Rear-End Collision Car Accident Lawyers

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident. Although many people assume that rear-end crashes aren’t as dangerous as other accident types, they cause approximately 3,400 deaths each year around the country. These collisions also frequently lead to injuries and property damage.

Have you been involved in this potentially damaging type of car accident? If so, it is essential that you seek help from rear-end collision car accident lawyers as quickly as possible.

With the right team beside you, you can get compensation to cover medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and any other losses you’ve suffered. At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, our team has years of experience helping people throughout New Jersey get fair compensation.

In this guide to rear-end collisions, you’ll learn exactly what these crashes are, what causes them, and whether the person driving the rear vehicle is always fully at fault.

What Is a Rear-End Collision?

Rear-end collisions occur when one car hits another from behind. They often happen at low speeds — but not always. On highways or other high-velocity roads, a car failing to stop in time can hit the car in front at significant speeds, leading to potentially catastrophic injuries.

They tend to happen in heavy traffic conditions when there’s a lot of starting and stopping. In those instances, when people are driving at low speeds, rear-end collisions tend to cause milder injuries, including whiplash, bruises, and cuts.

This is not necessarily the case if the accident occurs at high speeds, however. When traffic is moving quickly, the same type of force that causes the backward and forward movement leading to whiplash can also cause spinal injuries.

Even if you’re wearing a seat belt, being jostled by a rear-end hit at high speeds can also lead you to hit your head. This has the potential to cause traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and even internal damage.

Often, the rear driver is the one to blame for a rear-end accident, but there are exceptions. Many factors can come into play, making it essential that you reach out to a car accident lawyer to help you through the claims process.

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Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Car Accidents

In New Jersey, there are a number of common causes of rear-end collisions. Some examples include:

Speeding is a serious problem in New Jersey, with 178 people dying each year in the state because of it. A driver who is speeding will not have a lot of time to brake if they encounter a hazard on the road. If the car in front of them brakes for any reason, they will have to act quickly to keep from rear-ending them.

If road conditions are not at their best, someone who’s speeding can find it even more difficult to stop in time. For example, if the roads are slick due to rain, abruptly hitting the brakes can cause the car to skid.

When skidding happens, you risk involving other vehicles in the crash. Thus, in this case, speeding could lead to even worse consequences than those of a typical rear-end collision.

A driver who does anything besides drive when behind the wheel puts everyone else on the road at risk. Actions like texting, eating or drinking, and even speaking with passengers can all take the driver’s mind and eyes off the road, potentially leading to serious accidents.

Someone who’s looking down at their phone or at their GPS will not notice if the car in front of them stops abruptly because of an unexpected hazard. A rear-end collision is far more likely in those circumstances.

The national blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, but having a single drink can make a driver more dangerous. Alcohol affects the central nervous system, making a person less coordinated while also slowing their reflexes. That’s a deadly combination behind the wheel.

Even if the driver notices the car in front of them braking, they may be intoxicated enough that their reflexes aren’t fast enough to prevent the crash. The same applies to drugs. Taking any substance that alters your consciousness and affects cognition is dangerous if you’re planning on driving.

Someone driving while they’re tired or sleepy is also a danger to others on the road because it means they’re distracted. They may struggle to keep their eyes open. It’s also possible for them to fall asleep — if only for a second — and cause a rear-end collision.

A driver who is following another vehicle too closely or rapidly switching lanes is more likely to cause a rear-end collision. Everyone on the road has to maintain a safe distance between their car and the one in front in case the lead car brakes. Not abiding by traffic laws like these puts everyone at risk.

Reasons Why a Person May Not Be at Fault in a Rear-End Collision

There are instances when the rear car may not be at fault at all or may share fault with the lead vehicle. Sometimes, the lead car may try to merge in front of another vehicle or enter traffic without allowing enough space. In that case, the rear driver may not be to blame.

If the rear car was following the front one too closely, the front car might need to brake abruptly and without any warning. That might not offer the rear vehicle enough time to also brake.

A malfunctioning brake light can also cause a rear-end collision. If the driver of the lead car didn’t realize that their brake lights weren’t working, they could be liable for a crash.

But is it possible for both parties to be at fault? Absolutely. For example, if the lead car was following the vehicle in front of them too closely, they may abruptly stop. But if the rear car’s driver was checking their phone and missed the braking, this could result in an accident. In that case, both drivers would share a degree of fault.

How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

Determining fault in a rear-end collision isn’t always simple. The police will gather evidence, including the injuries that each party suffered, the kind of vehicle damage that occurred, and eyewitness statements to get a sense of what really happened.

Insurance companies will also gather evidence and conduct their own investigations. Keep in mind that insurers, even your own, want to find any reason not to pay you what you deserve. For that reason, the most important thing you can do after an accident is reach out to a car accident lawyer with experience.

Ultimately, the fault comes down to who engaged in negligent behavior. If the driver owed you a duty of care and breached that duty, resulting in injuries and other losses that you can be compensated for, they are the person who’s at fault.

Steps to Take After a Rear-End Collision

The first step that you need to take is to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you notice that you’re in pain, are bleeding, or have hit your head, you don’t want to move. If it’s safe to do so, remain in the car.

Even if you don’t think you’re injured, call emergency services. You may not be able to tell that you’ve sustained injuries because you’ll still be dealing with the shock of the accident. Medical professionals will be able to assess whether you require immediate care.

This step does more than simply keep you safe. It also begins the process of leaving a record of the accident and of the injuries you suffered.

You then need to call the police. In New Jersey, you have to report an accident if it results in injuries or $500 or more in property damage. You never want to risk not reporting the accident and dealing with legal issues as a result.

When the police arrive at the scene, make sure to offer your honest account of what happened, but don’t admit to fault. You will also need to exchange information with the other party. You want to avoid mentioning fault with them as well since they may use that against you later on. Keep the conversation brief and civil.

If you’re well enough to do so, start gathering evidence at the scene. That can include taking photos of:

  • The vehicles
  • The road
  • The injuries you suffered

Taking pictures of injuries is especially important if you have bruises that have already begun to show or cuts that are bleeding. You want to reach out to eyewitnesses, too, and get their contact information. Their testimonies could be crucial later on.

Once all that is done, it’s time for you to contact a car accident lawyer. Make sure you find one who is experienced in dealing with rear-end collision crashes.

The Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you is not a requirement when filing a claim. However, it is the most important choice you can make.

Even if it seems easy to prove that the other person was to blame for the accident, your insurance company can try to get you to accept low offers. They may even dispute that you were to blame or bully you into dropping the claim completely.

With an experienced lawyer by your side, that’s not an issue. Your lawyer will provide numerous benefits. For instance, they will know:

  • How to work with insurers to give you the best chance at fair compensation
  • What evidence will show that you weren’t to blame
  • How to prove that you deserve the damages you’re claiming
  • How to find expert witnesses who can offer their testimonies
  • When negotiations have stalled, and it’s time to take the case to court

Finally, a lawyer will be there to provide the support you need throughout the process. Filing a personal injury claim can be stressful, and you need someone who can guide you.

Turn to Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq

Dealing with the aftermath of a rear-end collision can mean facing medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other losses. You shouldn’t have to foot these costs on your own if the accident was someone else’s fault.

When you turn to Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, you’re getting lawyers with experience who are ready to help you. We pride ourselves on our compassionate yet tenacious representation, fighting for the rights of our clients with everything we have.

In a state as diverse as New Jersey, we go one step further and offer services in English and Spanish so that everyone who needs help can get it without worrying about a language barrier. We put even more focus on communication by keeping all of our clients updated regularly on their claims. You never have to chase us down.

If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, turn to us. Contact Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq by calling us at 800-923-3456.

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