Don’t let a rear-end collision ruin your life. We’ll help you pursue successful accident compensation.
Rear-end collisions are often viewed as minor accidents that don’t cause much damage. This couldn’t be further from the truth! It completely depends on the circumstances.
While some rear-end collisions only cause minimal damage, others are catastrophic auto accidents that lead to severe bodily injuries. Imagine the destruction of a 40-ton big rig rear-ending your car at full speed in a California highway construction zone. That’s no minor fender-bender!
You could need an emergency lifeline to the hospital, reconstructive surgery, months of rehabilitation, and numerous doctors’ visits before you ever have a chance of being back to normal. Now your health is suffering, your car is wrecked, and your finances are a mess.
During a time like this, you can turn to the car accident team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for legal support and guidance. We have a long and successful history of helping injured Californians secure full, fair compensation after severe rear-end collisions.
We can help you secure payment for your mountain of medical bills while helping you maximize a settlement that keeps you out of court. Most of all, we’ll help you stay focused on your recovery while we’re handling the legal details. Learn more by requesting a free case evaluation for your rear-end car accident.
Things to Know About Your Rear-End Collision Claim
Rear-end collisions are as old as motor transportation itself. Wherever there are roads, there are rear-end collisions! We’ll discuss the causes and effects of rear-end collisions further down the page, but first, we’d like to share some important things you should know about California legal claims in rear-end accidents.
You Have Rights, But You Must Protect Them
Here in California, people who are injured in rear-end collisions have well-established rights under the law. However, you’ll lose your right to make an accident claim if you don’t act quickly and carefully within legal bounds. That’s why your next steps play a big role in whether you successfully claim accident compensation.
Accept Medical Treatment and Follow Your Doctors’ Orders
After your rear-end collision, you’ll probably be headed to a hospital in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or somewhere else here in California. Even if your accident is minor, accept medical care and follow the healthcare professionals’ instructions about healing from your injuries.
You might be worried about the cost, but for now, your health is most important. There’s no second chance to get the proper healthcare you need to heal from your injuries, and your accident lawyer can help you get your medical bills covered through an accident claim.
If you don’t travel by ambulance, head to the ER right away to report your injuries and start a paper trail that establishes when your accident happened and how you were injured. Delaying this step is a huge mistake that could ruin your case.
Look at it this way: Excellent medical care is the first step to creating a rear-end accident claim that leads to a valuable monetary settlement. It provides proof of what happened to you, so you can hold the right person or company responsible and minimize the impact on your life.
Save Every Bit of Evidence You Can Find
The vital step of gathering car accident evidence shouldn’t be overlooked, even when you’re struggling to recover from your injuries. Gather as much evidence as you can, and if you’re too injured to do it yourself, contact your lawyer right away for help.
It’s very important to have videos and photos from the scene of your rear-end collision that show the car damage and nearby debris. Capture images of any road signs, skid marks, or roadside damage to illustrate the severity of your accident.
You’ll need the other driver’s contact and insurance information, plus contact info for any witnesses to the crash. Try not to get into extended conversations or debates about what happened, because it could harm your case later if your words are used against you.
Make sure you contact the police officer to obtain a copy of the police report, which will become a key piece of evidence in your case. Don’t worry too much if the police report is unclear or doesn’t seem to support your view of what happened. Your lawyer can help add context to the police report for the court and insurance company.
Injury photos help too. Snap some photos of your injuries and include any bandages or scarring you may have as a result of the rear-end collision. Also, capture your thoughts and the impact on your life by starting a journal that shows your emotional injuries.
Be Careful About Who You Talk To
Every word you say about your rear-end collision could come back to haunt you later. That’s why you should be very careful about the words you choose and work with your lawyer to handle your accident claim carefully.
An insurance company representative will contact you and they’ll be very eager to get as many details from you as possible. It’s a trap! They’ll use your words against you later, twisting what you said as a way of minimizing their insurance payout.
Don’t speak to the insurance company until you speak to your lawyer. Don’t allow anyone to record your conversation without your permission, don’t give out your social security number, and don’t rush into agreeing to anything. Just say, “Call my lawyer.”
No Instagram, No Facebook, No TikTok, No Social Media
When you’re constantly connected to your friends and family online, it’s tempting to talk about your rear-end collision and its huge impact on your life. But please resist this urge. Don’t use social media because it could harm your case and give the other side ammunition against you.
Did you know insurance companies and lawyers routinely look through social media accounts after car accidents? They’re looking for anything that will support a certain version of events that doesn’t necessarily agree with yours! This includes photos, posts, comments, likes, and everything else, so it’s a good idea to go silent on social media for a while.
Why Are Rear-End Collisions So Common in California?
After your rear-end collision, you’ll be looking for answers. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our clients often come to us with a long list of questions and concerns about their accidents.
Good news! We’re here to help you find some answers. Your free case evaluation will reveal more details specific to your accident, and until then, please take a look at the information below about California rear-end collisions in general.
Bad Signs, Lighting, and Road Surfaces
You might be surprised to discover that your rear-end collision could be due to poor road signage or debris in the road. Maybe the truck driver who rear-ended you couldn’t see a construction speed limit sign or couldn’t slow down due to a cracked and slippery road surface.
Road maintenance matters in these accidents. If you think the road conditions may have added to the cause of your accident, talk to your lawyer about your concerns. Take photos that capture the problems and consider whether a government entity or private company could hold some responsibility.
Weather Conditions and Low Visibility
Did the weather contribute to your accident? While bad weather isn’t an excuse for causing an accident, California drivers are expected to skillfully adapt to changing road conditions due to weather. The driving handbook specifically states that drivers must slow down in heavy traffic or bad weather.
Talk to your lawyer about obtaining weather reports and other information that supports your side of the story regarding road visibility. Keep in mind that trucking companies and commercial vehicle fleet drivers are often required to keep driving logs that your lawyer could access as supporting evidence for your case.
Alcohol and Drug Intoxication
Intoxicated driving is dangerous driving that puts everyone on the road at risk. If you believe alcohol, illegal drugs, or legal drugs were involved in your rear-end collision, alert your lawyer.
Each year, more than 1,000 people die in California intoxicated driving accidents, and 50% of all drivers killed in road collisions test positive for intoxicating substances. Also, up to 77% of all drunk driving fatalities involve drivers who are repeat offenders, which could have a bearing on your case.
If someone hurts you while too intoxicated to drive safely, you may have a strong case against them. They could be fully responsible for your medical bills and other losses from being rear-ended.
The Dangers of Driver Distraction
Was the person who rear-ended you distracted by something just before the crash? Did they have passengers, pets, or devices in the car that were keeping their eyes off the road? This is an important factor to consider when pursuing accident compensation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 2,800 deaths and 400,000 injuries every year happen due to distracted driving. Texting and driving is a huge problem here in California. There are also many other common types of distractions, including food, music, navigation apps and screens, rowdy passengers, and roadside distractions that contribute to crashes.
Vehicle Maintenance Failures
Big rig brake failures frequently cause road accidents like rear-end collisions. When a huge semi-trailer can’t stop in time to avoid you, there’s a high chance of a catastrophic crash.
To prove that vehicle maintenance was involved in your crash, you’ll need evidence. There are state and federal laws that require trucking companies to keep fleet maintenance logs, which could bolster your case. Your lawyer can also help you locate other types of evidence, like witness testimony and repair records from auto shops.
Common Rear-End Collision Injuries
Injuries from rear-end collisions often involve head, face, and neck injuries due to the impact of the body being thrust forward and backward in the crash. You may also have shoulder and back injuries from the seat belt, plus crushing damage to your body from the impact of the collision.
Do you have any of these injuries?
- Bruises or scratches
- Face and tooth damage
- Hand, wrist, and elbow injuries
- Shoulder and neck injuries like whiplash
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Neck injuries like whiplash
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage and chronic pain
- Crushing injuries to your ribcage
- Loss of feeling or numbness throughout the body
- New problems with balance and body stability
- Emotional damage
If you are feeling psychological effects from your rear-end crash, please seek a mental health evaluation as soon as possible. You might have nightmares, a fear of driving, feelings of depression or anxiety, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and your treatment could be covered by an accident claim.
How Insurance Works After a Rear-End Collision
It’s hard to say how insurance will work after your specific accident, so please contact us for a free online evaluation of your case. In the meantime, here are a few things you should know about how insurance could work.
First, you should know that the rear driver isn’t always 100% at fault for a rear-end crash. For example, if a motorcyclist is rear-ended because they’re darting in and out of lanes of traffic, their dangerous driving could be a major factor in the crash – and that impacts an insurance award.
How you interact with the insurance company matters too. Instead of making any statements to the insurance company, tell them to talk to your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. Don’t admit fault, make unclear statements, or get into an argument with them. Anything you say puts you at risk of having your words turned against you.
The insurance company will do an investigation into your accident and consider any statements you’ve made to them. They’ll review the police report and look into other evidence that impacts their judgment of your claim. You’ll have very little control over this process, but your lawyer can provide valuable insight that helps you maximize your chances of a high-value result.
Also, keep in mind that your first offer from the insurance company will probably be a lowball offer. With your lawyer’s help, you can negotiate a much higher amount to more fully cover your losses from a rear-end crash.
How is Fault Assigned After a Rear-End Crash?
Wondering how fault will be assigned in your rear-end crash? It’s probably a little more complicated than you’re expecting. Here in California, we have a rule known as the comparative fault rule for car accidents.
It means the fault is divided by percentage, with each person in an accident taking a percentage of the blame, from 0% to 100%. Thus, responsibility is assigned proportionally and any award you receive is reduced by your percentage of fault.
As an example, consider a rear-end crash where you were innocently stopped at a four-way stop under the law and another driver slammed into you from behind while texting and driving. They’ll almost certainly be given 100% of the blame and you’ll have no blame, meaning you can claim 100% of any award.
However, if you and another driver were both texting and driving and you rear-ended someone just before some rear-ended you, there could be shared blame, reducing any award you might receive. There could even be three or four other people with a slice of the blame.
As you can imagine, there are many factors involved in crashes like yours. Plus, there are numerous different parties involved who need to evaluate what happened, like the insurance company, a judge, or even a jury.
Important factors in finding fault in car crashes include:
- Federal, state, and local laws and ordinances
- Where the rear-end collision occured.
- Eyewitnesses and expert witness testimony
- Any damage to each vehicle from the crash
- The impact of drunk, drugged, or distracted driving
- Video footage from dashcams and nearby homes/businesses
- Police report information and officer testimony
- The time of day, weather, and relevant road conditions
How Many People Are Involved in Your Crash?
It might seem like your crash simply involves you and someone else, but it’s not always that simple. Your crash could involve a commercial trucking company, a delivery driver, or a rideshare driver working for a company like Uber.
If that sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Your lawyer is an expert at identifying parties to legal actions, including accident claims. They’ll help you get to the bottom of what happened in your rear-end collision.
Did you know certain legal doctrines could completely shield you from blame? For example, you might be covered by California’s emergency doctrine that means when you’re confronted by a danger you didn’t create, you may have low to no responsibility for an auto accident.
Your accident might be a small part of a much bigger chain-reaction collision, which means your liability is significantly reduced. Or there could be a special circumstance, like another driver’s well-established medical condition that meant they weren’t even supposed to be driving. Talk to your lawyer about the full scope of the parties and laws that could impact your case.
Yes, There’s a Deadline for Starting an Accident Claim
Time is ticking! Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can take your time filing an accident claim. Here in California, we have a strict time limit on filing a car accident lawsuit under California’s statute of limitations.
Generally, this period is within two years of the date of the rear-end collision, which sounds like a long time until you consider what it takes to make a strong case. Memories fade quickly and crucial evidence can be lost within moments of your crash.
Also, some crashes involve much shorter deadlines. If your rear-end accident involves a governmental entity like a city, county, or state agency, the timeframe is a much shorter six months from the date of the accident. The agency has 45 days to take action on the claim, and if they reject it, you have just six months to file a lawsuit.
You Need a Rear-End Collision Lawyer Right Away!
It’s stressful to interact with an insurance company and the person who rear-ended you, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. Your lawyer relieves your burden and handles the legal details during this trying time.
Plus, people with lawyers tend to get higher awards. Why? Because insurance companies are experts at this game! They often try to ignore injured victims’ emotional damage, lost earnings, and the impact on a suffering family. A lawyer stands up for your rights and your family’s future.
Also, consider that your suffering has value and can be a large portion of your claim. Insurance companies tend to undervalue this aspect of claims to minimize payments, but you are entitled to the full scope of your losses.
We hope you’ll contact us. as soon as possible. We sincerely care about the trauma you’ve experienced and the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you stand up for the rights and compensation you deserve.
We Handle Your Rear-End Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a rear-end collision, please contact the car accident attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including rear-end collisions. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about helping California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.