Indianapolis Rear-End Collisions
While rear-end collisions don’t always result in the most severe injuries, they are one of the most common types of accidents commonly caused by aggressive driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 2 million rear-end collisions in 2019, with nearly 600,000 involving injuries and over 2,000 being fatal.
Though other types of accidents tend to result in more injuries and fatalities, the injuries sustained from a rear-end collision can still range from minor to severe. However, no matter what kind of injuries you sustain, you should always work with an experienced lawyer to ensure you receive adequate compensation for damages and to hold the guilty party accountable for their negligent actions.
At Crossen Law Firm, our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to advocating for those injured in car accidents. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll an accident like a rear-end collision can have on individuals. Our goal is to guide you through the legal process every step of the way to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, contact a skilled car accident lawyer right away at (317) 401-8626.
The Dangers of Rear-end Collisions
Though rear-end collisions aren’t as dangerous as others, they are often unpredictable and sudden. Because drivers don’t tend to see imminent collisions from behind, the sudden impact can come as a shock. Additionally, drivers have little to no time to prepare for or react before impact, making it harder to maneuver out of the way to lessen the damage.
Because the main point of impact is at the rear of the vehicle, the injuries are not always life-threatening, but they can still be severe. Neck, back, spine, and head injuries can all still occur due to the force of the impact causing your body to jerk and fling forward.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, recovery can be a long and challenging process. At Crossen Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate an injury claim or lawsuit while also trying to seek medical care to heal and recover. We are dedicated to getting injured victims the compensation they need for their pain and suffering and to help cover any necessary medical expenses or loss of income from being unable to work.
Common Causes of Rear-end Collisions
As rear-end collisions occur when someone else hits you from behind, they typically happen as a result of the other driver’s negligence. While the car that was hit can share some of the responsibility or even be fully to blame in some cases, these instances are rare and it is usually the other driver’s fault.
Several factors can contribute to rear-end collisions, but they most commonly occur due to the following:
- Distracted driving: These days, texting and driving is one of the most common reasons someone rear-ends the car in front of them. However, other distractions can be to blame as well, such as talking with other passengers, looking down at the radio, or looking in the mirror.
- Tailgating: Following too closely to another car can also easily lead to a collision if the car in front slams on its breaks. It’s always best to keep at least one car length between you and the car in front of or behind you.
- Impaired and drowsy driving: When someone is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or even prescription medications, their reaction times are often delayed which can lead to a collision.
- Inclement weather: When the roads are wet and slippery, it’s harder to brake which can lead to a rear-end collision. Bad weather and tailgating is also a combination that increases the chances of a collision occurring.
- Reckless driving: Improper lane changes, failing to signal, and generally driving without paying close attention can also contribute to rear-end accidents.
Common Rear-end Collision Injuries
Injuries that occur as a result of rear-end collisions can range in severity. The higher the speed at which the impact occurs, the more likely you are to suffer from serious injuries. In contrast, if someone merely bumps into you while moving slowly, you are likely to only suffer some minor injuries, if any. However, every situation and person is different. It’s always best to get checked out by a medical professional, even if you feel fine. It can sometimes take a few days to a couple of weeks for symptoms to appear.
Common injuries that result from rear-end collisions include:
- Other neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Internal bleeding
Liability and Fault in Rear-end Collision Cases
Indiana follows comparative fault laws, meaning that a victim can receive compensation for damages based on the percentage of fault of the drivers involved. If another party is entirely at fault, they (or their insurance company) will be responsible for paying the full compensation amount to the victim. However, if the person who was hit is also partially to blame, say 10% at fault, the compensation they receive will be reduced by 10%.
Proving who was at fault can get tricky. Often with rear-end collisions, the person who was hit will blame the car behind them, and the car behind them will try to blame the driver in front of them. It’s not uncommon for arguments over fault to occur in these situations. For this reason, it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney.
An attorney can help you gather the necessary information and evidence to help prove fault in a rear-end accident. Evidence that you may need to gather can include:
- Photos of the entire scene of the accident
- Photos of the vehicle damage
- Photos of your injuries
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Video surveillance
- Medical documents or doctor testimonies proving the extent of injuries
At Crossen Law Firm, we have experience fighting against insurers and helping determine fault to ensure our clients are awarded damages to cover all necessary costs. Our personal injury lawyers are committed to get injured victims the compensation they deserve to recover in peace.
Damages Awarded to Rear-end Collision Victims
While medical expenses and loss of wages are often what victims worry about the most, there are other types of damages you can receive compensation for, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages from your inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries
- Property damage
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of life or wrongful death
In some cases, victims may even seek compensation for punitive damages. Victims are eligible for punitive damages if the injuries sustained result from intentional harm and/or negligent actions. Essentially, this is when the accident and your injuries result from someone failing to ensure a safe environment knowing full-well that harm could come to you. This could mean they did something on purpose to cause the accident, or they may have turned a blind eye to something they knew would result in a potential injury.
If you suspect that a rear-end collision was the result of malicious intent or negligence, you should inform your lawyer as soon as possible.
Seeking Help After a Rear-end Collision
When an accident involved in the rear occurs, it is easy to become overwhelmed by your injuries and responsibilities. However, necessary steps should be taken to ensure you are awarded a proper settlement amount. Working with an attorney can help, as they will guide you through the process and even do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
The following are steps you will need to take if you want to build a strong case:
- Seek immediate medical care following the accident. Don’t worry about paperwork or who you should inform. Your health and safety are a priority. Additionally, medical experts may be called upon to testify if you decide to pursue a claim. Having medical evidence of your injury will help you win a fair settlement.
- File a police report. As soon as the accident occurs, the authorities should be contacted so they can assist. Be sure it isn’t just emergency medical responders that arrive, but the police as well. Not only will the report help support your case, but Indiana law also requires it if there are any injuries, fatalities, or property damage.
- If possible, collect evidence yourself at the scene. This can include taking photos of your injuries and the car damage, as well as collecting the names of any witnesses present at the time of the accident. If you wait too long to contact these individuals, they may not remember what happened as clearly.
- Once you have collected any initial evidence, contact a lawyer to have your case reviewed. They will use any initial evidence collected in addition to helping you obtain further evidence to prove liability. Your attorney will walk you through the process to help you understand your rights and give you the legal support you need to win your case.
- Most importantly, do not give any statements, sign, or agree to anything without first consulting your lawyer. Insurers may contact you asking for statements, and they often use this information to turn the tables against you. Insurance companies are notorious for fighting claims to mitigate their costs. If they reach out, simply tell them you need to speak to your lawyer first before you agree to anything.
Explore Your Legal Options With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
Discussing your case with an experienced rear-end collision lawyer can help you during this trying time. At Crossen Law Firm, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you get what you are owed, and you will not pay us anything unless we win your case.
Make the right call. Call Crossen Law Firm for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626 or contact our firm online.
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