Athens Rear-End Collision Lawyer
If you are in a rear-end collision, an Athens car accident lawyer can help you fight your case to win justice.
Unfortunately, the Athens area is no stranger to car accidents. In a busy college town with thousands of newly-licensed drivers moving in each year, the roads can get dangerous. Plus, every weekend during football season, tens of thousands more people are in town for games, making the traffic even worse.
Keep reading to learn more about rear-end collisions in Athens, the injuries and lawsuits that can come from them, and the benefits of hiring an Athens rear end collision lawyer.
4 Main Causes of Rear-End Collisions
There are several main causes of rear-end collisions. Keep reading as we go over a few examples.
Tailgating, where one driver follows another too closely, can easily and quickly result in a rear-end collision. When a driver does not provide the proper and necessary space between cars while driving, an accident is bound to happen if the driver in front brakes unexpectedly.
It is important to keep one to two car lengths between your car and the car in front of you.
Driving faster than the speed limit is another surefire way to get into a rear-end collision. Fortunately, speeding in Athens isn’t as common or accepted as it is for Atlanta drivers, but there are still risks.
The roads in Athens are mainly surface roads with afternoon traffic. Speeding around a curve could quickly lead to you ramming into a car in front of you that is braking or driving at or below the speed limit.
3. Driving While Distracted
If a driver is texting, looking at the phone, turning around to look in their back seat, or looking at a passenger in the car, they could easily hit the car in front of them.
If a driver turns around to check on their kids in the backseat, they could miss the car in front of them slowing down at a red light or merging into their lane in front of them and run into the rear of the next car.
The truth is, you can never know what the driver in front of you will do. It is crucial to stay alert and attentive while driving so that you can react accordingly when a driver in front of you does something unexpected.
4. Illegal Lane Changes/Driving Aggressively
Yet another common cause of rear-end collisions is drivers changing lanes illegally or driving aggressively. We have all seen those drivers who don’t use their turn signals before changing lanes and cutting people off.
Even worse are the drivers who drive erratically on the highway, shifting three or more lanes at a time without a turn signal. Aggressive driving like that can lead to rear-end collisions because the driver does not give proper warning before changing lanes.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
While many rear-end collisions are minor, it is also common for these accidents to result in injuries. Keep reading to learn about some common injuries that can occur as a result of rear-end accidents.
Whiplash is a neck injury that is caused by the sudden back and forth movement of the head upon impact in a crash.
The muscles in your neck are strained beyond their normal range of motion and as a result, you can face mild to severe head and neck pain and stiffness, as well as blurry vision and headaches.
Whiplash will usually heal but can cause you pain and missed work.
Concussions are a form of brain injury that occurs as a result of sudden trauma or impact to the head.
However, you don’t even need to hit your head to get a concussion; a concussion is caused by your brain being jolted and hitting the side of your skull. Concussions are usually mild and will heal, but they must be monitored closely or they can result in long-term issues with brain functioning.
Symptoms of concussions usually include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision. You may be instructed to pause daily activities such as reading, going to work, or looking at screens.
Rear-end accidents may also result in back injuries. The sudden impact of the crash can damage the muscles in your back, which can cause pain and even limit your mobility.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In a more serious rear-end accident, the impact of the crash can cause damage to your spinal cord or the surrounding nerves.
Spinal cord injuries can change your life in an instant. Some people fully recover from spinal cord injuries, but many others face partial or full paralysis and are stuck with a permanent physical disability.
Spinal cord injuries require intense and immediate treatment from skilled healthcare professionals for the best possible chance of recovery. A lifelong injury like this can make you unable to live your life the way you previously did and is also extremely expensive when it comes to medical bills and treatments.
Bone fractures are another possible injury that can happen in a rear-end collision. Fractures are any breaks in a continuous portion of bone. Drivers in an accident can experience bone fractures as a result of the sudden impact of the crash.
Fractures can happen as a result of hitting the steering wheel, the dashboard, or the airbags during the accident. Bone fractures can range from a mild injury that can heal quickly, to a severe injury that causes permanent damage to the bone that was broken.
Determining Fault in a Rear-End Crash
How is it determined who is at fault for a rear-end crash? In a car accident case, both parties will usually retain an attorney, who will fight to prove that the other party is at fault for the accident.
Often, a settlement agreement can be reached between the two parties and their insurance companies. However, other times, the case ends up going to trial.
At the trial, the injured party and their attorney will seek to prove that the other driver was at fault and should be held liable for the accident. The other party will seek to prove that the accident and injuries of the driver suing them were not their fault.
The court will ultimately decide who was at fault, and order compensation and damages to be paid accordingly.
Is the person in back always at fault?
The rear-end collision wouldn’t have happened if the person behind hadn’t hit the car in front of them, so the accident is always their fault, right?
Well, not always.
The person in front could have illegally merged into the lane of the person in the back without using a turn signal, causing the person in the back to hit them. In that case, the accident would more likely be the fault of the person in front.
Another example is that the person in front could have been texting while driving, and not seen the person in front of them slowing down. If they slammed on their brakes suddenly at the last moment, the car behind them wasn’t given sufficient warning time to stop.
The person at fault for the rear-end collision is completely dependent on the circumstances of the accident, and fault is determined on a case-by-case basis.
What if I was partly at fault in the accident?
So, what if you are deemed to be partly to blame for the accident? Maybe you didn’t cause the whole thing, but you played a part in it and now share fault for its occurrence.
Georgia has a modified comparative fault law, which means that the jury at your trial will decide how to divide fault between the parties.
Let’s look at an example to understand what this means. If you were deemed to be 25% at fault for the accident then you would only be eligible to recover 75% of the compensation you are requesting for damages.
However, keep in mind that if the other driver was also injured and is attempting to recover financial compensation, then you could be ordered to pay them 25% of what they are requesting.
Don’t let this scare you away from going to trial. Very few cases are clear-cut or black and white, where one person is 100% at fault for the accident and the other person is 100% innocent.
Accidents happen all the time because people make mistakes on the road, and it is possible to recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident that left you injured.
Now let’s talk about damages. What are they?
Damages are negative outcomes of an accident that you are requesting compensation for. These damages are broken down into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific financial burdens taken on by the victim as a result of the accident. Examples of these can include medical bills, loss of wages, and property damage. Recovering economic damages essentially serves to directly pay you back for the money you lost as a result of the accident.
Non-economic damages refer to more abstract hardships that occur as a result of the accident or injury and are not financial in nature but are sought to be made right through compensation. Examples of these can include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Injured in a rear-end collision? We’re here to help.
If you were injured in a rear-end accident, an Athens rear-end collision lawyer can help. Hiring a good lawyer is crucial to winning your case. If you were injured in an accident, you have enough to worry about with doctors’ visits and resting to heal from your injury, you shouldn’t also have to figure out the legal ins and outs of a personal injury case all by yourself.
An experienced rear-end collision lawyer like Mike Rafi knows the process of these cases inside and out. It’s bad enough that you suffered a traumatic and dangerous accident that left you hurt; you shouldn’t also be responsible for the medical bills for an injury that was someone else’s fault.
We will investigate the case fully, take it to trial, and help win you justice for the wrongs you have experienced.
Don’t wait to reach out – the sooner you get started with an Athens rear-end collision lawyer, the sooner you can recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients in Georgia, and we can help you, too.
Call (706) 995-7547 today to schedule your free case consultation to get started with an Athens rear-end collision attorney and take the first step towards gaining justice for your accident and injury.