After a rear-end car crash, you might assume that it will be easy to prove liability. Well, this is not always the case. Rear-end car accident cases aren’t as easy as perceived. The skilled and compassionate car accident lawyers at Ted A Greve & Associates in Wilmington, North Carolina, understand how to deal with such cases to ensure maximum compensation for our clients. We will take on the at-fault driver and their insurer on your behalf and fight to protect your rights while at it.
Cases of vehicles ramming into the back of other vehicles are common. While some rear-end collisions are minor, many lead to vehicle damage, severe injuries, and death. According to data collected by the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, about 7.2 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. resulted from rear-end collisions.
If you are a victim of a Wilmington rear-end collision, you might be eligible for compensation through a lawsuit or an insurance claim. We have plenty of experience and resources to secure a high-value settlement.
To find out more about how a Wilmington rear-end accident lawyer can help, call Ted A Greve & Associates at (800) 693-7833 for a free consultation.
Many rear-end collisions happen when the leading vehicle stops suddenly or slows down. However, various conditions can cause the driver following the car to ram into them from the back. Below are some common causes of rear-end collisions.
If you get distracted while driving, the chances are high that you will cause an accident. Chances are even higher that you will ram the vehicle in front of you. Sleepiness, tiredness, eating, texting, and talking on the phone are the biggest distractions that negatively affect reaction time.
A Sudden Change in Speed
When the leading vehicle stops short to avoid hitting something, the chasing vehicle is likely to rear-end the leading car. It’s always a matter of reaction time in such cases.
Tailgating (Following Too Closely)
Another common reason rear-end crashes is failing to keep a safe distance. When one motorist follows another vehicle too closely, they have very little time to react in the event the vehicle in front stops suddenly.
Snowy or rainy conditions make the roads slick and reduce visibility, affecting the driver’s reaction time and cause them to lose control.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions will cause drivers to brake or slow down suddenly, leading to rear-end collisions.
Injuries Caused By Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end accidents have both physical and emotional effects. Some of the most common and extreme injuries include:
Whiplash happens when sudden movement causes the ligaments and muscles around the neck and shoulders to strain or tear. When a vehicle is rear-ended, the occupants may suffer neck, shoulder, and upper back injuries from the head and neck being snapped forward suddenly.
Back and Spinal Injuries
In a rear-end collision, the impact can put immense pressure on the vertebrae, bruising ligaments and muscles in the lower back, and compress the spinal cord. This impact may displace the vertebrae discs causing bulging or herniated discs.
Arm and Wrist Injuries
Typically, a driver has his/her hands on the steering wheel. During a rear-end collision, a driver will instinctively place his/her hands on the steering wheel as he/she braces for impact. The driver may sustain multiple injuries by stiffening the shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands, including stress fractures, tendon damage, dislocated shoulder, broken wrists, and sprained wrists.
Broken or Fractured Bones
The punch from a deployed airbag after a rear-end collision can cause the bones in the ribcage to break. When the seatbelt pulls taut, it can also lead to broken or cracked ribs. The occupants of a rear-ended vehicle may also smash their face or strike their limbs against the car causing fractured or broken bones.
Facial Injuries and Disfigurement
Smashing your face in a rear-end crash can cause an array of injuries from a broken nose, bruises, cuts, lacerations, scrapes, and broken teeth. You also risk having some of your teeth knocked out or damaging your jaw bone from slamming your face into the steering wheel, dashboard, or windscreen after being struck from behind.
Some of these facial injuries may cause disfigurement, which may require long-term treatment and multiple reconstructive surgeries.
Skull and Brain Injuries
In a rear-end collision, the brain can slam into the skull due to whiplash. This can cause swelling, bleeding, bruising, neuron tear, or a concussion. No matter how mild, concussions should never be taken lightly because they can cause problems days or weeks following the accident. In more severe cases, the victim of a rear-end crash may suffer a traumatic brain injury, resulting in death or permanent damage.
How Is Fault Determined in North Carolina?
Typically, the driver of the car that rams another vehicle from behind is usually at fault for the crash. In the case of a rear-end crash involving multiple vehicles, the driver at the very end of the collision chain is often at fault.
However, there are instances where the driver’s actions at the front contributed fully or partially to the crash. For example, a driver whose tail lights are out will hold partial responsibility for a rear-end collision.
Shared Fault in North Carolina Rear-End Auto Accidents
The contributory negligence laws in North Carolina bars injury victims from recovering any compensation if they played a part in the collision, even if the other driver held 99 percent responsibility.
Last Clear Chance Doctrine
It’s important to note that you can still recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident through the Last Clear Chance doctrine. As per this doctrine, injury victims can recover compensation if they played a role in the accident if they can prove that:
- They could not avoid the collision due to the dangerous situation their negligent acts put them in.
- The other driver had every opportunity to avoid the crash but failed to do so.
A Wilmington rear-end collision lawyer can help you gather much-needed evidence, expert testimony. An attorney also has access to experienced accident reconstruction experts who can help establish fault for the accident accurately.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Was Hit From Behind?
Even when it is clear that the chasing driver is responsible for the crash, it does not warrant a fair settlement from the driver’s insurer.
Keep in mind that insurers want to settle claims as quickly and for the least amount of money possible. Insurers are out to make profits and are looking out for the interests of their insured. Even when it is clear who was at fault, the insurance company may try to lowball or shift the blame to you.
An experienced Wilmington rear-end collision lawyer can help ensure you are not lowballed or tricked in any way.
Contact a Skilled and Dedicated Wilmington Rear-End Accident Lawyer
At Ted A. Greve & Associates, our Wilmington rear-end collision lawyers understand how stressful and overwhelming pursuing compensation for a rear-end accident can be. We will relieve you of the lengthy recovery process, medical bills, and other burdens while you focus on recuperating.
We are happy to meet potential clients for a free, no-risk consultation. When we take on your case, you will not have to worry about paying attorney fees upfront because we handle cases on contingency.
If you need help with your North Carolina rear-end collision case, contact a Wilmington rear-end accident lawyer from Ted A. Greve & Associates at (800) 693-7833.