Rear-end collisions are often severe and lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries and extensive property damage.
A report from the North Carolina Department of Transportation says 5,610 accidents in one recent year involved one of the vehicles following too closely. That includes 1,562 accidents with injuries to at least one party, as well as one fatal crash.
Rear-end collisions can leave victims dealing with severe injuries and substantial economic and non-economic losses. If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end accident in Shelby or surrounding areas of North Carolina, contact Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, PLLC, as soon as possible.
Our rear-end car accident lawyers in Shelby have recovered significant awards on behalf of our clients. We’ve also earned widespread recognition for the quality of our legal services, including being named to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Lawyers” list.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation if you need legal representation after a rear-end accident in Shelby.
Types of Rear-End Collisions
Every rear-end accident case has unique details, but some of the more common types of rear-end collisions include:
- Drivers following other vehicles too closely — Tailgating is one of the major causes of rear-end collisions. If a driver is following the car in front of them too closely, they won’t have enough time to stop safely or maneuver out of the way in an emergency, leading to a crash.
- Distracted driving — A distracted driver may fail to notice traffic slowing down or stopping in front of them until it is too late to brake safely. Talking on the phone, texting, adjusting music or other in-vehicle controls, speaking to passengers, snacking, grooming, and other distractions all take a driver’s hands, eyes, and concentration off the road, making an accident more likely.
- Impaired driving — Drivers who drink, use illegal drugs, or aren’t careful with their prescription medications can find themselves dangerously impaired behind the wheel. These substances can make it a challenge for drivers to stay in control and be aware of what’s happening around them, which increases their chances of being involved in a rear-end crash.
- Speeding — Drivers who are speeding will not have as much time or room to react if the vehicle in front of them suddenly stops or slows down. That dramatically increases the odds of a rear-end collision.
- Weather-related crashes — Snow, rain, ice, fog, and other bad weather decrease visibility and traction and increase the likelihood of a rear-ender. Drivers who aren’t paying attention in poor weather conditions can easily collide with a car in front of them.
- Fatigued-driving accidents — Research shows that driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is equivalent to driving with a BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) level of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in most states. Severely fatigued drivers will experience many of the same effects as drunk drivers, including dulled reflexes, impaired judgment, and an increased chance of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Mechanical defects — If one of the vehicle’s components fails, such as its brakes or steering system, there may be no way for the driver in the rear to avoid colliding with the car in front of them.
Rear-End Collision Injuries in Shelby
Some of the most common severe injuries that result from rear-end collisions in Shelby include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Joint damage, including hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Soft-tissue injuries (damage to ligaments, tendons, muscles, etc.)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Emotional distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder
- Internal injuries, including organ damage and bleeding
- Cuts, bruises, and scarring
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Shelby?
Generally speaking, a driver following behind another vehicle is responsible for maintaining a safe distance behind the car in front of them. That means that the driver in the rear is usually found at fault for a rear-end collision.
However, the rear driver is not always liable for a rear-end crash. If the driver in front acted negligently — for example, by stopping suddenly for no reason or “brake checking” the other driver — or if a mechanical problem with the vehicle in front causes the crash, the driver in the rear would not necessarily be held liable for the accident. A car accident lawyer can go over your case with you to determine who’s responsible.
What to Do After a Rear-End Car Accident in North Carolina
Here are the key steps to take if you’re ever involved in a rear-end accident in North Carolina:
- Call 911. If anyone involved in the crash has severe injuries, they need rapid medical treatment from emergency responders. Calling 911 will also alert the police so they can investigate and file a report about the accident.
- Get the other driver’s insurance information. You’ll need this to file a claim for compensation. Get the other driver’s contact information as well.
- Document the scene before you leave. If you are able, make sure you properly document the accident. Take pictures of your injuries, the damage to any vehicles involved, and the surrounding area. Get the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses as well.
- See a doctor. Whether you’re brought to a hospital or see your doctor, get a complete medical examination and appropriate treatment as soon as possible. You also want to make sure you follow your doctor’s orders to the letter.
- Hire a car accident lawyer. If you don’t have help from a lawyer, you’ll have a much lower chance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can handle the bulk of the work related to your claim while you concentrate on getting better.
Why Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
You could file an insurance claim yourself after an accident, but that’s difficult to do if you’re recovering from severe injuries. A lawyer can handle your claim on your behalf while you take care of everything you need to do related to your recovery.
Another reason to hire a lawyer is to maximize your potential compensation. A car accident attorney brings training, resources, and experience to your case to seek the right amount to cover your losses and help you move on with your life.
Contact Our Shelby Rear-End Collision Lawyers for a Free Consultation
The Shelby car accident attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, PLLC, are committed to seeking justice for people who’ve been injured in rear-end collisions in our community. We have what it takes to make a difference in your case, and we want to see justice served.
Contact our office in Shelby today for a free initial consultation.