Florida Accident Lawyer Explains the Causes of Rear-End Collisions, Possible Injuries, and Seeking Legal Counsel

Rear-end collisions aren’t always minor fender-benders. Accounting for 29% of all crashes in the U.S., rear-end crashes can lead to serious injury, resulting in temporary or lasting effects on your daily life or even death. At Spetsas Buist, we’re dedicated to fighting for the rights of rear-end collision victims so you can focus on the task of recovery. When you're injured in a rear-end collision

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

A variety of situations can lead to rear-end collisions. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data, rear-end crashes generally occur as a result of distraction, whether from texting or looking at objects or events on the side of the road.

Other causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Slow driver response time when vehicles ahead of them slow or stop
  • Following other vehicles too closely, leading to a lack of adequate stopping distance
  • Lane changes that require sudden speed changes from vehicles ahead or behind
  • Driving above the speed limit or faster than the flow of traffic

Common Injuries Due to Rear-End Collisions

Although some people walk away from their minor fender-benders with little to no injury, it’s possible for victims of rear-end collisions to experience injuries such as:

  • Back and neck injuries. These can include soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains or ligament tears (including MCL or ACL tears) and spinal cord injuries.
  • Whiplash. This kind of injury occurs when the head moves forward and then back quickly as a result of the sudden stop and impact of the rear-end collision. Symptoms include headaches at the base of the skull and stiffness and pain in the neck.
  • Herniated discs. When drivers or passengers experience sudden impact, they can develop herniated discs, where the spinal disc ruptures or shifts out of place. Symptoms include intense pain, tingling, and muscle weakness, which might extend to the arms and legs.

It’s important to note that while injuries may appear immediately, symptoms may take several days to present themselves. This is why it’s important to seek medical care quickly after an accident so a doctor can evaluate you.

Legal Recourse Available to Victims of Rear-End Collisions

Depending on the severity of the accident and your injuries, rear-end collisions can cause a great deal of stress because you may face expensive medical bills, financial losses (including loss of wages), and emotional distress or pain and suffering. It’s important to know your options and what to expect after a rear-end collision.

Determining Liability

If you file a personal injury claim after a rear-end collision, you must establish liability for who was at fault for the accident. Some states use a policy called comparative negligence when determining liability, which is a legal principle allowing fault to be “split” among parties, with each party receiving a percentage of liability based on their level of fault. Under Florida’s new modified comparative negligence rules, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the injuries suffered in the accident, you won’t be eligible to recover damages.

Financial Hardship

Plaintiffs can seek economic damages for financial hardship caused by the accident and any injuries suffered as a result. These damages can include medical expenses and lost wages based on how much work you miss as a result of the injury or diminished future earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering or emotional distress refers to economic damages you may receive as a result of the physical and emotional harm caused by the accident and your injuries. Emotional pain and suffering means psychological harm caused as a result of the accident, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or emotional distress.

Steps to Take if You’re in a Rear-End Collision

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, it’s important to take the following steps to help care for your immediate medical needs and to establish evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

  1. Call 911.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention (even if you feel fine).
  3. Gather evidence, including contact information from parties involved and witnesses and photos and videos from the scene of the accident.
  4. Be careful when talking to insurance companies to avoid making unfavorable statements or signing documents that limit your ability to seek the damages you deserve.

How Spetsas Buist Can Help

Even though most people consider themselves safe drivers, accidents happen. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision, the legal and insurance processes can be complex and confusing, especially if you’re suffering from injuries as a result of the crash.

It’s important to seek advice so you can avoid being taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident. At Spetsas Buist, we can help you with the following:

  • Investigate your case by interviewing witnesses, consulting experts, and reviewing medical records)
  • Gather the necessary evidence and documentation
  • Determine your lost wages and other economic and non-economic damages
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf
  • Represent you in court if necessary
  • Provide legal guidance throughout the whole process, from filing your claim to receiving your settlement

Reach out to an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to request a consultation to determine whether you can seek damages for your injuries.