Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of accidents to happen on the road. With drivers tied to their devices, it’s easy for them to ram into the car in front of them.
But distracted driving isn’t the only cause of rear-end accidents. Speeding and tailgating are other issues that increase the likelihood that a collision may occur.
No matter what the reason for a rear-end accident may be, if a careless driver hits your car, you need compensation. At Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys, we know how to get our clients the compensation they deserve. As former insurance defense lawyers, we understand the tactics auto insurers use to settle cases for less than they are worth. We always strive to help each client obtain the most favorable result possible.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Here are some of the most common reasons why rear-end accidents occur:
Tailgating: Drivers on the road should be following the three-second rule meaning there should be a three-second buffer between themselves and the car in front of them. In inclement weather, the buffer should be increased to five seconds. Drivers that don’t follow this rule are tailgating and, thereby, increasing the risk of a rear-end accident.
Distracted Driving: Technology is great, but it causes a lot of accidents. If a driver is glued to their device while driving, they may not be paying attention and may hit into the car in front of them.
Speeding: If a car is speeding, they may not have enough time to slow down if the car in front of them hits its brakes.
Traffic Congestion: A sudden slow down in traffic makes rear-end accidents more likely to happen.
Impaired Driving: Drinking and using drugs impairs judgment so drivers can’t tell if there is a safe amount of distance between themselves and the car in front of them.e
Fatigued Driving: Experts say fatigued driving can be just as dangerous and impaired driving.
Road Rage: If a driver cuts you off or makes some other sort of inconsiderate move, you may be tempted to get up on their bumper. However, this type of behavior only makes the situation more dangerous. It’s best to let it go.
Slow Moving Vehicle: If you come behind a slow-moving vehicle, adjust your speed until it’s safe to pass. Not doing so can result in a rear-end accident.
How to Avoid a Rear-End Accident
You can avoid a rear-end accident by preventing the situations above from occurring. Follow the rules of the road, don’t speed or tailgate, avoid distracted driving and never drive impaired.
There are also steps you can take to avoid an accident if you see a driver tailgating you. These are as follows:
Get into the slow lane so they can pass.
If you are in the left lane and can’t get over, consider exiting the road or freeway.
Avoid acts of road rage.
Speed up to increase the gap until you can safely return to the speed limit.
Don’t brake check (sharply hit the breaks).
Who Is At Fault for a Rear-End Accident?
Drivers in the back are usually at fault for a rear-end accident but this isn’t always the case. For example, if the driver in front has broken brake lights or blinkers, the driver in the back may not know to slow down because the driver in front is slowing down or making a turn.
Under these circumstances, it may be the driver in front that is at fault or both drivers may be considered partially at fault for the accident.
It’s important to realize that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state.
Most states are comparative negligence states. This means compensation in an accident is determined by how ‘at-fault’ for an accident you are. So if total damages of an accident are $100,000 and you are found 30% responsible for the accident, you will stand to be compensated for $70,000, the total amount of damages minus 30%.
In a state that has comparative negligence, you may collect damages as long as you were 50% or less at fault for the accident.
But if the accident occurred in North Carolina, this wouldn’t be the case. Because NC is a contributory negligence state, if a jury finds you partly at fault for the accident, you would not be eligible to collect damages.
What Should I Do After a Rear-End Accident Occurs?
There are steps you can take immediately after a rear-end accident occurs that will help you build a strong case. These are as follows:
Take Pictures: If you are feeling well enough, use your phone to take pictures of the accident making sure to document various angles and any damages and injuries that occurred.
Talk to Witnesses: If any people at the scene saw the accident, ask them for their contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf.
Get Medical Help: You may not think your injuries are that bad, but it’s always a good idea to get medical help. If your injuries get worse over time, it will be difficult to tie them to the accident. If you see a doctor right away, he or she will create a report establishing that your injuries were caused by the collision.
Call the Police: The police will create a report that will serve as a strong piece of evidence in your case.
Get Information of Other Drivers: Get the insurance information and license plate numbers of other drivers involved in the accident.
Why Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys Can Help With Your North Carolina Rear-End Accidents
Insurance companies are known for giving lowball offers. Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys will see to it that you get the compensation you deserve. Since we used to work for insurance companies, we can help determine how much the insurance companies are ready to actually pay and fight hard to get our clients the settlements they deserve.
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys have years of experience representing clients in the Wilmington, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas. We are known for treating our clients with the utmost care and respect. We will stop and nothing to see to it that justice is served.
Don’t let at-fault drivers get away with causing damage and injuries. Call Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We are dedicated to getting you the best possible outcome.