What Happens After My Rear-End Accident?

All major cities across the United States deal with traffic problems, and the St. Louis metropolitan area and the Metro East are no different. With traffic comes many types of driver errors, and many such errors can lead to rear-end collisions. Too often, people refer to rear-end crashes as “fender benders,” as they might consider these accidents to be relatively minor. However, many victims of rear-end accidents suffer serious, costly, and life-changing injuries.

Anyone who suffered injuries in a rear-end accident should speak with a car accident lawyer in St. Louis who can evaluate their legal rights and options. Never assume that you cannot recover following this type of crash – instead, seek a free case evaluation from a trusted car accident law firm.

Causes of Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end accidents can occur for many reasons, but they are often the result of negligence on the part of the driver of the trailing vehicle.

Some of the more common causes of rear-end collisions that are usually attributable to the rear driver include:

  • Following too closely
  • Texting and driving
  • Other forms of distracted driving
  • Failing to account for adverse weather conditions
  • Poor vehicle maintenance

Determining the cause of your collision is necessary to know who should be liable for your losses. The best way to make this determination is to have a car accident lawyer assess your case.

Is The Rear Driver Always To Blame?

Like several other states, Missouri case law creates a presumption that the rear driver is at fault for a rear-end collision. This is because the rear driver should be following at a safe enough distance to brake and avoid a crash. This means that the victims in the front vehicle have the right to compensation unless the rear driver successfully presents evidence to rebut this presumption.

That said, in some circumstances, the driver of the front vehicle would bear fault for a rear-end collision.

Some of the most common include:

  • Driving without functioning brake lights
  • Stopping short without any warning
  • Sudden lane changes
  • Brake-checking other drivers

Many people – including the police – often assume that the driver in the rear is at fault for a rear-end collision. As a result, if you rear-ended someone and believe that the accident was the front driver’s fault, you should speak to a lawyer about your crash. In addition, you should meet with a lawyer even if the police report indicates that you were at fault.

Common Injuries And Losses From Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end accidents often happen at lower speeds, but they can also happen when traffic is flowing normally or even on the highway.

No matter the speed when the crash happened, victims can suffer surprisingly serious injuries, including:

  • Whiplash – Many people discount whiplash as an exaggerated or even false injury from low-speed crashes, but this is a real condition that can be painful and require extensive treatment. Whiplash refers to soft tissue damage in your neck, and victims might need imaging tests, specialist appointments, physical therapy, time off work, and more.
  • Concussions – A concussion can result from hitting your head on something inside the vehicle or even the jolt of your head upon impact. The medical industry considers concussions to be “mild” brain injuries, though this injury can have lasting effects on your life, including cognitive, behavioral, or physical impairments.
  • Dislocations – The jolt of a rear-end crash can cause joints to dislocate, including shoulders or knees. When this happens, you should seek medical attention right away, even if the joint pops back into place. Dislocations can often cause soft tissue damage around the joint, which needs treatment.
  • Other soft tissue injuries – Sprains and strains can be painful conditions that need physical therapy and can inhibit your movement abilities. If you suffer a soft tissue tear, you might need surgery to repair the injury, and the recovery can take time.

Injuries that need medical care can result in a pile of medical bills, and the costs of treatment might continue for weeks or months. You might also need to take a break from work if your injuries prevent you from performing your job duties or your doctor orders you to rest. The financial losses from medical expenses and lost income can add up quickly.

If you sustained a serious injury in your rear-end crash, you might also experience pain and suffering for some time. Your car accident attorney can seek compensation for these non-economic losses as well as the financial losses you incurred. Always have an experienced attorney calculating the value of your car accident claim.

Do You Need A Lawyer After A Rear-End Collision?

If another driver rear-ended you, you may wonder whether you really need to retain an attorney—especially if the insurance company accepts liability. In fact, you may have already received a settlement offer, leaving you to question what exactly an attorney could do for you.

As a victim of a rear-end accident, keep in mind that insurance companies want to settle cases for as little as possible. Working with a lawyer will protect your rights and ensure that you can obtain the compensation that you deserve under the law.

A Lawyer Will Evaluate All of Your Losses

A key component of getting the compensation you deserve is knowing how much your case may be worth. While it may be relatively simple to figure out your medical expenses and car repair bills, the same is not true when it comes to putting a price on your pain and suffering. An attorney familiar with rear-end accident litigation can review your case and determine how much you can expect to recover.

An Attorney Will Represent You In Settlement Negotiations

Insurance companies regularly try to get claimants to accept settlements that are much lower than they deserve. With a car accident attorney advocating for you, the insurer will not be able to use their usual tactics, and your lawyer will know how to negotiate settlements that cover all of your losses.

After a rear-end collision, contact a St. Louis or Metro East car accident lawyer today.