Even if you exercise safe driving and are very vigilant when on the road, an accident can still occur at any time. As a matter of fact, 7 in 10 drivers will experience at least one auto wreck within their lifetime. Rear-end accidents, in particular, are the most common and dangerous.
If you were involved in a rear-end accident and suffered personal injuries of any kind, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
A Dayton rear-end car accident lawyer from The Fitch Law Firm LLC can help you pursue this compensation in settlement negotiations or a personal injury lawsuit. Our car accident lawyers can work for you on a contingency fee basis, with no up-front payment necessary.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30% of car wrecks are rear-ended collisions. Knowing the accident’s cause is essential to holding the responsible party accountable for any injuries and property damage. The core of the problem is nearly always driver negligence, but the following are examples of common situations:
- A driver operates a vehicle while drowsy, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a result, his or her reaction times are prolonged, and he or she takes too long to react to a vehicle stopping in front of them.
- A driver tailgates another vehicle too closely and ends up striking it when it makes a sudden stop.
- Poor brake maintenance or worn brakes can prevent a vehicle from coming to a timely stop.
- Unclear or missing road signs, traffic signals, or traffic devices that lead to sudden stops and starts in traffic.
- Speeding can prevent a driver from stopping in time, even if he or she quickly identifies a road hazard and immediately applies the brakes.
- Reckless, negligent, or rash driving can increase the likelihood of striking someone from behind.
If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you may be eligible to recoup damages, even if you were partially at fault. Even if you were partially at fault, you might be able to recover damages if you were hurt in a rear-end incident. If you were wondering if you could still receive compensation even if you were at fault, the next section is for you.
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How the Cause of Your Accident Affects Compensation
The individual who rear-ends you is typically at fault, but mitigating factors may affect the decision in some cases. In instances where the lead driver had some fault, they may be assigned a percentage of liability that impacts their settlement amount.
In Ohio, a driver who hits another car from behind may not be held accountable for the collision. Even in rear-ending collisions, our state applies a modified contributory fault rule. Anyone found to be at least 50% at fault for an accident cannot proceed with a civil case for damages.
Our rear-end collision car accident attorneys in Dayton, Ohio, can hire an accident reconstruction specialist to assess liability if you’re not sure if you contributed to the accident.
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Rear-End Collision Injuries and Damages
Rear-end collisions subject the occupants of the vehicle that was struck to sudden and considerable force from the rear. The injuries in rear-end accidents can be somewhat different from those in other types of accidents. Injuries that rear-end accident victims may experience include:
- Whiplash, spinal cord, nerve, and back injuries
- Brain and head trauma
- Broken bones
- Bone fracture
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Airbag impact injuries
Tragically, some rear-end accidents result in fatal injuries. If your family member was killed in a rear-end collision, our firm may be able to help you recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Ohio?
Our Dayton rear-end vehicle collision attorneys can assist the decedent’s estate, their surviving spouse, parents, or child(ren) in bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in accordance with Ohio law.
At the very least, a rear-end collision can leave you with minor injuries but occasionally result in fatalities. If your loved one passed away as a result of the severity of their collision-related injuries, our attorneys also specialize in wrongful death lawsuits.
While you concentrate on getting through this challenging period, are ready to take on your case. Although we recognize that money isn’t your main concern, it can help with paying any accident-related fees like medical bills and funeral expenses for your deceased loved one.
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Fault and Liability for Rear-End Collisions in Dayton
Although the rear driver who struck another vehicle from behind is commonly at fault in rear-end collisions, victims may still need to demonstrate liability with evidence, especially if the other party tries to deny wrongdoing. Proving fault for an accident usually involves showing the following:
- That the at-fault driver had a duty of care to drive with the safety of others in mind
- That a failure to drive safely or safely operate a vehicle resulted in an accident
- That the victim suffered injuries as a result
- That the victim’s injuries led to losses in terms of physical, financial, or mental damages
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the rear-end collision you were involved in, there are many ways fault can be determined. Consider the following forms of proof that may be used in a rear-end collision case:
- Photographic or video evidence in the form of dashcam footage or surveillance camera and CCTV footage can be used to see what happened and how an accident unfolded.
- The official police report on the accident can be obtained to read the assessment of the law enforcement officials who arrived on the scene.
- Signage and road conditions can be appraised to determine if a local government body was at fault for a failure to remove dangerous road conditions that caused or contributed to an accident.
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts may be obtained.
A Dayton rear-end collisions car accident lawyer can help you determine which rules and contributing factors can be included in a claim based on the circumstances of your case.
Recoverable Damages in a Dayton Rear-End Collision
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to seek compensation for losses and damages that include:
- Medical care and treatment costs for personal injuries
- Rehabilitation, therapy, and medical supply expenses
- Lost income
- Lost future income if the accident bars your ability to work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
A different set of damages, including funeral and burial expenses, may be available in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Read-End Collision FAQ
Below, you’ll find answers to questions frequently asked of our Dayton car accident lawyers regarding rear-end collision claims. If you have further questions about something we didn’t cover here, we’ll be happy to answer them during a free consultation.
How Long Do I Have To File a Dayton Rear-End Collision Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits under Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10 is generally two years. Therefore, this deadline gives you a maximum of two years from the accident date to file your claim.
However, the statute of limitations may not always be clear—primarily if doctors don’t diagnose your injuries until long after the accident. If that happens to you, a car accident lawyer from our firm can review your case and determine if you still have time under the statute of limitations to seek damages.
Protect Your Right to Compensation After a Rear-End Collision
After a rear-end collision, make sure you seek medical care. Even if you did not have to go to the emergency room immediately after the accident, you could still be suffering from injuries with delayed symptoms. Only a doctor can diagnose you and prescribe a treatment plan.
Make sure you follow through with your treatment since an insurer can undervalue or deny your claim if you do not. They may try to argue that you contributed to your injuries. Protect your health and your right to compensation by seeing a doctor as soon as possible.
How Do Insurance Settlements Work for Rear-End Collision Cases?
You might assume that the insurance company will cover all your losses when you sustain injuries and need car repairs after a rear-end collision. After all, don’t drivers who rear-end another vehicle have to compensate the other driver fully? Unfortunately, the answer is not always clear.
Ohio is a fault state for insurance purposes, so you will need to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company to recover compensation for your damages. However, since the responsible party’s insurance coverage determines what you will collect through a settlement, you could still find yourself with considerable losses that the policy won’t cover.
If you face this situation, you must be prepared to file a civil lawsuit against the liable party to get the most out of your claim.
Will I Have to Go to Court to Obtain Compensation for a Rear-End Collision?
Since the amount of coverage purchased by the liable party determines your compensation from the insurance company, you should always prepare for the possibility of going to court.
Although you could recover an insurance settlement that adequately meets your needs, going to court may be your best opportunity to recover your damages in their entirety.
In an insurance settlement, you may not qualify for the recovery of your noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, at trial, you have the opportunity to recover both economic and noneconomic damages.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Dayton Rear-End Collisions Attorney?
Hiring a rear-end collision attorney may be more cost-effective than you think. In cases like yours, personal injury lawyers often work with you on contingency.
A contingency-fee agreement means you won’t cover any of the upfront costs of pursuing your case. Instead, your lawyer will absorb all the risk of pursuing your claim. In addition, if your lawyer doesn’t win your case, you pay no attorney’s fees. Finally, if you receive a settlement or verdict, your payment comes out as a percentage of your award.
The Fitch Law Firm Can Represent You
It can be difficult to seek compensation for damages after suffering a rear-end collision, especially if you were injured and need to focus on your recovery. This is where a Dayton rear-end collision lawyer with The Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help.
From gathering case-related evidence to filing a claim and negotiating with the at-fault parties responsible for the accident on your behalf, The Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to provide you with assistance in an understandably trying time.
To learn more about our services in a free consultation with a member of our team, contact The Fitch Law Firm LLC today.
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