Getting Rear-Ended While Stopped

getting rear-ended while stopped

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for 29 percent of all accidents each year. In Florida alone, this means hundreds of thousands of rear end collisions.

Even in the best cases, being rear-ended means damage to your vehicle and in more serious situations it means life-changing injuries. If you get rear-ended while your car is stopped, the damage can be even worse, as your car will absorb the full impact of the collision.

In the aftermath of any car accident it can be difficult to know what to do next. By learning more about rear end accidents, including the causes, frequent injuries, how liability is determined, and how an experienced accident attorney can help, you can make an informed decision to get the assistance and compensation you need.

What is a rear end car accident?

A rear-end collision is any accident where the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of the vehicle in front of it. Other types of accidents include:

Common Causes of Rear End Car Accidents

There are several potential causes for rear-end accidents, including:

  • Driver inattention or distraction
  • Following too closely, or tailgating
  • Difference in speeds while accelerating from a stop
  • Sudden stops
  • Reduced traction to wet weather conditions or worn pavement

If you were rear-ended while your car was at a stop, it could likely be due to inattention or distraction on the part of the other driver. In some cases it could be a combination of distraction or inattention on the part of both drivers. For example, if both cars are at a stoplight and the first car does not see the light turn green, and the second car does but does not see that the first car is still stopped and rear-ends the car, then both parties would share some degree of fault based on the concept of comparative negligence.

Common Injuries Resulting From Rear-End Accidents

While rear-end collisions only account for a small percentage of traffic fatalities, because they are so common, they are a frequent source of injuries, including:

  • Whiplash: This injury is very commonly associated with rear-end collisions. This is a neck injury occurring due to sudden backward and forward movement of the head.
  • Upper spine injuries: In addition to whiplash, rear-end accidents can cause trauma on the upper spine, including the discs that help to cushion the vertebrae.
  • Concussion and traumatic brain injuries: When a person is exposed to a sudden impact, the brain can move back and forth inside the skull, causing damage that can result in issues including dizziness, nausea, headaches, and memory loss.
  • Paralysis: This is, by far, the most serious common injury associated with rear-end collisions and can occur due to the impact of the collision damaging or even severing the spinal cord.

If you have been in a rear-end collision, it is important to get immediate medical attention, even if you don’t believe you were injured. Injuries such as whiplash and concussions can have a delayed onset of symptoms. By receiving a diagnosis as early as possible, you can begin to receive the treatment you need. It also helps to establish a medical record that immediately ties your injury to the accident.

As a no-fault state, all drivers in Florida are required to carry personal injury protection insurance to cover the medical costs of a personal injury, no matter who causes the accident.

Determining Fault and Liability for Rear End Accidents in Florida

Traffic laws require that drivers keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them. Specifically, Florida Statute 316.0895 states that a vehicle should not follow a vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent.”

From both an insurance and police standpoint, the driver who rear-ends the other car is almost always considered to be at fault. So if you were rear-ended, there is a very low chance that you will not be found liable for the accident. The burden of proof will be on the other driver to find any evidence that the front car contributed to the accident while being stopped.

In any circumstance, it is important for there to be a thorough and accurate investigation into the facts of the collision to determine liability and ensure that all parties receive fair compensation for any damage and injury that occurred.

Why You Need an Attorney if You Were Rear-Ended

Auto accidents can bring tremendous physical, financial, and emotional costs for the people involved, particularly if you have been rear-ended. By having a qualified accident attorney in your corner, you can develop an effective strategy to achieve the best possible outcome. An auto accident attorney will know which questions to ask the other driver, which documents to request, and other key factors to consider.

In the case of a rear-end collision this can include requesting video surveillance footage in a prompt timeframe, deposing doctors to determine how your accident may affect you in the future, taking sworn testimony from witnesses, and potentially deciding whether it could be helpful to hire an accident reconstruction expert.

An auto accident attorney will also help you make sure anything you say won’t later be used against you by the other driver or their insurance company. We’ll also stay on top of crucial deadlines that may impact your claims. The goal is to help you focus on recovering from the crash while an attorney handles the legal process.

Call Clark Hartpence Law If You’ve Been in a Rear End Accident in Tampa Bay

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, including a rear-end collision, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Hartpence Law, we have experienced attorneys who regularly represent clients involved in motor vehicle accidents, and we can help you determine the best next step.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.