If you’ve driven around Atlanta lately, you’ve surely experienced dense traffic congestion. Rear-end accidents are quite common when there is dense traffic congestion because vehicles are constantly accelerating, and then slamming on their brakes. The farther the vehicles are apart from one another in traffic, the more the driver of the rear-end vehicle tends to accelerate. If the driver of the rear-end vehicle rapidly accelerates and then looks down at his phone to check an incoming text message, his vehicle is going to collide with your vehicle with great force.
Georgia law allows you to recover compensation for your losses if you were injured in an rear-end collision caused by a careless driver. You should contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer that understands how to maximize the value of a rear-end collision case. A veteran trial lawyer understands that even a low-speed rear-end collision can still cause tremendous harm.
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we listen to our clients’ stories and treat our clients with compassion and dignity. We pride ourselves on maximizing the value out of cases that other lawyers passed upon because they couldn’t get the quick and easy (little) money. Our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients because we went the extra mile when other lawyers decided to take the day off to play golf.
Common Rear-End Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that rear-end collisions constitute 30 percent of all traffic accidents. There are several thousand rear-end impact wrecks every month in the Atlanta area. Getting rear ended while stopped or traveling slowly often happens when you least expect it. Many victims are struck while traveling through a parking lot, or in busy traffic on a large road or interstate.
Most rear-end collisions in the Atlanta metro area occur on I85 and I285. Rear-end impact wrecks also tend to occur in areas with lots of foot traffic, such as in midtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech University and downtown Atlanta near State Farm Arena, Mercedes Benz Dome, Centenniel Park and SkyView Atlanta.
In order to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage caused by a rear-end collision, you need to prove how the collision occurred. That might seem obvious to you, but defense attorneys and insurance adjusters frequently tell their clients to make up a story that the victim “stopped suddenly” such that the defendant could not avoid colliding with the victim’s vehicle, “despite his best efforts.”
Some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Speeding – Drivers must obey the speed limit and maintain a safe distance from the car in front of them. A safe distance means that the driver of the rear vehicle must allow enough space to avoid causing a rear-end collision – even if the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly.
- Distracted driving – Drivers are often distracted by their radios, maps, conversations, and food. Most drivers don’t appreciate how far their vehicle can travel when they take their eyes of the road even for a split second.
- Road rage – Traffic congestion causes many drivers to lose their tempers. When people drive angry, they make impulsive decisions, such as rapidly changing lanes. If a driver rapidly accelerates into a new lane without checking the traffic conditions in that lane, he might not have enough time to apply his brakes and avoid a collision if traffic in the new lane comes to a sudden stop.
- Mechanical failure – If the driver of the vehicle behind you hasn’t done any preventive maintenance on the vehicle, the vehicle might fail to stop in time to avoid causing a rear-end collision. Brake and steering problems frequently lead to rear-end accidents.
- Driving under the influence – An intoxicated driver will have a difficult time judging speed and distance. Additionally, alcohol slows reflexes which can inhibit the driver’s ability to quickly react to traffic conditions. As a result, many rear-end collisions are caused by alcohol, drugs, and strong prescription medication.
- Exhausted drivers – Drivers that are sleep deprived can be extremely dangerous to other motorists on the road. Sleep deprived drivers’ attention and analytical skills are weakened which leads to many rear end accidents.
Rear End Collision Injuries
Some people are perplexed that a low speed, rear end impact auto accident can cause serious, or even fatal harm. They might wonder how the forces involved in that type of collision are any different from the normal activities of daily living, such as picking up a child and carrying them on our shoulders.
A rear impact collision is a completely unique event. Even in a low-speed crash, the victim’s body can be exposed to 500 pounds of compression force. In the matter of a tenth of a second, the thoracic part of the spine rapidly accelerates forward, while the head lags behind, which causes the neck to suffer hyperextension, followed by flexion as the head rebounds off of the head restraint. There is nothing that that a victim is exposed to during their normal activities of daily living that is comparable to that injury mechanism.
A rear-end collision can also cause you to suffer broken bones, significant bleeding, or damaged organs. Some of the specific injuries that rear-end collision victims suffer include:
- Whiplash – Damage to the muscles and ligaments in your neck is common after a rear end accident. Symptoms of whiplash from a rear end collision include pain, soreness, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Back injuries – Compression in your spine can cause damage up and down your vertebrae. Low back pain following a rear-end collision can get worse over time and eventually become excruciating.
- Paralysis – Nerve damage can cause a loss of sensation. At worst, it can cause you to lose the ability to use your limbs. Paralysis occurs when your spinal column is damaged to the point where your spinal cord is cut or severed, and it’s often impossible for that tissue to heal.
- Head and brain injuries – A serious collision impact can cause head injuries including concussions and even brain damage. A rear end impact can pose an extra risk of harm to the brain since the impact snaps the base of the skull and the brain crushes against the skull.
- Joint damage – Rear end collision victims are often surprised by the impact. As such, they don’t have time to brace for impact. However, even if the victim braces for the impact, they can still harms their hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders if they firmly grip the wheel as they brace for impact.
- Seat belt Injuries – A rear-end collision will often cause seat belt burns because your seat belt locks in place when it senses the impact, while your body moves rapidly back and forth across the seatbelt.
Steps To Take After A Rear End Accident
Many people do not know what to do when rear-ended in a car collision. If you are in any pain after the collision, you should immediately go the emergency room to be evaluated. The emergency room doctors are trained to identify and treat serious injuries. They will examine you and order imaging scans of your injured body parts so that they can design an appropriate treatment plan and refer you to follow-up specialists.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, you should still seek immediate medical treatment to be certain that you don’t have a serious injury that you’re overlooking, such as a concussion or blood clot.
Additionally, if you wait days, weeks, or months to seek medical attention, the liable party’s insurer will argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, or that your pain was caused by some incident other than the car collision.
Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help You
Car accident claims are almost always more complicated than they initially appear. Even in cases where liability is clear, insurance companies will find ways to blame you in an attempt to compromise your claim for less than its fair value.
The veteran trial attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC can do the following for you and your family after a serious rear-end accident:
- Make sure you have appropriate medical help – Your injuries may require prolonged medical treatment. Your lawyer can help make sure that you are treating with compassionate medical providers that are at the top of their field.
- Investigating fault – Your lawyer will collect every piece of evidence that is needed to prove that you were not at fault for causing the collision.
- Negotiate compensation – Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to resolve your case for its full value.
- Appearing in court – If the insurance company won’t negotiate with your lawyer in good faith, your lawyer will get your case ready for trial and proceed to try it unless the insurance company decides to over fair compensation to you.
No one plans to get into a car crash. One minute, you’re on your way to work, the next minute your life is turned upside down by a careless driver. The days following a rear-end collision are crucial. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash, reach out to the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC right away.