In 2019, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 2.2 million rear-end collisions. Although many of these car accidents only resulted in property damage, almost 600,000 crashes resulted in injuries, and nearly 2,400 resulted in one or more fatalities. As one of the most common types of vehicle crashes, it’s a question many car accident lawyers hear every day: “Do I need a lawyer after being rear-ended?” Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Factors to Consider After a Rear-End Collision
Whether you’ll need the assistance of a lawyer after you’ve been rear ended in a car accident depends on several factors, including the severity of the accident, whether the issue of fault is contested, and the actions of the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Learn more about rear-end collisions—including how to get the most compensation for your injuries—from the Quad Cities personal injury lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky, and Cunningham, LLC.
Fault: Who Caused the Accident?
You may have heard that when someone rear ends your vehicle, they are automatically at fault for causing the accident. By law, drivers are required to keep a safe following distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Even if you slammed on your brakes for one reason or another, the person traveling behind you should have been traveling far enough behind you to avoid hitting you.
That being said, rear-end collisions are not always the fault of the driver in the back. Under certain circumstances, the driver in the front may be held partially or even fully liable for an accident. For example, if the lead driver’s brake lights were not working at the time of the crash, they may bear part of the blame.
Alternatively, if they were driving recklessly, aggressively, or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, they may be found at fault. Unexpected maneuvers such as putting a car in reverse at a stoplight may also be taken into consideration when determining fault. If fault can be partially or wholly contested in your accident claim, you may want to consider consulting a lawyer for assistance in building your rear end collision case.
Severity: How Badly Were You Injured?
Compared to other kinds of accidents like head-on crashes, rear-end collisions may seem like they’d result in milder injuries. While this might be true for accidents that occur at low speeds, high-speed rear end crashes can have devastating consequences. And all too often, serious injuries come with serious medical bills and expenses.
If you were severely injured in a rear-end collision, you may face a long uphill battle to recovery. You may be facing multiple corrective surgeries, rehabilitation, chronic pain, paralysis, disability, and more. You may not be able to work for an extended period of time, and your way of life may change drastically and even permanently.
All of this takes its toll financially, mentally, and emotionally. The injuries sustained in a rear-end collision may even result in the wrongful death of a loved one, leaving you with funeral expenses on top of overwhelming grief.
The more serious your injuries, the more important it is that you consult with a rear end collision lawyer to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.
Car Insurance: How Does the Insurance Company Treat You?
Before you consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries, your first source of compensation is from the other driver’s car insurance company if he/she is responsible for the accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always treat their customers or accident victims fairly.
When you file a claim, your case will be assigned to an insurance adjuster. You may find that your insurance adjuster is very nice and seems eager to resolve your case as quickly as possible. They may even be quick to offer you a settlement. But if there is one thing you remember when it comes to talking to the insurance company, let it be this: no matter how nice an insurance adjuster seems, you are not their priority. Their ultimate goal is to save their employer money—and that often means trying to get claimants to accept lowball settlement offers or even denying claims altogether.
If an insurance company is trying to get you to accept a settlement offer very quickly, dodges your phone calls, or calls into question the validity of your injuries and expenses, that’s when you know you need the legal expertise and authority of an accident lawyer. Hiring an injury attorney sends a crystal clear message to the car insurance company that you know how much your case is worth and that you won’t settle for anything less.
Rear-Ended in the Quad Cities? WKC Law Firm Can Help
If you’re still feeling a little unsure about whether or not you need a lawyer to represent you after a rear end car accident, you’re not alone. Whether you were riding your motorcycle, driving your car, or riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, accident cases are often far more complicated than they may seem at first glance. When you’re also dealing with mounting bills and lost income, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed.
That’s why our law firm offers free consultations to all prospective clients. All you have to do is call us at (309) 794-1515, start a chat with one of our LiveChat agents online, or fill out this brief form to be sent to our office. We’ll take care of the rest, including scheduling your complimentary case review and going over the most pertinent details of your claim.
During your consultation, our experienced attorneys will lay out all your legal options with absolutely no obligation to hire us. The call is free, the consultation is free, and we charge you no legal fees unless we make a financial recovery on your behalf.