Alabama Rear End Collision Attorneys
The National Safety Council reports that more 2.5 million rear-end collisions take place in the U.S. each year, making them the most common form of auto accidents in this country. If you are involved in a rear end collision, you may need the help of rear end collision attorneys. When rear end collisions happen, as the term suggests, one car (or truck) hits the back of the vehicle in front of it. If the negligent drivers in these accidents had acted more responsibly, many of these rear end collisions could have been avoided.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rear end collision that was caused by the carelessness of another driver, you may be entitled to restitution for your losses. The Alabama rear end collision attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP have more than 25 years combined experience handling these difficult cases for clients.
What Causes Rear End Collisions?
Rear end collisions can cause catastrophic property damage, lasting injury, and even death. These types of accidents occur for several reasons, the most common being:
- Speeding by the rear vehicle
- A rear vehicle that follows other cars too closely
- Other forms of aggressive driving, such as close passing and intimidation
- Distracted driving, such as texting, eating, or adjusting vehicle electronics
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drowsy driving
Typical Rear End Collision Injuries
When a vehicle crashes into another from behind, most victims suffer from neck injuries. While whiplash is the most common result of a rear end collision, there are other injuries that you might suffer from one of these accidents. Other types of injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries to the back, including the hips
- Spinal injuries
- Ankle and knee injury from impact with the steering column
- Traumatic brain injury due to collision with dashboard or windshield
- Head injuries caused by deployed airbags
- Burns from car fires or explosions
- Lacerations and contusions
When a rear end collision occurs, whiplash is often the result. Even when your vehicle has sustained minor or no damage, whiplash is a serious concern. A car bumper manufacturer specifies that their products must be able to tolerate a 5 mph collision with no noticeable damage. The engineers’ design these bumpers more for the protection of the vehicles than the care of the occupants.
Whiplash happens when the occupant of the vehicle is thrown forward, and then their head is thrown backward. As the car stops its forward motion after the impact, the head is whipped forward once again. This rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck creates an injury that can result in stiffness, headaches, and neck pain.
Who is Negligent in a Rear End Collision Accident?
Because rear end collisions involve one car crashing into the back of another, it’s often assumed that the driver in the rear is negligent. This is based on the assumption that, if the driver were operating their vehicle prudently and responsibly, there is no good reason why they wouldn’t be able to avoid such a collision.
This is the overriding premise, but it may not hold up in the case of a rear end collision accident with a domino effect. When there are several cars involved in a chain reaction accident, a vehicle that was at a complete stop could still be pushed into the car in front of it, causing significant damage.
There are other instances in Alabama rear end collision cases where the driver in the rear can argue that they were not at fault. The courts have recognized these three facts which could rebut the presumption of liability:
- Testimony shows that there was mechanical failure that caused the collision,
- Proof is presented of an unexpected lane change or stop by the vehicle in front, or
- The vehicle in front illegally stops on the road.
Because there can be such a degree of doubt cast on the causation of a rear end collision in Alabama, it’s more important than ever that victims of these tragic accidents have quality legal representation to protect their rights.
Alabama civil cases operate under a pure contributory negligence rule. This means that you would be prevented from recovering compensation for your injuries if you were also found to be at fault in the accident, even as little as 1%. Alabama is currently the only state that bars recovery in this form, so it’s imperative that you hire a skilled personal injury attorney to aggressively present your case.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Rear End Collision Accident
If you are involved in a rear end collision, these are the steps that you should take to protect your rights:
- Call 911 and report the accident.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible for any injuries or concerns.
- Take photographs of the accident scene, including the other driver’s vehicle and any road debris.
- Get witness names and contact information.
- Avoid admitting or discussing fault.
- Do not speak to any insurance company representatives.
- Avoid signing any forms or making any agreements without first consulting with an attorney.
Damages in Rear End Collision Personal Injury Cases
Auto insurance companies will be quick to contact you after a rear end collision, with the goal to do two things. They will want to shift the blame for the accident onto you, and they will also want to minimize the severity of your losses and injuries. Your best course of action is to avoid speaking with any insurance company as they won’t have your best interests in mind.
A rear end collision might seem minor on the surface, but these accidents can have catastrophic consequences. Your vehicle might be totaled and need replacement. If you’ve been injured due to the reckless behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to damages for such things as past and future medical care, lost wages, and pain & suffering.
Get the Help of Experienced Alabama Rear End Collision Attorneys
Because rear-end collisions can create significant losses, injured parties should hire an experienced Alabama rear end collision attorney who will fight to earn you the maximum amount of compensation appropriate under the law. The lawyers at McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP have over 25 years of experience handling personal injury matters such as this. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision, call us at 334-262-1911 or contact us online today to schedule a free personal injury consultation.