Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are among the most common car crashes, accounting for 29 percent (1.7 million accidents) of all crashes each year.
Regardless of how much caution you take on the road, you have no control over what a motorist behind you might do, and there is little you can do to prevent a rear-end accident.
If you or your loved one was injured after a rear-end collision, our Mount Pleasant rear-end collisions attorneys from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may help you explore your legal options to pursue justice. It is your legal right to seek counsel and initiate action to recoup your losses.
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A Lawyer May Help You Collect Evidence After a Rear-Ended Accident
Many people believe that only the rear vehicle may be held liable for a rear-end accident, even if they were not at fault. However, this is not always true. Even if your car was rear-ended, the other driver may still be able to allege that it was your fault – in part, at least – as a way of defense. If they can prove their claims, you may be held partially at fault for the accident as well.
Generally, drivers that rear-end other vehicles are found mostly at fault because they should have kept a safe distance between their vehicles and the vehicles in front. That being said, the court determines who is at fault for such accidents, which then determines the damages that you may be able to recover.
Consulting a personal injury attorney may help you understand what might be necessary for building your personal injury case. To build a strong case, your lawyer may help you collect evidence to support your claims and defend against any allegations that you might be partially at fault.
Your rear-end collisions lawyer in Mount Pleasant may collect the following forms of evidence:
- Crash scene pictures
- Video footage of the accident, including security and dashcam footage
- Eyewitness accounts
- Accident reconstruction
- Official police records and statements
This evidence may establish who is at fault and uncover whether other factors precipitated the crash. If we can prove the other driver acted with gross negligence or intentional recklessness, the court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-32-520.
For example, if the other driver showed signs of aggressive driving or was driving under the influence, they may be punished for their offenses.
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Causes of Rear-Ended Accidents
The following are common causes of rear-ended crashes:
- A driver following your car too closely to stop in time when you slow down or suddenly stop
- Driving while texting or other forms of distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Mechanical failure, e.g., brake failure
As mentioned, sometimes the rear vehicle driver is not the person at fault for a rear-end accident. These are some defenses the back driver might use to explain their actions:
- Front driver made a sudden and unnecessary stop: The rear vehicle driver should not have been following too closely, but there may be a gray area on what might be considered “too close,” depending on the details of your case.
- Front driver made an improper lane change: If you change lanes in front of someone and then brake, the court may hold you partially responsible for an accident.
- Front driver had defective tail lights: If your brake lights or tail lights were not working properly or at all, the back driver may argue that they could not anticipate your moves on time. You may be found partially responsible in this instance.
Before bringing a lawsuit to court, your personal injury attorney may conduct an investigation to determine if the rear vehicle driver’s claims are valid. They may work to build a strong case and refute any claims by the defense so that your potential compensation award may not be affected by comparative negligence.
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Follow These Steps if You Get Into a Rear-End Collision
If a motorist rear-ends you, try to stay calm and wait until the authorities arrive. If there was a serious impact, you should check if you and any occupants got hurt and call for an ambulance if so.
It is critical to take the other driver’s name, registration, and insurance. However, if you are hurt, ask someone to help you get those details. Should the at-fault motorist leave the scene without providing contact information, your claim may end up being considered a hit-and-run accident, and you may have to pursue different legal routes to potentially collect compensation.
If you feel frazzled, which is a normal response to an accident, you can ask the law enforcement official to wait until you are calm before taking your statement. In the meantime, consult an attorney to guide you before giving any official statements, whether to law enforcement or the insurance company.
Be wary of anyone, especially the at-fault driver or insurance adjusters. During the negotiation stage, a personal injury attorney may represent your interests and negotiate so that you may receive the compensation you need to cover the extent of your injuries and damage to your property.
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Hire a Mouth Pleasant Rear-End Collision Lawyer from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers
If you or your loved one was injured after a rear-end accident, one of our Mount Pleasant rear-end collisions lawyers may help you explore your legal options. For decades, we have helped victims of car accidents analyze their legal options and take action to help them find justice.
Once we evaluate your case and gather the necessary information to proceed, we will work hard to build a strong case for you. We can represent you at your meetings with insurers, at settlement negotiations, and in the courtroom, depending on how your case plays out.
Before you make any decision regarding how to proceed after your car accident injury, take advantage of our free and confidential consultation, where we will evaluate your case and offer candid legal advice regarding your options. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers by phone or through our online contact form today.
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