Rear-end collisions made up 2,456 of the total 13,416 fatal motor vehicle accidents involving collisions between two or more cars in 2017, accounting for 7.2% of all fatal crashes that year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. A leading cause of rear-end collisions is the use of cell phones, specifically texting while driving. Despite the well-known dangers of this act, people (of all ages) continue to take part in this dangerous habit, often leaving injured victims and tragic deaths in their path.
When a driver prioritizes a message or another distraction over your safety and you are harmed as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. A Savannah rear-end collisions attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is here to help and explain your legal rights. You can speak to a member of our team today.
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Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end collisions, in which the driver of a vehicle hits the back of the vehicle in front of them, are usually caused by distractions or following too closely. All drivers are required to maintain a safe distance between others, so even if the driver in front of you suddenly brakes, you should have enough time to avoid the accident. When drivers tailgate or otherwise follow too closely or they are distracted and do not notice the stopped vehicle in front of them, a rear-end collision is often the result.
Besides distractions and following too closely, other common causes of rear-end collisions include:
- Heavy congestion
- Road rage or other aggressive driving
- Weather conditions that cause a driver to slip and hit the back of another vehicle
- Fatigued driving
- Impaired driving
- Mechanical failure
A Savannah rear-end collisions lawyer from our team can investigate the underlying causes of your accident to determine how the other driver was liable and why you should be compensated for the damages you sustained as a result of the driver’s negligence.
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Georgia’s Handsfree Law
Realizing the dangers of using phones during driving, Georgia lawmakers passed the handsfree law in 2018, according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This law prohibits doing any of the following activity related to a phone or other stand-alone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle:
- Holding or supporting it with any part of the body
- Using it to write, send, or read a text message, instant message, email, or internet data
- Using it to watch, record, or broadcast a video
Anyone who violates the law is subject to a fine and points on their driver’s license.
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Injuries Commonly Sustained in Rear-End Collisions
While insurance companies may want to try to deny that serious injuries can occur in rear-end collisions, this is simply not true. Even accidents at low speeds can result in serious injuries. Common injuries that occur in rear-end collisions include:
- Whiplash: whiplash involves the sudden jolting of the neck back and forth, often when the body is hit from behind.
- Head injuries: these injuries can occur when an occupant in a vehicle hits their head against a hard surface like the steering wheel or dashboard.
- Back and neck injuries: during a rear-end collision, a person’s body may be jolted back and forth quickly, which can lead to unnatural movements and back and neck injuries.
- Spinal fractures: these injuries are more common in higher-speed rear-end collisions. Because the seatbelt is securing the lower portion of your body and your torso and head are being thrust around during this type of accident, your vertebrae may break.
- Herniated discs: the discs that provide cushioning between your body’s vertebrae may slip out of place, causing serious herniated disc injuries.
What often makes rear-end collisions more complicated is that many victims do not experience symptoms immediately after these accidents. They may assume that if they are not feeling pain immediately and the accident involved lower speeds that they are just fine.
However, adrenaline often masks symptoms, and many victims may experience these symptoms in the days and weeks following an accident. These victims may later seek treatment and discover that they were injured all along, but they may confront an uphill battle in trying to prove these injuries were caused by the accident when there is a delay between the accident and treatment.
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Who Is to Blame for a Rear-End Collision?
Typically, the driver who rear-ends the car in front of them is held responsible for rear-end collisions. This is because Georgia law requires drivers to maintain a safe distance between their vehicles and other vehicles on the roadway. Even if a motorist in front of them unexpectedly stops, courts often reason that if the driver had maintained adequate distance, a collision would not have occurred.
However, there are several exceptions when the driver from behind may not be held legally liable for a rear-end collision, such as when the driver in front:
- Is drunk: the driver may be driving erratically and stopping and going at no understandable rate. In this scenario, the driver from behind may not have been able to anticipate these movements.
- Is reversing: the driver from ahead may have backed up into the driver from behind in this scenario.
- Is intentionally trying to get hit: if a driver is trying to crash in order to commit fraud or is driving aggressively, he or she may be held to blame for the accident.
- Experiences mechanical failure: if the vehicle suddenly stops because of mechanical failure, the driver in front may be to blame for the accident.
Our team can investigate the cause of your accident and determine who is to blame. Reach out to George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for help.
Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation
If you were injured by a careless driver who plowed into your vehicle from behind, a rear-end collisions lawyer in Savannah from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We can investigate your claim and identify all potentially liable parties. We will gather evidence of the accident and your right to financial recovery. While you focus on getting better, our team will work to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. We offer a free consultation. Call us today to get started.
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