A rear-end car collision is the most common type of motor vehicle accident. Negligent driving, including texting while driving, often causes rear-end collisions. However, auto defects, such as faulty brakes, can also cause rear-end collisions. After this type of accident, you may be wondering if you can sue for a rear-end collision.
The experienced Chicago rear-end collision lawyers at CCAL have decades of experience representing clients involved in different auto crashes, including rear-end collisions, drunk driving accidents, and hit-and-run accidents. Our extensive auto accident and personal injury experience allows us to communicate and negotiate efficiently with the insurance companies involved so that you can receive the financial compensation you deserve.
If a favorable settlement can’t be reached, our accident lawyers have the trial experienced needed to litigate your personal injury lawsuit. For a free initial consultation, call our Chicago law firm today at (312) 300-2515 or chat with us online to learn how we can help.
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What Are the Common Causes of Rear-end Accidents?
Even if you’re the most careful driver on the roadway, it’s often impossible to avoid rear-end collisions. Common causes of rear-end crashes include:
Almost every state has traffic laws that require rear drivers to keep a safe distance. To be safe, always allow a safe following distance of at least three seconds for stopping in case the vehicle in front stops suddenly. Further, allow more stopping time, especially during bad weather, poor road conditions, or poor visibility.
Eating while driving, cell phone usage, applying makeup, listening to loud music, talking with passengers, looking away from the road, and looking into the back seat to check on children are common causes of rear-end auto accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol and drugs substantially compromise a driver’s reflexes and reaction time. Impaired drivers can’t accurately judge distance or speed, and may sleep while driving.
Snow, heavy rains, slush, ice, high winds, and fog can hinder a driver’s ability to see ahead, stop in time, and stay within the lane.
A sudden stop can cause a rear-end collision, but it’s rarely a reason to put all the blame on the lead driver. A driver can stop abruptly for many reasons, such as to avoid hitting a child or animal, because of poor road conditions, and accidents ahead, police activity, or road construction.
Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
In many rear-end motor vehicle crashes, the rear driver is often at fault for the crash. However, the rear driver isn’t always at fault in a rear-end accident. Another vehicle or the lead driver could cause a rear-end collision.
Establishing who is at fault in an auto accident is essential because it helps determine who is liable to pay for the driver’s damages and losses. Liability can be assigned by figuring out if a driver was negligent and what percentage of the crash was caused by the driver’s negligence.
Negligence in an auto crash can be determined through failure to drive with care or by violating traffic rules by speeding or texting while driving.
Damages You Can Receive if You Sue for a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collision victims can recover financial compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. Drivers and passengers injured in rear-end collisions can seek compensatory damages following the accident. These damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair expenses
- Loss of consortium damages
- Funeral expenses
- Surviving family members damages for wrongful death.
Is Fault in a Rear-End Collision Automatic?
Fault in a rear-end motor vehicle accident isn’t automatic. Although the rear driver is often at fault because of following too closely or distracted driving, the driver can also be at fault. Also, another car, pedestrian, or even poor roadway conditions could have caused the car accident.
In most auto accidents, the fault is determined through negligence. Under negligence laws in Illinois, the negligent party is liable for all injuries and damages caused to another party. In a rear-end traffic collision, the negligent driver is liable to any injured passengers or drivers.
To recover damages after a rear-end injury accident, the injury victims must prove the responsible party was negligent. The elements for negligence require the injured person to prove:
- The reckless driver owed them a duty of care;
- The at-fault driver breached that duty of care through negligence; and
- The at-fault party negligence was a significant factor in causing the injured person’s personal injuries or death.
Who Pays for a Rear-end Collision?
Following a rear-end auto accident, you’re eligible for compensation for your property damage and bodily injuries. Often, the driver of the last vehicle in a rear-end accident is assigned fault.
If you live in a no-fault auto insurance state, you can file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get your vehicle fixed. However, you might be limited to your auto insurance policy’s med-pay or personal injury protection coverage to pay for your personal injuries.
In a no-fault state, you’ll need to pursue the at-fault driver for personal injury compensation if your losses exceed the no-fault limit. Don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the value of your car accident claim.
In fault-based states like Illinois, you’ll need to file a liability claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Often, the rear driver is fully liable for the rear-end accident, and the only thing to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurer is the value of your personal injury claim.
However, sometimes the insurance adjuster may say you’re partly to blame for the auto crash, even though the other driver rear-ended you. For instance, if your brake lights weren’t functioning, and the rear driver didn’t see you had stopped. If you’re in this situation, you should hire an experienced auto accident attorney. Don’t rely on the insurance company representative’s opinion regarding your fault.
Illinois is a comparative fault state, which means the plaintiff is eligible for financial compensation even though they contributed to their injuries and property damage. However, they’re only eligible for compensation as long as they aren’t more than 50% to blame for their damages.
With a comparative fault, an accident victim’s financial recovery drops in proportion to their percentage of fault. Thus, if you’re 15% to blame for the rear-end accident, you can only recover 85% of your losses from the other party.
Do I Need an Attorney After a Rear-End Collision if it Was Not My Fault?
Most drivers think they can handle an auto accident claim on their own, or they will leave the insurance adjuster to handle their insurance claim. However, insurance companies are only interested in saving money and paying out as little as possible.
The insurance company might try to deny your accident claim or delay any resolutions so that you finally give up and accept a low-ball settlement offer. Instead of accepting the insurance company’s low settlement offer, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
The experienced rear-end collision accident attorneys at CCAL know the insurance adjusters’ tricks and how to fight back. Our team of caring Chicago car accident attorneys, medical experts, car accident investigators will uncover all the evidence in your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Attorneys Today to Determine if You Can Sue For a Rear-End Collision!
If you or a loved one has suffered bodily injuries in a Chicago rear-end accident, you deserve to receive fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At CCAL, our skilled Chicago personal injury lawyers have extensive experience negotiating settlements for car accident victims and can help provide you with the legal representation you need to recover the maximum possible compensation.
Our knowledgeable car accident attorneys have successfully resolved hundreds of car accident cases for clients who have been injured through negotiations with insurance representatives or winning a jury trial. For a free initial consultation, call us today at (312) 300-2515, or contact form to learn how we can help.