Rear-end accidents occur when a driver collides with the vehicle directly in front of him or her. Most rear-end collisions are caused by negligent drivers following too closely or not paying attention. Rear-end accidents can have serious consequences, especially when they cause a motor vehicle pileup on a busy highway.
Discuss Your Rear-End Accident With an Experienced Florence & Myrtle Beach Attorney
Rear-end accidents can cause painful, life-altering injuries. You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision caused by a negligent driver. The personal injury attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, have extensive experience representing clients who have been seriously injured. Contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end collisions are among the most common motor vehicle accidents throughout South Carolina and the country. Unfortunately, most rear-end accidents are preventable and caused by driver error or inattention. Generally, rear-end accidents are caused by distracted drivers who aren’t paying attention to the vehicle ahead of them.
With distractions like texting and driving becoming more common, the number of rear-end accidents that occur has also increased. Stop-and-go traffic conditions can also increase rear-end collisions because drivers drive close to each other. Drivers in gridlock traffic are more likely to become frustrated or angry, making them more unsafe. Although rear-end accidents can have any number of causes, some of the most common include the following:
- Driving unreasonably slowly based on the flow of traffic
- Following too closely
- Making an unexpected, sudden braking action or stop
- Unsafe lane changes, such as failure to use a blinker or cutting off another driver
- Distracted driving due to texting, eating, or failure to pay attention to the road
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Broken or malfunctioning tail lights or brakes
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving in inclement weather conditions, such as snow, fog, or heavy rain
Proving Liability in a Rear-End Accident
If you’ve been injured in a rear-end accident, you can pursue compensation from the driver who caused the accident. Recovering compensation through an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit requires you to prove liability. Under South Carolina law, drivers whose negligence or recklessness results in an accident that causes another person’s injuries are liable for those injuries.
South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence rule. An injured plaintiff isn’t prevented from recovering compensation, even if he or she is responsible for a percentage of the fault for causing the accident. As long as the plaintiff isn’t 51% or more responsible for the accident, he or she can recover compensation. For example, if you were found to be 20% liable and a court awarded you $100,000, you’d be able to recover a total of $80,000.
Proving liability isn’t always easy, even in rear-end accident cases. Working with an attorney can help you gather and protect evidence immediately to prove the defendant’s liability and that you weren’t responsible for the accident.
Is the Rear Driver Always At Fault For a Rear-End Accident?
In many cases, the driver in the rear is at fault for causing the rear-end collision. Most rear-end collisions are caused by inattentive, distracted drivers who fail to keep a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front and don’t stop in time to prevent an accident. However, in some cases, the front vehicle may be partially or fully at fault for the accident.
If the driver in front leaves the rear driver without enough space or warning to slow down and stop, he or she may be liable for the accident. Suppose the front driver unexpectedly and suddenly slams on the brakes, sometimes called a brake check. This could constitute reckless behavior, especially if the driver in front didn’t have a reason to slam on the brakes. In this case, the court may hold the front driver liable for negligently failing to leave the rear driver enough time and space to avoid a collision.
In other cases, a third party could be liable for the rear-end accident. For example, suppose the vehicle in the back has defective brakes or other auto parts systems, resulting in their inability to stop in time. In that case, the vehicle manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
Common Injuries Caused
Even though rear-end accidents are common, they can still cause serious injuries. Rear-end accidents can be considered fender-benders, but even car accidents at low speeds can cause lasting and catastrophic injuries. In rear-end accidents, neck and back injuries are common. The force of the rear-end accident can cause a person’s head and neck to snap forward and backward quickly, damaging the ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
These types of whiplash injuries can cause extensive pain, limit a person’s mobility, and require months of ongoing treatment. Back injuries, including ruptures and disc herniations, are also common. In rare cases, rear-end accidents can cause concussions and traumatic brain injuries, especially when the victim’s brain is jostled inside his or her skull or when their head collides with the vehicle’s interior, such as the dashboard.
Compensation Available in Florence & Myrtle Beach
Successful plaintiffs can obtain compensation for the expenses related to their injuries. Plaintiffs can recover past, ongoing, and future medical expenses related to surgery, hospital bills, therapy, and medication. They can also recover compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity. Finally, a plaintiff can recover compensation for pain, suffering, and lost quality of life.
Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
If you are the victim of a negligent driver, discussing your case with an attorney can help you protect your legal right to compensation. You only have a limited time to file a compensation claim, so it’s important to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA has the resources and skills necessary to thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and advocate for the most compensation possible. If you’d like to discuss your case with an experienced attorney, contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, to schedule your free case evaluation.