The average American spends just under an hour driving each day. While you may grow comfortable with your daily commute, the more time you spend on the road, the greater your chances are of being involved in an accident. With 27% of accidents resulting in non-fatal injuries, you should be aware of your risks and your options if you are in an accident.
In any car accident, but particularly rear end collisions, whiplash is a common result. Spinal cord injuries, including neck and back, are also common, along with seat-belt related injuries. These are all common because a rear end collision will send your bodyweight forward, against the seatbelt, before your momentum carries you back into the seat again. This puts pressure on the spine, neck, areas in contact with the seatbelt, and potentially on your hands and arms if you attempt to brace yourself. If you are driving, your face may also make contact with the steering wheel, resulting in injuries to the face. All of these injuries can cause you to accumulate thousands in medical expenses.
These damages are meant to help you pay the bills resulting directly from the accident, so expect the opposing lawyers to request proof that all of the costs you claim were a direct result of the accident. However, you do not need to sign over full access to medical records. All requests for records or evidence should go through your attorney, who will ensure that only the legally necessary information is released.
Liability for Rear End Collisions
It may seem obvious that the person who struck the vehicle from behind will be held liable. However, determining liability is often much more complicated. This is because rear end collisions may be caused by a variety of issues, or any combination of them, including:
In most cases, the driver behind will be at least partially at fault for following too closely. However, if your taillights are not working, you brake suddenly, or in some other way contribute to the accident, then you will likely be partially at fault, as well. Under Georgia’s contributory negligence law, the amount you may collect in damages is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are claiming $10,000 in damages resulting from the accident, but the court determines that your actions were 20% responsible for causing the accident and, therefore, the damages, then you will only be able to collect up to $8,000.
Contact an Attorney
Do not face your accident expenses without the best possible legal representation by your side. The attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, a Personal Injury Law Firm, can help you to determine liability and collect compensation for your expenses. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.