Modesto Rear-end Accident Attorney
Fighting for the Rights of the Injured
Getting rear-ended is one of the most common types of car accidents in the United States. Though most of these accidents result in nothing more than a minor fender bender, rear-end accidents can lead to severe injury or even wrongful death. In 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 7.2% of all fatal car accidents that occurred that year were caused by rear-end collisions.
At the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis, we take rear-end car accidents seriously, even fender benders. Our Modesto rear-end accident attorney will represent you throughout the entire claims process to ensure you receive the medical treatment, insurance coverage, and additional compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Common Causes of Rear-end Accidents
The potential causes of rear-end collisions are almost as numerous as the occurrence of such crashes. Yet, most rear-end accidents can be traced to a few categories, almost all of which involve preventable offenses. Simply put, just by paying attention and driving defensively, most rear-end accidents could be averted entirely.
The most common causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Aggressive driving, such as tailgating and speeding
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Hazardous weather conditions
Distracted driving is the main culprit by far—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 87% of rear-end crashes in which a driver hit the vehicle in front of them were caused by distracted driving. This includes, but is not limited to, texting, eating, and changing your GPS settings while operating your vehicle.
Injuries Often Associated with Rear-end Collisions
From simple fender benders to getting hit from behind by an 18-wheeler, the severity and consequences of rear-end accidents can vary greatly. Tragically, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death often result.
Some of the most common injuries associated with rear-end accidents are:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor may be able to detect and diagnose severe injuries like TBI before you even begin to notice the consequences. Having medical records on file that document your accident-related treatment can also bolster your personal injury claim.
Establishing Fault in a Rear-end Accident
Who is at fault may seem straightforward in a rear-end accident case. However, determining liability can sometimes be much more complicated than you would expect. While in some cases the fault is clear, you and your attorney may have to work hard to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent and therefore owes you damages.
All drivers have a duty of care to watch out for each other on the road—in order for you to bring a personal injury claim against the driver who hit you, you must prove that that motorist breached their duty and that this breach caused your accident. An attorney can help you do so if there are any doubts.
The most common ways motorists cause rear-end accidents are by failing to do one or more of the following:
- Drive at a reasonable speed
- Follow the vehicle in front of them at a safe distance
- Maintain control of their vehicle
- Pay attention to the road and potential hazards
- Stop within a reasonable time
- Use their turn signals
- Yield the right of way
However, the driver in front may be held liable for a rear-end crash if they:
- Reverse suddenly and unexpectedly into the car behind them
- Stop suddenly, such as to make a last-minute turn
- Have broken brake lights that don’t signal to the driver behind them that they are stopping
- Get a flat tire, but do not pull over not turn on their vehicle's hazard lights
Additionally, both drivers may be found at fault if they both contributed to causing the accident. If so, you may lose a portion of your settlement based on what percentage of the fault is assigned to you.
Our lawyers will work hard to determine the exact cause of your accident, calculate exactly how much compensation you need to pay for your recovery, and help you with paperwork, negotiations, and other legal elements of your case. We are accessible to our clients 24/7 and offer Spanish speaking services, so feel free to contact us with your questions and concerns at any time. We are happy to help.