Being careless on the road leads to accidents. Often, those accidents come in the form of rear end collisions. Enlist the help of a San Antonio rear end accident lawyer if you ever find yourself involved in one of those crashes.
Although rear end car accidents are more common than other types of crashes in San Antonio, they are still highly preventable. We will talk about the common causes of those accidents, so you know what to look out for. We will also discuss how to handle rear end crashes, so you will not be in a vulnerable spot following the incident.
What Are Common Causes of Rear End Accidents?
During a rear end accident, a vehicle is hit from behind by another vehicle. Depending on the speed of the vehicles involved in the collision, the one in front could roll forward slightly or slide several feet.
The force may even push the first car off the road. As local San Antonio car accident lawyers at a Texas injury law firm we can tell you rear end car crashes can be dangerous. Learn more about their common causes, recognize them in time and avoid getting involved in those accidents while driving.
Many motorists have developed the bad habit of diverting their attention from the road in front of them. They give in to distractions easily, and they make themselves more susceptible to accidents as a result. Partner with a San Antonio rear end accident attorney if you believe that a distracted driver was responsible for your incident.
Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react to your surroundings. By the time you recognize that you are about to hit another car, it may already be too late for you to prevent the collision. Follow the speed limits in San Antonio and other parts of Texas to avoid getting involved in rear end accidents.
Brake checking involves hitting your brakes when you know a vehicle is following you closely from behind. This is something people do to discourage tailgaters and express their frustration. Unfortunately, some drivers also use brake checking to scam other motorists. Rear end crashes commonly result from brake checking. Get a lawyer immediately if you think another driver brake-checked you. See this page is brake checking legal in Texas? for more information on what break checking is and Texas laws regarding it.
We cannot mention brake checking as a common cause of rear end crashes without talking about tailgating as well. Tailgating is a provocative form of driving, and no real reason to engage in it. Maintain your distance from other drivers to prevent rear end car accidents.
Poor Driving Conditions
Bad weather can also be a factor in your rear end crash. Roads covered by rain or ice can be tricky to navigate. One wrong maneuver could quickly lead to you hitting another vehicle. As much as possible, stay off the road when the conditions are not good for driving. However, if that is not an option, drive at a slower speed so you can be more careful. See this article If a Car Accident in Texas is Caused by Bad Weather, Who Is Responsible? for information on weather related car accidents.
How Often Do Motor Vehicle Accidents Occur in Texas?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 552,224 motor vehicle crashes occurred in the state in 2021. That statistic is troubling enough, but it gets worse. TxDOT also reports that 4,489 people died in those accidents. The 4,489 motor vehicle crash fatalities recorded in 2021 represent a 15.22% increase from the 3,896 deaths tallied the year prior. TxDOT has numbers going back to 2003; the 4,489 fatalities are the highest in one year.
We cannot overstate how dangerous accidents are for motorists. Depending on where you live in the state, you may also need to exercise additional caution on the road. Harris County led the state in motor vehicle crashes in 2021; 114,674 crashes were recorded in Harris County that year. Dallas County was second, with a total of 55,634 tallied. Over that same period, 46,383 motor vehicles were in Bexar County.
Remember to call a car crash attorney if you are involved in a rear end collision or any other type of accident.
How Is Fault Determined in a Texas Rear End Accident?
To establish fault in a rear end car accident, the plaintiff must show that the other driver owed them a duty of care and breached it, which directly led to their injuries. Let’s examine those elements a bit further below.
Duty of Care
All motorists owe each other a duty of care. You and your lawyer should have no trouble proving that this element exists in your case.
Breach of Duty of Care
Things can get complicated if you are trying to determine who breached their duty of care in a rear end car collision. In many cases, the driver positioned at the back is to blame for the accident. They were the ones who should have seen the other car, so they were in the best position to prevent the crash. The front driver may have also been in a position where they could not move their vehicle, so the onus is on the back driver to do something.
Of course, there are also scenarios where they blame the front driver. A front driver who engaged in brake checking could be the instigator. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way when entering the road from a parking lot can also be blamed for the accident. Work with a car accident attorney to ensure that they attribute the breach of duty properly to the right party in your case.
Cause in Fact
All you need to prove now is that the breach of duty that occurred in your case directly caused your injuries. Your doctor and auto accident attorney should help you prove that connection.
While determining fault in rear end accidents, we also need to discuss comparative negligence. Because Texas follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they do not bear the majority of the blame for the accident. However, they can reduce your compensation based on the percentage of blame that you bear. Therefore, make sure that blame is properly distributed in your case, so you do not miss out on compensation unfairly.
What to Do if You Are in a Rear End Car Accident
How do you protect yourself and your interests following a rear end car crash? Following the steps detailed below will certainly help.
- Examine Yourself for Injuries – In the moments immediately following an accident, the first thing you need to do is check yourself for injuries. See if you have any injuries to determine what kind of assistance you need.
- Call 911 – Next, you need to call 911 for help. Ask them to send police officers to the scene and paramedics as well if you or someone else at the accident site has injuries.
- Speak to the Other Driver – If you can, get out of your car, and go to the other driver. Approach them and ask for their name, contact details, and insurance information. You will need those bits of information when you file for compensation.
- Collect Evidence – Aside from getting the driver’s information, you should also work on collecting evidence while you are still at the accident site. Speak to witnesses who saw the collision and record their statements. Take pictures and videos of the accident site so you and your lawyer can reference them later as well.
- Talk to and Cooperate With the Police Officers – Do not pass on the opportunity to speak to the police officers at the scene of the accident. Tell them everything you can recall about what happened, and hand over the evidence you collected. During this conversation with the police officers, you should also ask for their names and contact details. You will likely need their assistance later, so have a way to get in touch with them quickly.
- Consult with a Doctor – Victims in rear end car accidents are more susceptible to whiplash injuries. Those whiplash injuries can be surprisingly troublesome. Aside from causing neck pain and stiffness, those injuries can also adversely affect your vision, sleep quality, and even your cognitive performance. The effects of whiplash are not always evident immediately. Consult with your doctor so you can determine if you have that type of injury.
- Hire a Rear End Accident Lawyer – You will need someone to offer guidance as you pursue compensation following your rear end car accident. Hire a personal injury lawyer to take on your case if you do not already have one.
- Notify Your Insurer about the Accident – Lastly, you need to tell your insurer about the accident. Tell them you were involved in a car accident but avoid getting too specific because that could backfire on you. Your lawyer can speak to your insurer if they need more details.
What if I am in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver in Texas?
All Texas motorists are required to carry insurance, but some negligent individuals will still take to the road without that safety net. So, what can you do if you are the unfortunate victim of a driver who has inadequate or no insurance? In that scenario, your first option is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. Together with your lawyer, you can take them to court and recoup your compensation with the help of the legal system.
Of course, taking that course of action is not always an option. There is a good chance that the other driver did not have insurance because they could not afford it. They may not pay for your medical expenses and repair bills even if you win your case. At that point, your best option is to file a claim with your own insurer. Cover your expenses using your personal injury protection coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Texas insurers are required to offer both of those policies by law. So, if you did not decline them in writing, they should be included in your plan. Use them now so you can get out of your current predicament.
Automobile Accident Lawyer in San Antonio
Our Texas injury law firm has a wealth of experience to draw from when handling rear end car accident cases. With that experience in hand, we are confident that we can provide the legal assistance you need. Contact us today so we can start helping with your case.