Rear-end collisions can be some of the most minor car accidents in Augusta. They can also be some of the worst, causing serious or even life-threatening injuries. In most of these accidents, the driver in the rear will be found responsible for the crash and will be held legally liable for the costs. However, there are some instances where the driver in front actually caused the wreck.
The car accident lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm legally represent people who have been hurt in rear-end collisions in Augusta, Georgia.
What is a Rear-End Collision?
A rear-end collision is a type of two-vehicle accident where one car is in front of the other and the trailing car hits the leading car in the rear. An estimated 1.7 million of them happen every year.
Because rear-end collisions usually involve two vehicles that are traveling in the same direction, they are often low-speed crashes – when both vehicles are traveling together, their speeds nearly cancel each other out. Even when the cars are going nearly the same speed, however, if they are going fast enough, the rear-end collision can cause both cars to spin into other vehicles on the road.
When the leading vehicle is stopped, rear-end collisions can be severe on their own. If the trailing vehicle is still going fast when the accident happens, the crash can be a serious one.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Rear-End Accidents
The injuries that are frequently sustained in rear-end accidents depend largely on whether the driver was in the leading or the trailing vehicle.
Drivers in the leading car that gets rear-ended often suffer the following injuries:
- Muscle strains, particularly to their core and their neck
- Brain injuries, often in the form of a concussion when the brain hits the inside of the skull
- Neck injuries
Drivers in the trailing vehicle can suffer any of the following:
- Broken hands, wrists, or arms from contact with the steering wheel or dashboard
- A broken nose, teeth, or facial bones from the impact of the air bag
- Broken legs, feet, or ankles, especially if the front of their car collapsed too far to protect them from the impact
Not all injuries are physical, though. Both drivers are likely to suffer:
- Property damage
- Lost income as they miss work while they recover from the crash
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering and anguish
- Emotional distress
Who is Responsible for a Rear-End Collision in Augusta?
When it comes to rear-end collisions, there is a general rule of thumb about who was responsible: The driver of the trailing car is responsible.
The reason for that general rule is simple: all drivers are expected to keep a reasonably safe stopping distance between themselves and the car in front of them. When one car crashes into the backside of another vehicle, it is a strong indication that the driver of the trailing vehicle was either:
- Not far enough behind the car in front,
- Too distracted to react in time, or
- Not paying attention to the road.
All of these break down into a lack of adequate stopping distance, which is a strong sign of unsafe driving.
However, every general rule has its exceptions and limitations. Some situations where the driver of the leading vehicle can be held responsible for a rear-end collision include:
- They cut off the driver behind them so closely that they got hit in the back;
- They merged in front of the trailing vehicle and then promptly slowed down;
- The leading vehicle has a breakdown, like a flat tire;
- The driver of the leading vehicle is in reverse at the time of the crash; or
- The brake lights of the leading vehicle do not work, preventing the driver of the trailing vehicle from realizing that it is braking until it is too late.
Drivers in the trailing vehicle of a rear-end collision often have difficulty overcoming the presumption that they were the ones who caused the crash. However, it can be done with evidence that the leading vehicle was the one that was being driven unsafely.
Augusta Car Accident Lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm
The attorneys at the Hadden Law Firm strive to legally represent victims of rear-end collisions in Augusta, Georgia. Whether you were in the leading or the trailing vehicle, if you did not cause the crash, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and the other losses you sustained, and the other driver should be held accountable.
Contact us online to get your case started today.