According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common cause of rear-end collisions is distracted driving. The second most common cause is following another vehicle too closely. If you were involved in a rear-end collision, you may wonder who is at fault.
In most rear-end crashes, the driver in the rear vehicle is to blame since all motorists must keep a safe following distance and pay attention while driving. However, in rare cases, the driver of the leading vehicle could be held responsible for causing the collision. As with any car accident, liability depends on who acted negligently.
An experiencedcar accident lawyer from our firm could evaluate your case during a free consultation.
What Constitutes Driver Error in a Rear-End Accident?
According to theNHTSA, distracted driving is the top contributor to rear-end collisions, accounting for 87% of these crashes.
Other forms of negligent or inattentive driving that may have led to your rear-end accident include the following:
- Failure to keep a safe distance from other vehicles
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Drowsy driving
- Poor judgment
- Slow reaction time
- Improper turns
In addition to human error, poor weather conditions, inadequately maintained roadways, and mechanical failure can contribute to collisions.
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What Happens After a Rear-End Car Accident in Florida?
The aftermath of an accident can get confusing because of Florida’s no-fault laws. For instance:
- Florida is a no-fault state, per Florida Statutes§ 627.7407. After an accident, you would first file a claim with your own insurance provider. Then, you would seek compensation from the other driver’s liability policy.
- Due to the passing of CS/CS/HB 837, Florida now follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means you are not barred from seeking damages, even if the crash was partly your fault. However, you must be less than 50% responsible to be eligible for compensation.
Even with these laws in place, you may have trouble recovering damages. The insurer might deny your claim or your losses might exceed your policy limits. In these situations, a Florida rear-end collision lawyer can be a valuable ally.
How do Lawyers Prove Fault in Rear-End Accidents?
While the rear driver is usually responsible for rear-end collisions, this is not always the case. Our attorneys can use the following to evaluate the cause of your accident:
The Police Report
According to Florida law, you must notify the police of an accident that causes injuries, deaths, and even “complaints of pain or discomfort.”
This document may include the following information:
- Whether the other driver was arrested
- Whether anyone was injured or passed away
- The points of impact on each vehicle
- The names of the parties involved
- The necessary contact and insurance information
The officer might also include information regarding who caused the accident. This firsthand account can be key evidence in your case.
You might not be able to access traffic cameras or other surveillance footage without a lawyer’s help. These recordings can give indisputable details about the nature and cause of your accident.
Your Car’s Black Box Data
Many modern cars are equipped with “black boxes,” which record impacts, speed, and other details. We can use this information to learn more about your accident.
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Who Can Be at Fault in a Rear-End Crash?
According to the NHTSA’s findings, another motorist is likely responsible for your accident. However, at-fault parties can also include:
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
If someone’s brakes failed because of a faulty vehicular component, you could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
If a mechanic performed shoddy work on your vehicle, causing you to hit someone or be hit, you could file a claim either against the individual or their company.
A Government Entity
Government organizations are in charge of Florida’s roads. If poor road design or maintenance caused your accident, you could hold the responsible entity accountable.
If your damages exceed your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, we can look to the liable party’s insurer for compensation. If they do not have adequate coverage, we may be able to file your case in Florida civil court.
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What Kind of Injuries Result from Rear-End Collisions?
When it comes to rear-end collisions, certain injuries tend to be more prevalent due to the dynamics of these accidents.
Common injuries resulting from rear-end collisions include:
- Whiplash: One of the most frequent injuries in rear-end accidents is whiplash. This neck injury occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and then snapped backward. Whiplash can lead to neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and long-term discomfort.
- Soft tissue injuries: Rear-end collisions often cause various soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and contusions. These injuries can affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments, resulting in pain and limited mobility.
- Back injuries: The impact of a motor vehicle accident can strain the back, leading to injuries like herniated discs or vertebral fractures. These injuries can cause severe pain and require medical attention. High-speed collisions sometimes result in devastating spinal cord injuries.
- Head and brain injuries: Depending on the force of the collision, occupants may sustain head trauma, ranging from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Facial injuries: Airbag deployment or striking the steering wheel can cause facial injuries, including cuts, lost teeth, and fractures.
- Broken Bones: In some cases, rear-end collisions can result in broken bones, such as fractures in the arms, legs, or ribs. These injuries may require surgical intervention and extended recovery periods.
- Psychological injuries: It’s essential not to overlook the emotional impact of rear-end collisions. Many people experience anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after sustaining severe injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, seeking prompt medical treatment and legal representation is important for your well-being and your personal injury case. A lawyer from Chalik & Chalik can visit you in the hospital if you aren’t home yet.
How Long do You Have to Sue Following a Rear-End Collision?
In Florida, you generally have two years to file an injury lawsuit against a negligent party. Certain exceptions could lengthen or shorten this deadline. For example, if you are suing a government agency, you could have less time to act.
You need to take action before the applicable deadline after suffering losses in a rear-end collision. The courts will not hear your case if you wait too long.
This could prevent you from holding another party accountable for your pain and suffering, medical care costs, and other accident-related damages.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision, Chalik & Chalik is here to help. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we can help you understand your legal options. If you choose to move forward with us, our personal injury team will build a compelling case to seek financial compensation.
Reach out to Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers. The case review is free, and there is no obligation. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay when we win your case.
Call or text us today to get started.
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