1277 West Square Lake Rd. | Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302
Rear-End Accident Collisions
The most common type of car accident is the rear-end collision. Rear-end crash occurs when one vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. This type of accident most frequently occurs on the freeways, but the Michigan car accident lawyers at The Joseph Dedvukaj Law Firm have represented individuals injured in rear-end accidents in all southeast Michigan counties Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County and cities, including Detroit, Southfield, Warren, Sterling Heights, Livonia, Troy, Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Trenton, Royal Oak and Pontiac. Accounting for more than 30% of all car accidents in the U.S., this type of crash can be caused by bad weather, excessive speed, tailgating, driver inattention or distraction, and sudden stopping. In most cases, the driver of the car that rear-ends the other car is considered to be at fault by the vehicle damage found by police, but an attorney can investigate your specific situation to make sure the police did not make a mistake.
Rear-end collisions involving cars do not usually cause fatalities, unless there is an explosion or fire, but there are typically serious injuries to both people and property in this type of motor vehicle accident. Rear-end collisions involving vehicles are considered to be one of the worst accidents causing personal injury because impact from a rear-end collision is most likely to injure the neck, considered the most vulnerable area of the spine. The rest of the spine is usually protected by the car’s seat, and though headrests can help prevent a broken neck injuries they do not always prevent them. Neck injuries from rear-end accidents cost the nation more than $29 billion per year, including medical expenses and litigation costs.
Often as a result of a rear-end collision in Michigan, the driver and passengers may suffer whiplash or cervical strain, or in more severe accidents with greater property damage, spinal disc herniation, also known as a disc bulge or slipped disk can happen. Whiplash is a catchall term used to describe injuries to the neck but “true whiplash is a wave of motion traveling down a tapered whip and creating a sonic boom and does not describe neck motion at all.” (Medscape.com) Spinal disc herniation is common in car accidents, but some rear-end collisions can cause disc herniation symptoms, especially if the disc suffers from age-related degeneration.
In addition to physical injury, occupants of cars in rear-end collisions can suffer emotional or psychologic stress which in turn can cause pain by increasing muscle tension, sympathetic nerve activity and muscle ischemia, which create a painful vicious cycle. “The longer the pain lasts after an injury, the more the emotional and psychologic factors predominate, and the more psychological modalities should be used in treatment.” (Medscape.com)
For both personal and property injury claims, the speed of the vehicle at fault increases the level of injury. In addition, the sex, height, weight, age, and musculature of those in the car will also be factors in determining the level of severity of the injury. The size and type of vehicle and specifically the type of bumper, restraint system, headrest, and seat also influence the likelihood of injury.
Establishing Liability for a Rear End Accident in Michigan
Under Michigan law, financial liability for a motor vehicle accident will rest on the driver or drivers who caused the crash by their negligent actions or inaction. When a rear-end collision occurs, the driver of the trailing vehicle is usually the one who is liable. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that rear-end accidents are most often caused by driver distraction, there are many other factors that could contribute to such a collision, such as:
• Excessive Speeding;
• Drunk driving or drugged driving;
• Following too closely, sometimes called "tailgating;"
• Distracted cell phone use or texting while driving;
• Fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel; and
• Failure to adjust driving for bad road conditions or inclement weather.
In some cases, the driver of the vehicle that was hit from behind could share in the liability for the crash. For example, if the front vehicle did not have working brake lights, or the driver pulled out in traffic suddenly in a negligent manner, he or she might be found to be fully or partially at fault for the accident. Sometime multi-vehicle chain-reaction crashes are especially complicated in terms of determining liability for fault. The team at The Joseph Dedvukaj Law Firm can help you determine who was at fault and what your best options are for recovery.
The most important step to take after a rear-end collision
While rear-end crashes are seldom fatal, every year there are about 2 million rear-end collisions in the US of which about a third of the victim’s report injuries. These injuries tend to involve the neck, head, and back compared to most other auto accidents.
Let’s take a look into the kinds of injuries you can get from a rear-end collision, and what you need to know if you’ve been a victim.
What are the Most Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions?
Some of the most common injuries occurring from rear-end collisions include:
• Neck strains and pain
• Lower back strains and pain
When the word “whiplash” is used, typically this refers to the soft tissue damage of the neck and back. Without a doubt, this is the most common complaint personal injury lawyers hear from clients who have been rear-ended!
If your hands were gripping the steering wheel when you hit the vehicle in front of you, you might also suffer from sprained or broken wrists in a rear end crash. In more severe cases, we’ve seen broken bones, facial disfigurement, air bag-related injuries, and even death in the car that strikes the rear of another car of fixed object.
Here’s the most important concept to understand about rear-end crash injuries: in many cases, symptoms may not appear immediately after a crash. These whiplash-type injuries may not manifest for hours or days later. Understanding this will help you best handle your rear-end accident and make sure you heal as quick as possible.
How Do Rear-End Collisions Happen?
While there are many factors that lead to rear-end collisions scenario, the number one cause comes down to one word: inattentiveness. However, there are several reasons why a driver might be inattentive:
• Talking to occupants
• Distracted driver using a cell phone, texting, or messing with infotainment system
• Drowsy driver
• Poor judgment/focus on traffic conditions
Also, we’ve represented clients who have been rear-ended because the other driver was speeding, following too close in bad weather, or driving under the influence.
Why Insurance Companies Can Be Difficult When Filing a Claim?
Typically, your insurance company adjuster will ask, “Were you injured?” or “Were your hurt” when you call to make the accident claim. Our advice: be careful how you answer this question. Insurance adjusters will work hard to keep from paying you for your personal injury claim.
Here’s the common problem: right after the accident, you may feel fine. However, your symptoms may develop hours or days later. So, if you tell the adjustor that you’re uninjured, you will have a hard time later when your symptoms develop. Even worse if you provide this information as part of a recorded statement, the insurance company will use the recorded statement against you. For example, if the next day you wake up with debilitating back pain. You can’t work or perform your normal activities. If you go back and tell the insurance adjuster you’re now in a lot of pain, they may not believe you because of the earlier statement. Adjuster may argue, your back pain is now due to something unrelated, because in the earlier statement, you said you were ok.
We suggest that you take your time and exercise great care in answering any questions about the nature and extent of your injuries to the insurance company adjuster. Do not agree to provide a recorded statement. Tell them that you’ll have the doctor’s report and medical bills sent to their office describing your injuries. Or even better, tell them contact your car accident lawyer for any information about the claim.
What is the Most Important Step to Take After Being Rear-Ended?
Our #1 advice in this post if you’ve been in a rear-end collision, is this: seek medical care. Now! Yes, even before if you think you’re fine or you’re not experiencing any back or neck pain.
When you go to see the doctor on the same day of your accident, you help yourself in two ways. First, the doctor can document the extent of your injuries to recommend the best course of treatment. Ultimately, this means you’re back to normal recovery faster. Second, getting a doctor’s report will help document your condition in case you are injured and end up filing a claim. It gives your claim credibility, and valuable evidence that your injury attorney can use to help you. Remember, your accident lawyer can only help you if you help yourself.
Protecting Your Best Interests
Rear-end accidents are well-known for causing injuries that are not obvious right away, including whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, and concussions due to the violent nature of the crash. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the insurance company for the at-fault party to offer a fast settlement before the full extent of your injuries are known and your prognosis for recovery has been determined. Beware that accepting such a settlement could be an extremely costly mistake. You should never sign papers, agree to any settlement offers, or even make a statement to any insurance company before you consult with a skilled attorney from The Joseph Dedvukaj Law Firm.
Need A Rear-End Accident Collision Attorney?
If you or a loved one has been in a rear-end collision in Michigan, The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm can help you. Our injury attorneys have represented thousands of rear-end accident victims and can assist you in reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance company to settle your claim, or if required, we can represent you in a lawsuit against the negligent driver. As the injured party, you are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, lost wages, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and the overall impact the accident has had on your life.
We have successfully represented individuals and families who have been victims of all types of car accidents for over 27 years. We would be happy to provide a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your accident and will provide you an honest assessment of your case, and the probable value of your settlement or verdict. Or, if you prefer, you can submit your confidential questions online. You can reach our attorneys at 866-HIRE-JOE or 248-352-2110
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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and serves the entire State of Michigan. Past results are not a guarantee of future results, and the outcome of your particular case or matter cannot be predicted using a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. Contacting us through our website does not create an attorney-client privilege. This website is attorney advertising.
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