It happens every day; someone is driving responsibly when out of nowhere they’re hit from behind by another car and injured. According to the NHTSA, 28 percent of accidents are rear-end collisions, making them the most common type of accident in the country. These rear-end collisions are also unfortunately commonplace in Moreno Valley. However, just because they are common does not mean they’re harmless – the driver who has been rear-ended is usually unaware a collision is about to occur and therefore doesn’t brace for impact. Over half a million people were hurt and 2,350 died in rear-end accidents in 2016 alone.
A staggering 87 percent of these accidents happened because the rear driver wasn’t paying attention. Cell phones, distracted driving, and other negligent behavior behind the wheel make these collisions almost entirely avoidable. If you’re hurt due to someone’s negligence in a car accident, contact an experienced Moreno Valley Rear-End Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
Drivers who are rear-ended usually have no notice they’re about to be hit, so they have little or no time to anticipate a sudden impact. Also, drivers who rear-end other drivers often can’t predict a lead vehicle suddenly slamming on their brakes, so the accidents often result in severe injuries even at low speeds or if neither car appears damaged. Back injuries, neck injuries, strains, sprains, head injuries, and brain injuries may all be sustained in one of these collisions.
However, whiplash is the most common injury resulting from rear-end accidents. Impact from a rear-end collision can send a victim’s head into an unnatural, quick movement similar to cracking a whip, which can damage the soft tissue around the neck. Unfortunately, victims often make their injury worse because symptoms can delay several days in presenting and they believe they weren’t hurt. Common whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain,
- Numbness and tingling,
- Nausea, and
The delay in the appearance of symptoms is one reason it’s important to seek evaluation and medical treatment right away whether or not you believe you were injured. A proper diagnosis can protect your health as well as help document your injuries for any future legal claims you may bring.
How do I win my Case?
Determining the responsible party in a rear-end accident is usually straightforward. Drivers have a legal duty to others to act as a reasonably prudent person when operating a vehicle, so drivers who manage to rear-end someone else on the road are almost always at fault for the accident. Speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, distracted driving, or even driving under the influence are all factors that can contribute to these collisions. The driver responsible for behaving negligently will be responsible for a victim’s injuries unless they have a valid legal defense.
However, in a few situations the driver who was rear-ended may have engaged in unsafe, negligent behavior that can render them at least partially to blame for the resulting accident. For example, a lead driver could be negligent for:
- Brake-checking the rear vehicle (slamming on their brakes for no reason),
- Shifting their vehicle into reverse suddenly,
- Operating a vehicle with broken taillights and/or reverse lights, or
- Continuing to operate a vehicle with mechanical problems such as a flat tire without using hazard lights or removing the vehicle from the roadway.
If more than one party may be responsible for the accident and your injuries, California courts may use comparative negligence to determine who recovers and how much. The court will review the facts and assign a percentage of blame appropriately between everyone involved. Any award you receive will be reduced by your portion of responsibility for the accident. This means that even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover some damages for your injuries.
How Much can I Recover for my Injuries?
Once you’ve proven someone’s negligent conduct caused the accident and your injuries, you may be able to receive to compensate for the harm you’ve suffered. No amount of compensation will erase the trauma you’ve endured, but the court will attempt to make you whole for harm you suffered from the accident. Courts may provide an award of damages to help you recover from physical, mental, emotional, and financial injuries such as:
- Hospital bills,
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Funeral expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of consortium (companionship).
In cases where the court finds a defendant has engaged in extremely bad behavior, they may award a victim additional damages simply to punish the defendant and discourage them and others from repeating the conduct. Due to the fact these punitive damages are completely at the court’s discretion and the burden of proof a victim must satisfy to receive them is high, it’s wise to work with a skilled Moreno Valley Rear-End Accident Lawyer to navigate these tricky legal waters.
Contact an Attorney Today
Any rear-end car accident can wreak havoc on every area of you and your loved one’s lives in a split second. If you were involved in one of these traumatic collisions, it’s important you contact the skilled Moreno Valley Rear-End Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to protect your rights and put the best foot forward in your pursuit of compensation. We have spent years providing aggressive, dedicated representation for victims like you and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf. Time is not on your side, so contact us today to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case evaluation. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or use our online Contact Page to set up your consultation. This confidential review is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our experienced attorneys fight to secure the best outcome result for you from an unfortunate situation so you can focus on getting your life back on track.