The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimates about 22 percent of all car accidents which occurred in 2017 were rear-end car collisions. Convincing the opposing insurance company that their insured is at fault is not always an easy task, however.
What is the Cause of Most Rear-End Collisions?
In 2017, rear-end car accidents were the second most prevalent form of two-car collisions. A driver who hits the car ahead of him is usually found to be the at-fault driver. However, insurance companies can attempt to defend their at-fault insured drivers by arguing the injured party in the car in front “stopped short.” This is a defense we at Carpey Law often see employed by insurance companies. This is another reason NOT to give the opposing insurance company a statement of any kind following an accident. Insurance representatives are trained to protect their insured, and even what may seem like the most innocuous comments can be used to your disadvantage later in your personal injury case.
Just like any other types of car crashes, rear-end collisions are a major interruption in your life. Luckily, many of the major contributing factors that lead to rear-end collisions can be avoided, which in turn decreases the chances of you having to go through the hassle of an accident. Keeping phones and food put away while behind the wheel allows drivers to stay focused on the road. Additionally, maintaining your car’s break system and practicing safe driving habits can help you avoid a collision in the first place
This is also the case in multi vehicle collisions, or, chain reaction collisions. We see insurance companies trying to lay blame on other drivers all the time in cases that we handle. So, don’t help the insurance company by giving them information that will help them defend their insured to your disadvantage. Unfortunately, under Pennsylvania law, the driver who causes the rear-end collision from behind should have been driving a safe enough distance behind any other vehicles such that they he/she has enough time to react and stop, and ultimately avoid a collision.
Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Collisions?
Often times, people assume that the driver that hits the car in front of them is automatically at fault for the accident. However, not every rear-ends collision is that straightforward. Insurance companies will often try to shift the blame to the front car, claiming that the driver stopped short or slammed on the breaks, which was the cause of the accident. Other factors can complicate a rear-end collision, including the number of cars involved in the accident, road conditions and the driving patterns of the drivers involved.
What is important to remember is that under Pennsylvania law, the driver who causes the rear-end collision from behind is typically at fault. The rational is that the individual should have been driving at a distance behind other vehicles that is far enough to allow a sufficient amount of time to react and stop before a collision occurs. Unfortunately, many insurance companies attempt to bully statements out of drivers that make the hit car appear more at fault and protect their own interests. For this reason, never make a statement to another insurance company after you have been in an accident because these statements could be used against you at another time. Instead, politely decline to make a statement, and contact your own insurance company or your accident lawyer.
Even though a rear-end collision in Pennsylvania might seem like a straightforward case to handle from a legal point of view, it is not, given how insurance companies operate. Check out the below articles on our website for more information on this common type of car crash.
- 5 Simple Ways to Help You Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents
- What to Do Following a Rear End Car Accident in Pennsylvania
- The Common Sense and Basic Physics of Bumper-to-Bumper Car Accidents
What Kind of Injuries Can People Get from Rear-End Collisions?
Injuries most commonly associated with rear-end collisions are whiplash injuries. These neck injuries can often occur in a rear-end crash situation as the impact can cause a driver’s neck to jolt backward and forward. The stress of this can cause hyper-extension and other damage to the neck. However, neck injuries are not the only injuries commonly resulting from a rear-end collision. In the event of a rear-end collision, it is important to know what kind of injuries might have occurred in the accident. Not only is it essential to evaluate your own physical state following an accident, but it is also beneficial to be able to share that information with emergency responders.
Rear-end collisions are truly unfortunate events. However, knowing what to expect and how to handle the fallout will keep you protected. If you have any questions or concerns, take the time to speak with an experienced accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and obtain compensation from an at-fault driver.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.