According to the most recent statistics available, 21.8% of all reported car accidents in Pennsylvania involve rear-end accidents. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers have handled hundreds of rear-end accident cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Rear-end accident cases often involve parked or stopped vehicles, however, we have also handled numerous cases involving rear-end accidents where both cars were moving at the time of the collision. We have also handled cases involving motorcycle accidents and truck accidents.
Who is at fault in a rear-end collision?
While there is no absolute rule that the driver in the rear is always at fault or deemed negligent in a rear end accident case, Pennsylvania law makes it quite difficult for the rear driver to avoid liability in most instances.
This is because Pennsylvania law provides that no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards existing, nor at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring his vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
In other words, every driver has a duty to exercise reasonable care and drive in such a way and at such a speed that he can stop before causing injuries to any other passengers or drivers of vehicles or pedestrians on the roadway. Additionally, Pennsylvania law provides that the driver of a car must not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicle and the traffic upon and condition of the highway.
The duty is on the driver of the vehicle in the rear to make sure that he does not run into the car in front of him. A driver must leave enough distance between his car and the car in front of him so that he can safely stop without striking the vehicle in front of him. The driver in the rear must anticipate that the car in front of him may suddenly stop or slow down.
How do you determine who is at fault in a rear end Collision?
Proving liability in rear end accident cases is usually quite simple. This is because the damage done to the vehicles will typically be a clear indicator of how the accident occurred and where the cars were positioned at the time of the accident.
Damage to the rear bumper will usually be all that is required to prove that a rear end accident occurred. However, that being said, it is still a good idea to take pictures or video of the cars involved following the car accident, including the position of the vehicles involved immediately following the car accident. Obtaining statements from witnesses to the accident is always helpful as well.
What Kind Of injuries OCCUR from rear end accidents?
There are myriad injuries one may sustain as a result of a rear-end car accident. The most common injury our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers see resulting from rear end collisions are whiplash injuries. The term whiplash refers to a sudden forward or backward jerking of one’s head, which can result in stretching and tearing of the muscles and tendons in the neck.
Sometimes the person involved in the car accident experiences symptoms associated with whiplash like stiffness, limited range of motion, headaches and pain immediately. Oftentimes though, because of the adrenaline that kicks in at the time of the car accident, symptoms associated with whiplash injuries don’t appear until hours, and sometimes days later. It is important that you seek medical attention immediately whenever these symptoms appear.
While whiplash injuries may be the most common injuries associated with rear end accidents, there are numerous injuries that can result from rear end collisions and our Philadelphia car accident lawyers have seen them all. Our attorneys have handled rear end car accident cases involving the following types of injuries:
- Knee injury resulting from hitting dashboard or steering wheel during accident
- Low back injury resulting from the forces placed on the lumbar spine while it is being restricted by a seat-belt
- Concussion resulting from head rapidly moving forward and backward
- Torn rotator cuff resulting from jamming shoulder in collision
- Fractured ankle and torn ligaments from the force of applying the brakes
- Wrist injury from gripping the steering wheel and the forces of collision pushing wrist into wheel
While the insurance companies and their attorneys love to argue that one could not be hurt in a car accident if their car was not damaged or minimally damaged, this is simply not true….
Minor Impacts with Little Vehicle Damage can still Cause Major Injuries
Cars are built much better than they used to be. Additionally, more and more drivers are driving Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, which obviously are much larger than a standard car. For this reason, in many rear end car accident cases the damage to the vehicles may be minimal.
While the insurance companies and their attorneys love to argue that one could not be hurt in a car accident if their car was not damaged or minimally damaged, this is simply not true and is but another deceptive tactic utilized by insurance companies to avoid compensating individuals who have experienced pain and suffering as a result of car accidents.
In fact, there have been numerous studies documenting the fact that where there is less damage to the vehicle itself there is often more damage to the person inside the vehicle, who absorbed the force produced by the car accident.
Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers are familiar with these studies and utilize experts where necessary to demonstrate the amount of force involved in the car accident and explain how our clients were impacted inside the vehicle.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear end car accident, contact one of our personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia, PA today for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers get the job done and make sure you receive adequate compensation for your injuries. Best of all, we don’t get paid until we get you money!