A Guide to Rear-End Collision Injuries & The Law

Rear-End Collision Injuries

Injuries are common after rear-end collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for about 29% of all accidents. Nearly 2 million rear-end collisions occur annually, with almost 1,700 people dying from these types of collisions and over 500,000 injured.

If you have been injured in a rear-ended collision, you need an experienced attorney to represent you and help you navigate the complex legal processes to receive fair compensation.

What Types of Injuries May Occur during a Rear-End Collision?  

Rear-end collision injuries can vary from mild to severe. No matter what kind of rear-end collision injuries you have experienced in a San Antonio or McAllen car accident, having the right rear-end accident specialist attorney is going to be vital for getting just compensation.

Here are some of the most common injuries that are encountered after a rear-ended collision.

Whiplash

One of the most common rear-end collision injuries, any forceful, rapid back-and-forth neck movement akin to the cracking of a whip can cause painful after-effects after a car accident. Whiplash injuries can affect bones in the spine, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and other neck tissues. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the brain’s normal function caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. Vehicle-related collisions, including rear-end collisions, are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. If you or someone you love is affected by TBI after a rear-end collision, you will need a car accidents lawyer to ensure that you get the compensation you need.

Back Injuries

Even a rear-end accident at a low speed can cause severe back injuries. An accident causes impact, which may result in the compression of the spine or spinal discs. These discs act as shock absorbers, and a rear-end collision can cause these discs to fall out of position or tear open. These back injuries from rear-end collisions can lead to surgeries, rehabilitation, and other medical expenses.

Spinal Paralysis

A spinal injury that results from a rear-end collision can leave the victim completely or partially paralyzed. The degree of paralysis may vary depending on the areas affected and how severe the injuries are. The costs of rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, can be extremely high, so ensuring that you get rear-end car accident compensation for the maximum amount is often essential.

Broken Ribs

During a rear-end collision, a vehicle’s airbag might deploy. The airbag can hurt the chest, possibly causing rib fractures. A seatbelt pulling taut may also injure the ribs, elbow, or shoulder. A specialist rear-end accident lawyer will make it more likely that you can recover any lost wages due to broken ribs caused by a rear-end collision.

Facial Disfigurement

Shattered glass and loose debris can slam into the window, dashboard, or steering wheel in a rear-end collision. This contact can cause facial injuries, including cuts, lacerations, bruising, broken nose, and dental impairments, such as broken teeth and jawbone damage. 

An experienced car accident injury lawyer won’t just fight to get the settlement you need to pay for your medical expenses but also for any trauma you may have experienced after your rear-end collision.

It’s important to remember that there will be a time limit to make your claim for compensation after a rear-end collision. Make sure that you know how long after a car accident you can file a claim. Delaying your claim could mean that you lose the possibility to get rear-end collision injuries compensation.

Knee Injuries

A rear-end collision can cause knee injuries from the passenger’s knee or knees smashing into the car’s dashboard. These injuries may disrupt you or a loved one’s well-being and quality of life. You must recover not only from the physical injuries you’ve endured but also the emotional pain and suffering from the accident. 

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer now to determine how you can recover damages. An experienced rear-end accident lawyer will know how to get the most money from a car accident so that financial worries will not be a further cause of stress.

What Are Some of the Potential Causes of Rear-End Collisions? 

Some common causes of rear-end collisions include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving too close to a car in front of the driver (tailgating), driving too fast for road conditions, failing to leave enough space to brake when road conditions are poor (e.g., wet or slick), and fatigue.

Distracted driving, including texting, eating, or talking on the phone, is also an extremely common cause of rear-end collisions. 

The cause of the rear-end collision can help your case. An experienced car accident attorney will follow all essential steps to get you adequately compensated for your injuries resulting from the crash.

Who Is Liable for a Rear-End Collision? 

It can be hard to know what to do after a car accident. The first step should always be to get medical treatment, even if you don’t feel any obvious injuries. Once a medical professional has checked you over, your next step should be to contact an experienced rear-end accident lawyer. They will help to assess whose fault the collision was.

Is Texas a Fault or No-Fault State?

Texas is a fault state. Meaning that, after a collision, an insurance company will establish fault in the accident before it provides coverage. Your rear-end accident lawyer will know how to file an auto insurance claim on your behalf and can help you every step of the way.

Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault?

Although many believe that the rear driver is always at fault in the case of a rear-end collision, that is untrue. The front driver may cause a rear-end collision. You will tend to know exactly whose fault it is when hit from behind in a car.

For example:

  • If a driver pulls out of a parking lot before looking to ensure that the way is clear, or if they speed out of the lot while misjudging the distance from oncoming traffic, that driver may be at fault. Drivers who pull out of parking lots should yield the right of way.
  • If a driver is rear-ended after changing lanes while pressing on the brakes, that driver may be at fault. However, these cases are difficult to prove, and the rear driver may bear liability as well.
  • Normally, a driver should keep a safe distance so the other driver can come to a complete stop. However, in some scenarios, the front driver stops for no reason at all and causes the accident.

What Do You Need to Prove to Show That the Other Driver Was Negligent?

To show that the other driver was negligent during a rear-end collision, you must demonstrate four elements:

  • Duty: Drivers owe other drivers a duty to use reasonable care and drive safely to not harm other drivers.
  • Breach of duty: The failure to use reasonable care and drive safely constitutes a breach of the duty owed to other drivers. Failing to pay attention to the driver in front of you during rush hour traffic is an example of a breach of duty.
  • Causation: The breach of duty caused the accident. For example, if you’re not paying attention to the driver in front of you because you’re reading a text message, and your inattention results in the collision, the front driver can prove causation.
  • Damages: Damages mean recognizable and actual losses that result from your injury.

What Am I Entitled to Recover from Rear-End Collision Damage?  

Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you might still recover damages stemming from your accident. If the insurance company accuses you of causing an accident when you didn’t, call a car accident lawyer who knows how to deal with this tactic. A rear-end car accident lawsuit can get extremely complex, but the right local lawyer will always fight hard on your behalf.

How Can You Estimate Your Possible Settlement in a Rear-End Collision?

After a rear-end collision, your potential settlement amount depends on various factors.

One factor is whether someone else was clearly at fault. You must prove that your rear-end collision was someone else’s fault, fully or partially.

Another factor is how badly you’re injured. The more serious your injuries are, the larger your settlement may be. This is because a settlement amount compensates a rear-end collision victim for their actual losses in addition to other forms of compensation.

A final factor is whether the driver who caused the collision has sufficient insurance to award a more substantial settlement amount. If you’re injured in a rear-end collision, but the driver who caused the collision has insufficient insurance, your accident settlement decreases due to the available amount of coverage.

What Might Your Low-Speed Collision Damage Recovery Consist Of? 

Your recovery for injuries suffered during a rear-end collision may consist of compensation in the form of damages.

Economic damages can include out-of-pocket expenses you may incur as a result of your collision:

  • Vehicle repairs;
  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident;
  • Medical expenses likely incurred in the future (such as rehabilitation costs, surgeries, medications);
  • Lost wages; and
  • Lost earning capacity.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may also receive these non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish; and
  • Disability.

Results will depend on the facts and circumstances of every case. An experienced rear-end collision lawyer will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contacting a Medical Provider and Attorney after the Rear End Collision Accident

Why Should You Contact a Medical Provider after a Rear-End Collision?

Seeking medical care can only strengthen your rear-end collision claim. Seeking medical attention increases the chances of an accurate diagnosis if you’re injured in the collision, guarantees that you receive the treatment you need, can establish a causal relationship between your injury and the car crash and shows that you’re doing your due diligence in mitigating damages.

Why Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney After a Rear-End Collision? 

A competent McAllen-based car accident attorney as your representative is vital for you to navigate the legal system. An experienced lawyer can investigate the collision, name the possible defendant(s), bring a lawsuit in the correct civil court, and engage in settlement discussions with the driver and the driver’s counsel.

Contact the team at Patino Law Firm today if you or a loved one has suffered from a rear-end collision. As the experts in rear-end car accident compensation, we ensure that you get the fair and just payment you need to improve your quality of life, whatever your injury.


Patino Law Firm
1802 N 10th St
McAllen, TX 78501
210-646-9100

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