Houston Rear-End Accident Lawyers
- What Causes Most Rear-End Accidents in Houston?
- What Types of Injuries Typically Result From a Rear-End Accident?
- Are Damages Available In a Rear-End Accident Lawsuit?
- Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident?
- Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent a Rear-End Accident?
- What to Do After a Rear-End Accident
- Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Was Rear-Ended?
- Rear-End Accident FAQs
Rear-end accidents are among the most common types of car accidents. They often happen at stop signs, intersections, traffic lights, and other places where traffic is stopped or slowed. In a typical rear-end collision, the driver following behind doesn’t see the car stopped in front of them or reacts too late, and they crash into the back end of the other vehicle.
Because of the dramatic differences in speed between the cars, rear-end accidents can result in extremely traumatic injuries. These can leave the victim out of commission for months, or even permanently. Such cases demand the services of experienced rear-accident lawyers who understand what’s at stake.
If you or a loved one were injured in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 for representation. Our attorneys have an established track record of helping rear-end accident victims obtain the maximum award to which they are entitled.
What Causes Most Rear-End Accidents in Houston?
Based on a study, rear-end accidents cause 29 percent of all traffic accidents resulting in serious injury. Additional statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that rear-end collisions are responsible for more than seven percent of all traffic fatalities.
So why are these types of accidents so common? And what causes them? In most instances, following too closely or tailgating is the main cause of rear-end accidents. If a driver is following too close to the car ahead of them, they have less of a chance to slow down and stop when needed.
Combined with many of the dangerous road conditions in Texas (like icy roads), this can make for a deadly formula for drivers. Also, Texas has long stretches of open road that can often cause a person to drive “lazily,” meaning they might not be prepared for cars suddenly stopping or slowing down.
Other causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speeding — speed limits are created around calculations of how long it takes a car to stop at a certain speed. Going above the posted speed limit affects reaction times
- Mechanical failure (e.g., brakes)
Recently, a key factor in rear-end accidents is the use of smartphones and other technology (including onboard computer systems) that can distract drivers from the road. Texas traffic laws ban the use of smartphones while driving for certain purposes, such as texting or reading messages. However, distracted driving continues to be a leading factor in car accidents.
What Types of Injuries Typically Result From a Rear-End Accident?
The main concern with rear-end accidents is whiplash. Whiplash happens when a person’s neck and head are suddenly and violently jerked in a way that creates tremendous strain. It usually happens with the neck moving forward and then backward, although whiplash can happen from any angle.
Whiplash injuries can be extremely painful for the victim, as the neck contains many nerve passages and endings. Such injuries can also cause a person to be absent from work, and they may lose the ability to perform certain activities (such as exercise).
Aside from whiplash, other rear-end accident injuries include:
- Spine injuries
- Lower back damage
- Concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Cuts and abrasions
- Muscle and ligament strains
- Broken bones
Injuries can be even more severe if the victim is struck by a commercial truck or another large vehicle. These types of cases can be fatal and may require a wrongful death claim as well. Injuries can also be more serious if the vehicle that was rear-ended was a smaller passenger car or a motorcycle.
If you’ve been in a rear-end accident, you should seek medical assistance right away, and then contact an attorney, who can help you keep track of important records and documents.
Are Damages Available In a Rear-End Accident Lawsuit?
As you can imagine, injuries from a rear-end accident can result in a tremendous amount of expenses for the victim. They may have to deal with hospital bills, medication costs, lost wages, and other losses that aren’t covered by insurance policies.
For this reason, it becomes necessary to file an injury lawsuit so the injured person can receive damages. In many cases, the compensation can cover other related expenses including property damage and pain and suffering.
Note that the amount of damages obtained can depend on the skill and presentation of the attorney or law firm handling the case. Thus, it’s important that you select and hire a lawyer who has extensive experience and knowledge in the area of rear-end accident lawsuits.
Get in touch with the lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation regarding your claim. We will assess your case and determine your legal options and rights.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Car Accident?
In the majority of cases, the driver who strikes the other car from the rear is responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. To collect damages, you would still need to prove that the striking driver was negligent.
Showing negligence involves proof that they disregarded their basic duty of safety to other drivers, and that this was the direct cause of the injuries. Examples of this are where the driver disregarded safety rules by speeding, or by driving while drunk.
Liability can be difficult to sort out in “chain reaction” or “pile-up” accidents, where one driver crashes into another car from behind forcefully. This pushes them forward, and they in turn strike the vehicle in front of them, and so forth. With these types of cases, a skilled attorney is needed to review the evidence and determine exactly who is responsible.
Lastly, there can be situations where the driver being struck from behind is responsible or partly to blame for the accident. This can happen for instance if the driver stops for no reason in the middle of the road, or if they are driving well below the posted speed limit. In such cases, their own negligence can affect their ability to collect a damages award.
In fact, the state of Texas has a rule called the “51% bar,” meaning that if a driver is 51% or more to blame for their crash, they cannot recover damages in court. Again, for complex cases like these, the experience of an injury attorney is needed to accurately prove the case.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent a Rear-End Accident?
While certain accidents are unavoidable, there are many steps you can take while driving to minimize the risk of a rear-end collision. For instance, you should avoid driving near people who appear to be:
- Distracted (such as a driver who is on their phone)
- Under the influence (swerving)
- Following too closely
If possible, change lanes and let the person pass. Also, make sure you are always following the speed limit. Perform regular maintenance checks of your vehicle, especially the brake lights, as broken tail lights can contribute to a rear-end accident.
What to Do After a Rear-End Accident
If you are involved in a rear-end accident, the following steps can further assure your safety and ensure that your legal rights are protected:
- Contact authorities — cooperate with them when they arrive on the scene, and ask for a copy of the police report.
- Seek treatment right away — certain injuries like brain injuries might not appear until a few days or even weeks later. But, if you visit a doctor early, they can monitor you and keep an eye out for symptoms.
- Don’t admit fault — exchange information with the other party, but don’t make any statements that can be used against you in court.
- Get in touch with a lawyer — an experienced attorney can help you begin gathering evidence and can negotiate on your behalf with insurance agents.
After an accident, the injured victim may be incapacitated or in recovery, which is why it’s even more important to contact a lawyer. The attorney can begin the process of filing and preparing a case on behalf of the injured person.
Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Was Rear-Ended?
Although rear-end accidents are common, that doesn’t make the accident any less traumatic. At Pierce Skrabanek, we offer compassionate legal service and treat each client like family. We have a proven track record of helping accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our firm is equipped with the skill, experience, and resources needed for a successful lawsuit.
If an insurer fails to pay the full value of an accident claim, we are prepared to take the case to court. We routinely engage in aggressive and thorough negotiation with insurance companies and work diligently to help our clients obtain justice for their losses. If you or a loved one were injured due to a rear-end accident, contact us at (832) 690-7000. We are here to help you get your life back on track.
Rear-End Accident FAQs
You should file a rear-end accident claim as soon as possible after the incident. In the state of Texas, apart from a few exceptions, you will typically have two years to file any type of injury suit. After that, you may not be able to claim damages. Thus, you should contact a lawyer as soon as you can to get the process started.
Rear-end accidents can be highly complex. Many drivers involved in them may feel that they were partly to blame. However, they could be wrong, especially after the shock of the accident. The court still needs to weigh the evidence to determine fault, often using accident reconstruction techniques and witness testimony. Contact a lawyer if you are concerned about your legal rights.
There is no set time period for a car accident lawsuit to be resolved. Depending on the complexity of the case, it could take several months or even more than a year. At Pierce Skrabanek, we work diligently to ensure no deadlines are missed and that your case is being moved forward through the court system.
Rear-end collisions can lead to severe injury; understandably, the injured victim(s) may not be able to perform tasks after such an event. As such, an accident lawyer can provide much-needed assistance by:
- Gathering evidence needed for trial
- Collecting documents and records
- Obtaining witness statements
- Preparing a strong legal strategy
- Assisting with court paperwork and forms
Contact the experienced accident attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek for representation regarding your claim — the success and outcome of your case could depend on it.