Austin Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Rear-end accidents can happen anywhere, from city streets to suburban highways to rural roads. They can occur at slow speeds or at high speeds. In every case, there is the potential for serious injury – even in crashes that cause little or no damage.
The law is clear that drivers are supposed to maintain a safe following distance. A driver who rear-ends another vehicle is presumed to be responsible for the crash and liable for compensating the accident victims for their injuries. There are, however, narrow exceptions when the driver in front or a third party could be at least partially to blame.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle hits the back of the car directly in front (the lead vehicle). Some of the common factors in this type of accident include:
- Distracted driving – A driver who fails to pay attention to traffic might not realize when the vehicles in front have signaled, slowed or stopped. Distracted driving is a major problem, with 18 percent of all crashes in 2010 attributed to inattentive drivers, according to Distraction.gov.
- Tailgating or following too closely – It is recommended that drivers maintain a following distance that allows for at least 3-4 seconds of reaction time if the vehicle ahead slows or stops. Those who follow too closely put themselves and others at risk. The Texas DOT reported that tailgating was a factor in six fatal accidents and 794 injury crashes in 2011.
- Speeding – The faster a car goes, the more time and distance will be required to stop. A speeding driver has a longer stopping distance, which could result in a rear-end collision.
- Worn brakes or tires – If a vehicle’s brakes or tires are too worn, the driver may be unable to slow or stop before hitting the vehicle in front.
- Driving too fast for conditions – Vehicles need more distance to stop in slippery conditions such as wet, snowy or icy roads. Fog, dust, mist and smoke can reduce visibility. Drivers should increase their following distance under these conditions. Failure to do so could lead to a rear-end collision.
Texas requires that all drivers maintain a safe following distance and that drivers exercise a reasonable degree of care and caution behind the wheel. This means that the drivers of vehicles that rear-end other vehicles are almost always to blame for the accident. The occupants of the lead vehicle can usually recover compensation from the driver who rear-ended them.
Only in rare circumstances is the driver of the lead vehicle found to be at fault. This could happen if, for instance, the lead car abruptly changed lanes in front of another driver and slammed on the brakes. Other examples include a driver who suddenly stops in the middle of a freeway for no reason or a person driving a vehicle with faulty brake lights.
Compensation for Injuries from Rear-End Collisions in Texas
Some of the most common injuries suffered in rear-end crashes include:
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord damage
- Back injuries, including slipped or herniated discs
Compensation in a rear-end collision claim could include payment for all medical costs associated with the injuries, as well as payment for lost wages, emotional distress and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one is harmed in a rear-end collision, The Bob Richardson Law Firm will work tirelessly to investigate your case and determine all of your legal options. We work with highly qualified medical, engineering and accident reconstruction experts, and we employ the latest in technology to develop our cases.
Although an insurance company might try to convince you that you don’t need an attorney to represent you in a rear-end collision claim, don’t follow that advice. Although negligence may be presumed in a rear-end accident, an experienced attorney should review your case to determine the full extent of your damages and who should be held responsible for your losses.
For more than 30 years, The Bob Richardson Law Firm has helped car accident victims in Austin, Waco and surrounding Texas communities. Put our experience to work for you. Contact us today by calling toll free at 800-880-5100 or fill out our online contact form. We can provide you with a free case evaluation.
- Texas Department of Transportation – Contributing Factors