You’re driving along or stopped in traffic when all of a sudden you get hit from behind. At first you feel fine, but later on you notice twinges of pain. Your neck hurts. Your back hurts. You have headaches. You weren’t to blame for the accident, so why should you be responsible for the bills? The good news is that the law is on your side. In most cases, if another vehicle hit your vehicle from behind, you have a personal injury claim and can recover damages for your injuries, your medical expenses and your lost wages, among other things. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you recover the full value of your damages.
Common Injuries from a Rear-End Collision
While many rear-end collisions happen at low speeds and appear to be minor, it’s still possible to sustain a life-changing and painful injury. High speed collisions may cause even more damage. It’s estimated that up to 10% of all deaths from two vehicle accidents are the result of a rear-end collision.
The following are just a few examples of injuries sustained by rear-end collisions:
If you experience severe neck and back pain after a collision, you are most likely suffering from whiplash. This occurs whenever the soft tissues of the body are injured. Whiplash may take a few days or weeks to develop.
The impact of the collision may also lead to broken bones. Seeking medical attention right away is imperative to reduce long-term damage and prevent disability.
Even a seemingly minor rear-end collision may result in the death of the driver or a passenger.
Be sure to get a thorough medical evaluation after your accident, even if your injuries initially seem to be minor. It is always better to be safe than sorry. A medical evaluation may catch a potential problem before you even notice the symptoms. Moreover, the medical records will document any injuries in the event you need to file a claim.
How to Get Monetary Compensation
If you can prove the accident was due to the negligence of another party, you may be able to obtain a settlement or be awarded monetary compensation to cover your medical bills, any lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer with experience representing motor vehicle accident victims can help you build your case and typically will help you recover more than if you attempted to handle the claim on your own.
Witness statements, accident photos, and medical records will all be used by your lawyer to develop your case. This evidence will help you negotiate a fair settlement. And in the event that the case goes to trial, this same evidence will help you prove your case to the jury.
The Goal of Your Personal Injury Attorney
You should not be financially responsible for an injury that was not your fault. In order to receive compensation, your attorney must prove who is at fault, whether it was another driver or even the automobile manufacturer.
If you were hit from behind, the driver who rear-ended you is at fault in most cases. However, there may be special circumstances. A manufacturing flaw in your vehicle, for example, may have exacerbated your injury, in which case the automobile manufacturer is to blame.
The other driver’s insurance company may initially refuse to pay your medical bills. Since it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to deny medical compensation for seemingly minor rear-end collisions, it’s up to you and your lawyer to demonstrate that the collisions caused the injuries and that they were severe enough to justify a substantial settlement.