Were you injured in a rear-end car accident caused by another driver? If so, don’t hesitate to contact our Alpharetta car accident attorneys today. We can help you get on the path to recovery.
Rear-end collisions are still one of the most prominent types of vehicle crashes on our roads today, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These collisions aren’t just simple fender benders that people can walk away from. Rear-end collisions can be catastrophic, even fatal. Between 2013 and 2017, the Georgia Department of Public Safety estimates that rear-end collisions accounted for 692,825 crashes, 231,968 injuries, and 783 fatalities on Georgia roads alone.
Rear-end collisions are dangerous and can change the entire course of a victim’s life. That’s why, at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we are committed to helping Alpharetta car accident victims recover the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to. A rear-end collision can cause significant physical and mental trauma. It shouldn’t inflict long-term and lasting financial trauma as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident, contact the experienced Alpharetta legal team at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for help. We even offer a free case evaluation to help get you started. Call us today at (678) 213-2401.
How Do Rear-End Collisions Happen?
The majority of rear-end collisions tend to happen at intersections or stoplights, but a rear-end collision can happen anywhere a reckless or negligent driver isn’t paying attention to the road or current driving conditions. Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that almost 87 percent of all rear-end accidents could have been prevented if only the rear driver was paying closer attention.
This is a break-down of the most common causes of rear-end collisions and how they happen:
- Distracted driving: One of the most common causes of rear-end collisions continues to be distracted driving. In 2016, distracted driving was responsible for 13,473 rear-end crashes in the state of Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. When a driver takes their eye off the road to read a text, make a phone call, or eat their lunch, those few seconds of distraction are enough to cause a serious, even catastrophic accident. When a driver is distracted, they aren’t able to focus on changing traffic patterns or new or unexpected road conditions. This can mean they are unable to hit the breaks in time or take evasive maneuvers, resulting in a serious rear-end collision.
- Tailgating: Follow a car too closely can easily lead to a rear-end accident, if the car in front needs to slow or stop suddenly, or if the tailgating driver simply isn’t paying attention to traffic patterns. Tailgating is one of the leading causes of rear-end accidents.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving under the influence seriously impairs a driver’s reflexes, judgment, reaction time, and even vision. A drunk or impaired driver is at significant risk for causing a rear-end collision because the chances are high that they are either not paying full attention to the road or their reaction time is impaired enough that they cannot slow down in time to avoid hitting the back of another person’s car.
- Drowsy driving: Driving while drowsy bears many similarities to driving while under the influence. Drowsiness and a lack of sleep can impair the body’s reflexes, judgment, and reaction time in much the same way as alcohol. This also puts drowsy drivers at significant risk for causing a rear-end crash. Falling asleep behind the wheel entirely can also result in serious rear-end collisions because the driver in no way attempts to slow down or stop the moving vehicle.
- Aggressive driving behavior: Aggressive driving describes a range of behaviors that include speeding, tailgating, following too closely, unsafe lane changes, and cutting off other vehicles. Aggressive driving can lead to serious rear-end collisions because often aggressive drivers are disregarding the safety of others and the rules of the road.
- Disregarding traffic laws: Running red lights or not abiding by posted stop and yield signs is also a major cause of rear-end accidents. This can be especially true in cases where one driver is trying to beat a light, but the driver in front responsibly slows down and comes to a stop in anticipation of the red light.
- Poor weather conditions: Poor weather conditions require a driver to change the way they drive. Unfortunately, drivers traveling through snow, ice, or rain may follow too close to other vehicles. Not leaving enough space between cars while road conditions are poor can contribute to rear-end crashes.
Injuries Associated With Rear-End Accidents
The injuries associated with rear-end collisions can vary drastically. In low-speed collisions, injuries may be mild to moderate. This is because most of the energy from the crash is focused on the rear of the vehicle, furthest away from the driver. These types of collisions may result in whiplash or muscle strains and sprains.
Collisions from a drunk or distracted driver tend to be much worse because in those cases, the driver typically hasn’t realized that an impact is going to happen and they haven’t made an attempt to slow down, or their attempt to slow down has come too late. The result is a crash where much more force and energy are applied. These higher-speed collisions can cause devastating and catastrophic injuries, even death.
All rear-end collisions need to be taken seriously, and injuries should be addressed by professional medical personnel. What may seem like a minor bump on the head after a low-speed collision could, in fact, be a concussion that requires medical intervention. Some of the most common injuries seen in rear-end collisions include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Facial injuries
- Other head, neck, and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushed ribs
- Punctured lung
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
The cost associated with treating these types of injuries can be high, and for many people, these unexpected medical bills can cause significant financial instability. Pair that with the inability to work as a serious injury heals, and even the cost of everyday expenses can become unmanageable. Victims tend to feel they have no other choice than to accept whatever settlement an insurance company wants to offer because they need that money now, even if it doesn’t cover all the expenses related to the crash.
What victims may not know is that there is a better way to get the compensation they deserve to cover medical expenses following a rear-end crash. Contacting an attorney for legal advice is the best way to ensure you are being treated fairly and with respect when it comes to getting the full and fair settlement you deserve. An attorney can even negotiate on your behalf to ensure the insurance company isn’t taking advantage of you in your vulnerable state. At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we want to help victims in Alpharetta get what they deserve.
How Compensation Is Determined in Georgia
Several factors come into play when it comes time to determine how compensation should be distributed following a rear-end collision. One of the most crucial state regulations that can influence how compensation is doled out is known as comparative fault. Comparative fault is simply a phrase that refers to the amount of responsibility each driver bears for causing an accident. Different states have different regulations that assign compensation based on the percentage of fault each driver bears.
The state of Georgia follows what is called a “modified comparative negligence” system. This model stipulates that the amount of compensation that can be recovered will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility that is assigned to you following the accident.
To see how this plays out, imagine that you have been involved in a rear-end collision. The driver behind you was not paying attention and rams into the back of your vehicle. However, it is also determined that your actions played a role in the collision as well. The other driver is 90 percent at fault, while it is determined your liability is 10 percent. You would then be entitled to the full amount of compensation minus 90 percent. If the compensation total is $100,000, you can collect $90,000.
One more note on the modified comparative negligence regulation: Under this rule, drivers whose fault is 50 percent or more are barred from recovering any sort of compensation after an accident.
Attempting to determine how much compensation is at stake after a rear-end collision may also be difficult. Economic compensation is relatively easy to calculate because it covers measurable financial losses such as lost income and the cost of medical treatment. Non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering or disfigurement, which are subjective and difficult to put a price on. In general, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Contacting an experienced Alpharetta attorney is the best way to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. An attorney can review the circumstances of your case, break down what you might be able to expect in terms of compensation, and layout all of your legal options for pursuing that compensation. Time may be limited, which is why it is important to contact an attorney focused on protecting you right away.
Contact an Experienced Alpharetta Rear-End Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a rear-end collision, it is important to seek help immediately. While rear-end collisions may seem like open and shut cases, an insurance company may not see it that way and try to prevent you from collecting everything that you are due.
To make sure you are getting full and fair compensation after an accident, contact the legal team of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for help. We have a compassionate staff that understands the difficulties that you are currently facing, and we don’t want you to face them alone. Call us today at (678) 213-2401 for your free case evaluation with one of our seasoned Alpharetta attorneys.