaintiff.
Hurt in a Rear End Collision? Contact an Experienced NC Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Although rear end collisions are a common occurrence, being involved in any type of crash can be a frightening experience, particularly when the accident was not your fault. If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injuries due to a rear end collision, then our lawyers are ready to help.
We accept cases nationwide and have law offices throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Kinston. Contact Riddle & Brantley, LLP today for a FREE evaluation of your case by contacting us online or by calling (800) 525-7111.