No one wants to end up getting in a rear-end collision accident, but these kinds of crashes account for almost 30 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. Although both parties involved can become injured, the driver that gets hit from the back is more likely to end up with a trip to the doctor or emergency room.
Whiplash can be caused by rear end collisions. Whiplash occurs when an individual’s head is violently forced forward and then backwards. These accidents can also lead to back injuries, head trauma, and damage to one’s face, hands, and arms.
It has been shown that 81 percent of these accidents happen to vehicles that are not moving. The driver in back may be daydreaming or otherwise distracted. It is not unusual for someone that is texting and driving to rear end another vehicle. Drivers that are talking on the phone, eating, drowsy, or intoxicated also present significant risks to others.
Other reasons for these crashes include reckless drivers who are speeding or driving aggressively. This includes tailgaters, who do not maintain safe following distances between their own cars and the ones in front of them. The safest distance is one car length for every 10 miles per hour someone is driving. For example, if someone is driving 30 mph, they should be three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of them. This should be increased if the vehicle in front is a large truck (especially tractor trailers), since their stopping distances are longer than smaller vehicles. Some estimates say that 90 percent of drivers do not follow the safe distance rule.
When rear-end collisions happen in New Jersey, the driver who hits the back of another car is presumed to be at fault. Drivers are responsible for being in control of their vehicles at all times, so they need to maintain that safe stopping distance. Not stopping in time and hitting a car or truck in front is deemed as failure to control the vehicle.
When both parties share some responsibility for the accident, the New Jersey modified comparative fault law comes into play. This means that an injured plaintiff may only collect damages if they are found to have less responsibility for causing the crash than the defendant. In these cases, the plaintiff will receive less compensation, depending on the percentage for the blame that the court assigns them.
Even if there are no apparent injuries, it is essential to seek medical help since many kinds of injuries can show up later. If an ambulance is not called, drivers should get checked by medical professionals shortly following the accident. It is also a good idea to contact law enforcement after rear-end collisions, as police reports can help determine liability.
Gathering evidence is also helpful. Taking pictures of the scene, speaking to any witnesses, and getting contact information from the other driver is crucial following any accident. Many drivers that are involved in rear-end collision accidents can also benefit from contacting an experienced car accident attorney.
If you were involved in a rear end collision, an Asbury Park car accident lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. can provide you with sound legal guidance. To get started with a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 732-493-9400. Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson, New Jersey.