Most people have been involved in at least one traffic collision and, odds are, it was a rear-end accident. According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions make up 23% of all traffic accidents, and while many people envision a rear-end crash as a fairly minor fender-bender, the truth is that these “minor” accidents can result in severe, and even devastating injuries.
What is the leading cause of rear-end accidents?
The sooner you contact a lawyer after being injured in a rear-end accident that was not your fault, the better your chances are of securing the compensation you need. Contact the Virginia Beach rear-end accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule your free initial case review and discover what damages you might be entitled to.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions
For every type of car accident, the same set of causative factors seems to make themselves known. When talking about a rear-end crash, when one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle, the leading contributing factors are:
By far, the number one cause of rear-end car accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving encompasses anything that takes your focus away from safely operating your vehicle, such as drinking, eating, texting, and engaging with passengers. Distracted driving is responsible for about 3,500 vehicular fatalities every single year.
Following too Closely
Also known as tailgating, following too closely occurs when a driver fails to leave a sufficient amount of space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. This can cause a serious accident, especially if the lead vehicle needs to brake unexpectedly due to stopped traffic or a road hazard.
When drivers choose to disregard the posted speed limit, they put themselves and everyone around them in danger. Speed limits exist enforced for safety reasons. When reckless or negligent drivers do not obey them, their odds of being injured in a serious rear-end crash increase exponentially.
Virginia weather can be unpredictable and difficult to safely navigate. However, even in sudden unfavorable weather conditions, it is the responsibility of every driver to anticipate and take care to prevent an accident. Roadways can be slick due to ice, snow, or rain, making coming to a stop on time almost impossible.
Common Rear-End Accident Injuries
While every car accident is different, most rear-end collisions cause similar injuries, including:
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury caused by the forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It is the single most common injury caused by rear-end accidents. Symptoms of whiplash include muscle stiffness, neck pain, dizziness, and headaches.
Facial, Brain, and Head Injuries
Some rear-end collisions are severe enough to cause injury to the driver’s head or face when it strikes the dashboard, steering wheel, windshield, deployed airbag, or another object inside the vehicle. This type of impact can result in facial fractures, such as a broken jaw, dental injuries, and lacerations. Brain injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries are also possible and can have permanent effects on a victim’s general brain function and cognitive abilities.
Psychological injuries can be just as devastating as bodily injuries. Emotional trauma includes emotional anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety caused by the incident. Emotional trauma can exhibit symptoms immediately after an accident or gradually evolve over time, leaving you with a diminished quality of life.
Even if you think you escaped your rear-end accident completely unharmed, you should always seek prompt medical treatment. The consequences of leaving a serious injury untreated are simply not worth it. A thorough evaluation is essential to correctly diagnosing any underlying conditions, filing your insurance claim, and any future legal proceedings.
Do You Need a Virginia Rear-End Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in a rear-end collision that was not your fault, the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can guide you through the claims process. Schedule a free evaluation of your rear-end accident case with the Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774 or by filling out the form on our website.
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.