Rear-end wrecks are the most common type of motor vehicle collision. Approximately 30 percent of all crashes each year are classified as rear-end, and in the majority of these collisions, the lead vehicle is either stopped or moving very slowly prior to the crash. Even at a relatively low rate of speed, accidents where vehicles are hit from behind still result in a substantial number of injuries and fatalities.
Multiple Car Pile-Ups
The probability of a multiple-car pile-up increases when a rear-end crash has occurred, especially on a busy highway where drivers are traveling at a high rate of speed.
Crashes where the lead car is stopped can be just as dangerous because when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle, energy is transferred. That energy is absorbed by the first car and its occupants, causing their necks to suddenly bend further than normal and resulting in whiplash (also referred to as hyperextension, neck sprain, or neck strain).
Soft tissue injuries like whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, and insurance companies tend to dismiss them. Accident victims are encouraged to seek prompt medical testing in order to help refute any insurer’s assertions that a lack of vehicle damage means that no permanent or serious injury could have occurred. The reality is that car bumpers are designed to withstand far more impact and force than the human body.
Every driver has a duty to follow at a safe distance
If one car hits another from behind, Kentucky state law says that, in most cases, the fault will lie with the driver of the car in back. Drivers are expected to always maintain control of their vehicle and are responsible for any damages caused by their vehicle.
Possible exceptions include circumstances that were unavoidable or unintentional. This can happen when the driver of the lead car:
- Has an emergency, but does not pull over or turn on emergency signals
- Has broken brake lights or turn signals
- Reverses suddenly
- Stops suddenly to make a turn and fails to execute the turn.
In these instances, the driver that was rear-ended may be considered partially at fault for the accident. Under Kentucky’s comparative fault system, that driver can still recover damages (even if they are 99 percent at fault), but their recovery is reduced by their degree of fault.
Rear-end collisions frequently are caused because a driver:
- Disregards traffic conditions
- Fails to drive at a reasonable speed
- Fails to pay attention to the road
- Fails to use turn signals
- Fails to yield the right of way
- Operates the vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you were involved in a rear-end collision, it is in your best interest to hire legal representation. Drivers of both cars have rights that should be protected, and questions regarding liability, property damage, and personal injuries can be complicated. Passengers who were hurt in the collision also should secure skilled advice to navigate the legal system.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car wreck, contact the KY rear-end car accident lawyers of the Johnson Law Firm as soon as possible. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Our experienced automobile wreck attorneys are committed to seeking financial recovery for the victims of the negligence of others. Call us toll free at 606-433-0682 or by filling out this form. We’re ready to help with a free initial consultation. We handle accident claims from anywhere in Kentucky with a concentration in Pikeville and surrounding areas. For more than 15 years, we have been helping accident victims, and we can help you.