On average, vehicle accidents kill over 30,000 people in the United States every year, as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This makes it the second-leading cause of preventable accidental death in the country, with one vehicle-related death occurring every 15 minutes. In addition to fatal accidents, an estimated six million non-fatal accidents also occur every year.
With the prevalence of smartphone use while driving, driver distraction has led to a rise in the incidence of rear-end collisions. Such accidents were responsible for the death of an estimated 2,500 people in 2017. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), road accidents of all types cost society tens of billions of dollars every year in medical, legal, and insurance overheads.
If you were involved in a rear-end accident, a Marion rear-end collisions lawyer may be able to help you handle the complex and burdensome insurance, legal, and medical paperwork involved, and fight for your compensation. Please contact our team at (614) 545-3930 to discuss your case and to learn more about the legal options that are open to you.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Rear-endings can occur for many different reasons. Common causes of rear-end collisions may be categorized as follows.
Anyone who drives while distracted, drowsy, or intoxicated places him or herself—as well as his or her passengers and other road users—in serious danger. For example, texting while driving involves mental, visual, and manual distractions, causing drivers to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and attention off driving to read or write a text. This can prevent them from responding to changes in road conditions or traffic patterns. The same holds for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Speeding, following another driver too closely, or driving aggressively or recklessly are also examples of negligent driving that can cause someone to collide with another vehicle from behind.
Malfunctions and Unexpected Issues
A sudden stop on the road ahead, faulty brakes, or someone suddenly merging into your lane directly in front of you can all lead to a rear-end collision. If the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you are not working or the driver suddenly applies the brakes, you can easily collide with the vehicle if you do not maintain a safe driving distance. In rear-end collisions, the driver in the rear is typically at fault, but some rear-end collision cases can be more complicated if the actions of the driver in the front caused the accident.
Poor weather, poor visibility, road damage, or slippery pavement can all contribute to an accident. Poor signage or traffic control signals that are not working or visible can also factor into a rear-end collision.
If other factors caused or contributed to your accident, a Marion rear-end collisions lawyer may be able to help you determine the legal impact that those factors can have on your case. Call (614) 545-3930 to get started with the Fitch Law Firm LLC.
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Injuries Commonly Seen in Rear-End Accidents
According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of new spinal cord injuries every year. Depending on where and to what extent a victim sustains spinal cord damage, he or she may suffer varying degrees of paralysis or limited use of his or her limbs. Other injuries commonly seen in rear-end collisions include:
- Whiplash. Damage to the nerves and muscles in the neck is common in rear-end cases, due to the force with which a victim’s head gets whipped forward and backward in a rear-end collision. Whiplash can take weeks or months to recover from
- Back injuries. Serious upper and lower back injuries can be caused by rear-end collisions. Slipped discs, back spasms, and nerve and muscle injuries can be painful and costly to treat, and they can last a very long time
- Broken bones and fractures. Even with seatbelts, the victims of rear-end crashes often suffer broken bones, especially of the arms and legs. Damage to the torso, ribs, and shoulder is also common
- Head injuries. Concussions and brain injuries are also possible, and some cases may involve internal brain bleeding or bruising of the brain. These are serious conditions that can lead to paralysis or death
- Cuts and bruises: Broken glass, smashed car parts, and items flung around the interior of the vehicle that was struck can cause serious injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. Eye and mouth injuries are not uncommon in vehicle accident cases
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Insurance, Damages, and Recovery
Ohio’s at-fault rules require the party responsible for an accident to compensate the victim for injuries and damages. If you were struck by another vehicle from behind, you can seek various forms of compensation for damages from the other driver’s insurer, as well as your insurer. What you can file a claim for—and for how much—depends on the limits of the policies in question and any claim-specific requirements those policies stipulate.
Winning a compensation claim is also contingent on meeting various legal, administrative, and evidentiary requirements. Examples of these requirements include:
- Filing within the statutes of limitation, which is generally two years in Ohio
- Providing your insurance company with evidence relevant to the accident, such as photos or videos, police reports, eyewitness testimonies, vehicle damage assessments, and personal injury treatment expenses
- Providing the testimony of a medical expert about the extent of your injuries
- Providing pay stubs and income slips to prove lost wages and income
- Filling out relevant paperwork and providing proof of coverage, the IDs of all parties involved, and other crash-related details required by your insurer
Legal Assistance Is Just a Call Away
It can be difficult to fulfill the requirements outlined above if you were injured in an accident. Negotiating with insurance adjusters, collecting evidence, and being available for negotiations and legal hearings can take a lot of extra time and effort. This is where a Marion rear-end collisions lawyer may be able to assist you.
Contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC at (614) 545-3930. We can walk you through how personal injury claims are handled and how we may be able to help you. Do not hesitate to reach out today.
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