In 2017, approximately 22% of all crashes that occurred in Pennsylvania were rear-ended collisions. As one of the most common forms of car crashes, it’s important to know what to expect when a rear-end collision occurs and understand what steps you need to take to protect yourself from prying insurance companies and accusations of fault.
What is the Cause of Most Rear-End Collisions?
Rear-end collisions occur in many of the same ways that other vehicle collisions occur. Often times, the driver of the second car is distracted or tired and failed to break before contacting the vehicle in front of them. Road rage, speeding and tailgating other common factors that can lead to rear-end collisions, as these aggressive driving behaviors make it nearly impossible to react to stopped or slowing vehicles in front of them. Furthermore, rear-end collisions are more likely to occur when there is heavy stop-and-go traffic, or when the vehicle is experiencing mechanical problems, such as faulty breaks.
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
What Kind of Injuries Can People Get from Rear-End Collisions?
The most common type of injury stemming from a rear-end collision is whiplash. These injuries to the neck or back occur when the impact of the collision quickly snaps the individual forward and backward. Essentially, the resulting injury is a painful strain or hyper-extension of the neck and back muscles. Whiplash will typically heal on its own after a few days, but unfortunately, even more severe injuries can occur as a result of a rear-end collision. Arm or wrist injuries and concussions are also common injuries. In worst case scenarios, serious brain or spinal cord injuries can result 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. If you are injured in a rear-end collision, the most important thing you can do is seek immediate medical attention, and then later contact an accident injury lawyer to discuss potential options for compensation for your injuries.
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.
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.