Stockton Rear End Collision Accident Lawyer
Rear-end accidents are one of the most frequently occurring types of collisions, accounting for approximately 29 percent of all crashes and numerous fatalities and injuries every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The most injurious and fatal crashes occurred in rear-end accidents in which the vehicle in front was either stopped or moving very slowly at the time it was struck from behind.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end accidents are usually caused by an improper allocation of visual attention. The NHTSA’s research found that of the 6,177 rear-end collisions they studied, 26 percent involved a distracted driver. Rear-end accidents can happen at intersections when drivers assume that it is safe to reach for something because they are at a full stop, but their foot slips from the brake pedal. They can also happen on highways in heavy traffic when drivers look at their GPS or phones instead of the road.
In 1986, vehicle manufacturers were required to install a center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) onto cars to alert other drivers more effectively when the vehicle in front of them brakes. These lights are placed above the rear window in the center and turn on along with the side brake lights. These lights provide better communication between drivers when indicating that the driver in front was slowing down or braking. CHMSLs have contributed to a 4 percent reduction in rear-end crashes. This small improvement shows that functioning brake lights do not matter if a driver is not looking at them and paying attention to the road; they will cause an accident regardless.
Tailgating is a form of aggressive driving when one driver follows the car in front of them too closely. Drivers are recommended to stick to the three-second rule in which they leave three seconds of space between their car and the car in front of them so there is enough time to react to changes or another vehicle braking. Aggressive drivers who intentionally tailgate do not leave adequate space or reaction time if they need to stop suddenly or slow down.
The force of impact is greater in rear-end accidents in which one driver was speeding, leading to serious injuries for both drivers and their passengers. When a driver is speeding, they do not have enough time to slow down before crashing into the car in front of them.
Inclement weather, construction, and traffic affect road safety. Heavy fog, rain, or ice can lead to slippery roads where drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicle and need more reaction time for sudden movements. Rear-end collisions in work zones are very common because traffic is usually backed up as lanes are closed, and the speed limit is set much lower, so drivers become impatient and follow too closely. With the shoulder closed and motorists stuck in tightly-packed traffic, there are more risks of getting into an accident.
Driving Under The Influence
Driving while drunk is always a danger. A drunk driver is far more confident in their ability to drive than they should be because alcohol interferes with their judgment. Alcohol also interferes with a person’s reaction time, which is why drunk drivers are less likely to stop in time for a car braking in front of them than sober drivers.
Common Injuries After A Rear-End Accident
Due to the direction of the force, rear-end accidents can lead to serious injuries as drivers and passengers hit the steering wheel, dashboard, seat in front of them, or other parts of the vehicle. This could lead to lacerations, internal bleeding, fractures, and crush injuries. Even when a rear-end collision is caused by a driver traveling at a low speed, it could still cause injuries leading to chronic or debilitating conditions. Some of the most common injuries suffered as a result of a rear-end accident include:
Whiplash is a very painful neck injury caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then back or side to side in an accident, making a similar motion to a whip cracking. This type of injury involves the muscles, ligaments, discs, and nerves in the neck and shoulders. Symptoms may not show up right away, but after a few hours or days, the victim can develop pain and discomfort that sometimes radiates down the arm. Whiplash also causes headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, inability to sleep well, irritability and ringing in the ears. Whiplash is usually treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice, but in extreme cases, the victim will need prescription medications and even physical therapy.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by the brain hitting the inside of the skull from the force of impact and becoming bruised, which is called closed TBI. A TBI can also happen when an object penetrates the skull and exposes the brain, called open TBI.
The force of the impact can crumple a vehicle, crushing the occupants inside. They may suffer catastrophic injuries to their limbs, fingers, or toes that will require amputation. In the most violent types of rear-end accidents, the victim suffers a traumatic amputation.
Like with crush injuries, a force of impact when the occupants hit the inside of the vehicle can rupture blood vessels leading to internal bleeding, which is a life-threatening situation. A doctor can diagnose internal injuries through imaging tests such as ultrasound and CT scans and monitor the victim’s blood pressure.
Contact Brown & Gessell Today
Call (209) 430-5480 now to speak to a rear-end collision attorney from the Law Offices of Brown & Gessell. We have represented thousands of rear-end accident victims just like you, not only in Stockton but in San Joaquin Valley and all over northern California. Our clients choose us because of our results and our commitment to getting them the compensation they deserve. We have years of experience standing up against the insurance companies on our clients’ behalf, and we are ready and eager to help you. Call us now.