Riverside, along with the rest of the country, can’t escape the fact that many of its drivers behave unsafely on busy freeways nearby like the 10, 15, and 215 as well as city streets. These drivers are responsible for car accidents, injuries, and fatalities daily. Among all these collisions, rear-end accidents are especially dangerous due to the fact a driver being struck from behind is usually unaware they’re about to be hit and unable to brace for an impending impact.
Over half a million people were hurt and 2,350 died in these accidents in 2016 alone, and rear-end crashes are the most common sort of accident in the country at nearly 30 percent of all collisions. Tragically, these accidents are largely avoidable – 87 percent happened because the rear driver wasn’t paying attention. If you’re hurt due to someone’s negligence in one of these needless accidents, contact an experienced Riverside Rear-End Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Injuries Sustained in Rear-End Accidents
Because the drivers involved have little or no notice that a rear-end collision is about to occur, it’s not unexpected that severe injuries or even fatalities can result when these accidents do happen. Injuries can even occur at speeds at low as 5 miles an hour. It’s common than victims report injuries including:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Broken bones
- Tissue damage
The most common injury caused by rear-end accidents is whiplash. Impact from a crash often sends a victim’s head into an unnatural, quick front-and-back movement that damages soft tissue in the neck. Because symptoms may not present for days, victims may not seek medical evaluation after an accident and may make the injury significantly worse. Once symptoms do present, victims may begin to experience headaches, fatigue, nausea, numbness, dizziness, and radiating pain. Receiving a proper diagnosis can help your recovery as well as help you document the cause and extent of your injuries.
How Can I Win My Case for Compensation?
In most rear-end accident situations, determining the party at fault is usually a simple matter. Motorists have a legal duty to others on the road to act as a reasonably prudent person when driving, so drivers who fail to adequately brake and end up rear-ending a vehicle ahead of them are almost always responsible for the collision. Unfortunately, unsafe driving behaviors and violating traffic laws such a speed limits, prohibitions on texting and driving, and driving while intoxicated are all common factors that may contribute to crashes of this type. A driver behaving negligently or found to have violated a rule or law when causing the crash may be liable for your injuries.
Though the rear driver who struck a car ahead of them is usually at fault, there are rare occasions when the lead driver engaged in negligent behavior and contributed at least partially to the collision. The lead driver could, for example, 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
- Knowingly operating 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 – even an injury victim – may be partly to blame for the collision and your resulting injuries, California courts may employ the principle of comparative negligence to determine fault and decide who may recover what. The court will review the facts and assign a percentage of fault to each party involved. As a victim, any recovery you receive will be reduced by the portion of blame you were assigned for causing the accident.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover for My Injuries?
After you’ve established that somebody’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be eligible to receive an award of damages from the court to help make you whole for physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and financial harms. Though nothing will undo the trauma you’ve suffered, the compensatory damages are meant to help with your recovery. It’s common for victims to receive damage awards for injuries such as:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity,
- Funeral costs,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium (companionship), and
- Permanent disability or disfigurement.
In some cases, a defendant’s conduct is so vile or reprehensible that victims may receive additional damages from the court to punish the egregious behavior and discourage its repetition by anyone. These punitive damages are completely at the judge or jury’s discretion and may be quite large, so you must satisfy a very high burden of proof to qualify. The difficulty of proving a defendant’s mindset and satisfying the burden of proof are best handled by a skilled Riverside Rear-End Accident Lawyer to avoid potentially costly legal missteps.
Contact an Attorney Today
Anyone involved in a rear-end car accident knows firsthand how quickly they can devastate your health, your finances, and your future. If you were hurt in one of these unfortunate, avoidable collisions, speak to the skilled Riverside Rear-End Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to take the first steps towards getting the compensation you deserve. Our experienced lawyers have spent providing vigorous, comprehensive representation for victims like you and getting results; we’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages on their behalf. Time is not on your side, so contact us to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case evaluation today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to schedule your consultation. The confidential case review is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our attorneys use our knowledge and resources to fight for you to receive the best possible outcome from this tragic situation.