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Rear-End Car Accidents

What are the most common types of car accidents? Rear-end collisions.

Rear-end car accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into the back of the automobile in front of it. They can happen anywhere—in parking lots, on the interstate, or at intersections—and victims can face severe injuries or property damage.

Regardless of the location or circumstances, even seemingly straightforward rear-end collisions can quickly become complicated. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Indianapolis rear-end collision lawyer to help you navigate the claims process.

Determining Who Is at Fault for Rear-End Car Accidents

In most cases, the driver who rear-ends the front vehicle is liable for damages. So, if you are rear-ended, the other party is likely at fault. However, there are some exceptions.

When Is the Lead Driver at Fault?

There are some circumstances in which the driver of the front vehicle could be partially or fully negligent for a rear-end collision. These situations could result in the lead driver taking some or all of the blame:

  • Behaving aggressively or erratically
  • Failing to repair a broken brake light
  • Getting a flat tire and continuing to drive without pulling over or using hazard lights
  • Making a sudden turn without a direction signal
  • Merging into traffic and pulling out in front of another driving without maintaining sufficient speed
  • Slamming on the brakes for no reason (brake checking)
  • Stopping the vehicle on the road
  • Cutting in front of another driver without providing enough time for the other driver to stop or slow down
  • Suddenly reversing

An attorney can help you determine how much, if at all, the front driver is to blame for the accident.

What About Multi-Vehicle Rear-End Collisions?

Sometimes, rear-end collisions involve more than two vehicles. Multi-car pileups, with three, four, or even more cars crashing into the vehicle in front of them, can be extremely dangerous for everyone involved.

Determining fault in a multi-vehicle rear-end collision is often difficult. For example, what if a driver leaves enough stopping distance but is then pushed into the vehicle in front by another car? Or, what if the driver at the very front was distracted and is partially to blame, but drivers in the other vehicles also behaved negligently?

Don’t go through the stress of proving negligence alone. Get an experienced car accident attorney on your side.

Rear-End Car Accidents: Common Causes

Rear-end collisions, like most car accidents, can be caused in a number of different ways:

  • Aggressive driving (tailgating, following too closely, stopping suddenly, etc.)
  • Distracted driving (changing radio controls, eating or drinking, texting, etc.)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Fatigued driving
  • Inclement weather conditions (rain, snow, ice, standing water, etc.)
  • Reckless driving (speeding, running red lights, etc.)

Both irresponsible behavior and conditions outside anyone’s control can lead to a rear-end collision.

Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions

Injuries after car accidents are common, but symptoms may not show up right away. It’s important to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you think you don’t need to.

Neck, Back, and Spine Injuries

In a crash, victims often experience injuries to the neck, back, and spine due to the amount of force on their bodies during the impact. Whiplash, or soft tissue damage to the neck, is one of the more popular injuries associated with rear-end collisions. Soft tissue damage to the spine or back is also common.

Head Trauma

If a victim’s head strikes the steering wheel, airbag, window, headrest, or flying debris, head trauma like a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur. Symptoms of head trauma vary widely but can include loss of consciousness, fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, slurred speech, memory loss, or sensitivity to sound and light.

Cuts and Scrapes

Broken glass, loose objects, flying debris, or dashboard fragments may hit the driver and any passengers during a rear-end collision, leading to lacerations. While mild cuts and scrapes may not need significant treatment, severe lacerations could require stitches or result in an infection.

Fractures or Broken Bones

Bone fractures and brakes—such as to the bones in the legs, arms, wrists, fingers, ankles, or ribs—are one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents. These injuries are usually very painful and can take a long time to heal.

How to Avoid Rear-End Car Accidents

The reality is that rear-end collisions are often the result of bad luck or a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time on the part of the front driver; there’s not much anyone can do to avoid being rear-ended.

On the other hand, there are some ways to avoid rear-ending other vehicles:

  • Avoid tailgating other vehicles
  • Don’t engage in aggressive, reckless, or distracted driving
  • Exercise caution when driving in inclement weather
  • Follow the rules of the road
  • Frequently check brake lights and turn signals to ensure they are working correctly

Keep these best practices in mind while driving to help avoid causing an accident.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident

After a rear-end collision, whether you caused the accident or were rear-ended by someone else, follow these steps:

Determining liability, navigating the claims process, and seeking compensation for damages can be overwhelming. Find an experienced car accident attorney to be your advocate in the claims process.

Contact an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rear-end car accident, contact the Indianapolis car accident lawyers of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

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