Rear-end accidents are often sudden and violent impacts that the victims rarely see coming. The aftermath can leave an injured victim in pain and constantly worrying about the accident’s financial toll, especially if they’re unable to work as they recover.
This financial worry makes many victims hesitate about contacting an attorney. However, hiring an experienced lawyer after a rear-end accident might be one of the most financially sound decisions a victim may make.
The Huntsville rear-end accident lawyers at Morris King & Hodge, P.C., can help you navigate this challenging time and aid you in recovering valuable compensation. We work on a contingency basis, which means we won’t charge fees unless we obtain financial recovery for you.
For more information on how we may help and get a free case review, contact us today.
How Rear-End Collisions Happen
Negligence is the number one cause of most rear-end collisions. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that close to 87 percent of all rear-end accidents could have been prevented if the at-fault driver had been paying closer attention.
This negligence and a lack of awareness on the part of the at-fault driver can cost victims their safety, their time, and often their money. In Huntsville alone, there were 8,957 car accidents in just one recent year, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. How many of those could have been prevented if only the at-fault driver had been paying more attention?
Many different negligent behaviors can cause a rear-end accident. Some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents in Huntsville include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Drowsy driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Rubbernecking at an accident scene
- Construction site hazards
- Inclement weather
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
When it comes to rear-end accidents, it’s often presumed that the driver of the vehicle that strikes the rear of the vehicle in front is at fault for causing the accident. While this is usually true, it isn’t always the case. Other drivers can be at fault for causing a rear-end accident.
Rear-end accidents lead to a rebuttable presumption of negligence on the part of the rear driver. This means it’s assumed that the rear driver is at fault unless evidence proves the contrary.
However, this presumption of fault can be refuted if, for example, it can be established that a mechanical failure was to blame for the accident, there was a sudden or unexpected stop or lane change, or if the other vehicle was illegally stopped on a roadway, for example.
It can take an experienced Huntsville attorney to find and gather evidence that establishes liability for the rear-end accident – whether it’s the rear driver, the front driver, or someone else.
Establishing liability is crucial in Alabama. Alabama is one of the few remaining states that subscribe recognizes contributory negligence. This rule states that anyone found to be even slightly at fault for causing an accident will not receive any compensation from other at-fault parties. That means that if your actions contributed to causing even just 1 percent of the accident and the other driver is 99 percent to blame, you would not be allowed to recover compensation.
You need an experienced lawyer who can make the case that you did nothing wrong to contribute to the rear-end collision that injured you.
Common Injuries from a Rear-End Car Accident
Rear-end collisions are sometimes referred to as “fender benders.” This term gives the connotation that rear-end accidents aren’t all that serious, but that can be far from the truth.
Rear-end crashes can cause significant injuries, even fatalities. The sudden and unexpected jarring motion can leave victims with serious head, neck, and spine injuries. The sudden deployment of an airbag can also cause facial and dental injuries and chemical burns.
Some of the most common injuries associated with rear-end collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other neck and spinal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
Average Settlement for Rear-End Collision Injuries
The value of a rear-end injury case is personal and depends on a wide variety of factors, including the severity of a person’s injuries and the amount of property damage. Insurance policy limits also play a role in the amount of compensation available.
The total value of a compensation package will typically cover losses, such as:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
An experienced Huntsville rear-end collision lawyer can review your specific situation and give you a breakdown of what the value of your case may be. This is the best way to get an accurate assessment of what you may be due after a rear-end collision.
What to Do After a Rear-End Car Accident
Following a rear-end accident, there are things you can do that may help your situation and strengthen your case for getting the compensation you deserve:
- Continue with your medical care and treatment plan. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end accident, it is vital to seek medical attention right away. It is equally important to continue following up with your physician and following the treatment plan. Medical care can be expensive, but you must keep doctor’s appointments and physical therapy appointments. Medical documentation of your injuries is a crucial part of an insurance claim or court case. The bills from your medical care also help establish a baseline for how much compensation you may be due because of your injuries.
- Gather documentation. It helps gather and keep a file of all necessary documentation relating to the accident, including medical records, bills, receipts, statements from your employer, and insurance paperwork. It is also helpful to gather and keep the names and contact information of witnesses to the accident and nearby businesses with video footage of what happened that day.
- Take notes as you recover. Keeping a journal to track how you feel physically and emotionally each day – and details about how your injuries limit your life – is an excellent supplement to your medical documentation and can support the extent of some of your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
- Avoid social media. Social media is a great place to share your thoughts and opinions, but it’s best to refrain from using social media during your case. Do not talk about anything relating to the accident on any social media platform. Insurance adjusters or opposing lawyers may use this information to twist your words or discredit your claim.
- Contact an experienced rear-end accident attorney. The best way to seek a favorable outcome for your situation is to work with an attorney. A seasoned lawyer can help walk you through all of the steps of the legal process and handle negotiations with the insurance company. If the insurer won’t agree to a fair settlement, a lawyer can also take your case to court.
Get Help from Our Huntsville Rear-End Collision Lawyers
If a rear-end accident has left you injured, contact the experienced legal team at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., in Huntsville. We want to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Get a free case review and talk to a knowledgeable Huntsville rear-end accident lawyer today.