Rear-End Car Accident Lawyer in Orangeburg, SC
A rear-end accident, or rear-end collision, occurs when a driver hits the back of another motorist’s vehicle. These types of crashes are usually the result of a driver following too closely and not leaving enough stopping distance between the two cars.
People often think of rear-end accidents as minor collisions. That’s a myth. The reality is that rear-end accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries. At high speeds, hitting someone from behind can cause chain-reaction accidents that hurt people in multiple vehicles at once.
Were you injured in a rear-end collision in South Carolina? You shouldn’t have to pay if someone else is at fault. An Orangeburg, SC rear-end car accident lawyer at Wilson Law Group, LLC can help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Let us help get you on the path to justice. Schedule a free consultation by calling or completing our online contact form now.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
A number of reckless driving behaviors and other factors can cause a rear-end accident, including:
- Tailgating: The most common cause of rear-end accidents, tailgating happens when someone drives too closely to another vehicle. If the lead car needs to stop suddenly, there is a good chance that a tailgating driver won’t have enough time to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Distracted driving: Texting is the most common type of distracted driving. But any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road counts as a distraction. Cell phone use is a frequent cause of rear-end accidents, as drivers tend to pick up their phones to check messages when they slow at an intersection or in traffic.
- Driver fatigue: Being tired dulls a driver’s awareness of his or her surroundings. Fatigue also slows reaction times. Both of these factors can increase the likelihood of a rear-end collision.
- Bad weather: Heavy rain, high winds, and a number of other weather conditions can make it harder for drivers to stop or slow down in an emergency.
- Defective car parts: In rear-end accidents, defective brakes may be to blame.
Drivers who make careless errors that lead to car accidents can be held liable for their negligence in South Carolina. If you’ve been hurt, an Orangeburg rear-end collision attorney at Wilson Law Group, LLC can help build a strong and solid case against the at-fault party.
Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions can cause a wide variety of injuries. While many individuals make a full recovery, others are not so fortunate. Approximately 17,000 people are killed in rear-end collisions every year.
The most common injuries stemming from a rear-end accident include:
- Whiplash: Of all the injuries a person could suffer in a rear-end accident, whiplash is by far the most common. When someone is hit from behind, the neck snaps back and forward rapidly. The sudden force can injure the soft tissues of the neck. The symptoms of whiplash may not appear for several days, but can result in nerve damage and chronic pain that lasts for years.
- Back injuries: The lead driver in a rear-end car accident is hit with a sudden and tremendous force, even at low speeds. The impact can compress the spine and the discs in the lower spinal column, which can lead to debilitating pain and may require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.
- Airbag injuries: Airbags have the potential to cause burns to the face and broken bones and ribs when they deploy.
- Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord are some of the most serious a person could sustain in a crash. The most severe result of these injuries is complete or partial paralysis.
- Head and brain injuries: Even with safety features such as airbags and seat belts, a person’s head may still strike the dashboard, window, and other parts of the vehicle when they are rear-ended. A traumatic brain injury can have life-changing consequences.
- Facial injuries: Injuries to the face are much more than cosmetic problems. Facial features can become disfigured during a crash and require extensive treatment and surgeries.
- Arm and wrist injuries: Drivers often have their hands on the steering wheel at the time they are hit from behind. This position places a great deal of pressure on the delicate bones of the arm and wrist and can cause them to break.
Rear-end collision injuries can result in costly medical bills, time off work, and potentially permanent disabilities. Compensation from an injury claim can help accident victims recoup money for their physical, financial, and emotional losses.
What to Do After Being Rear-Ended in Orangeburg, S.C.
Follow these steps if you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision in Orangeburg:
- Move your vehicle: Leaving your car in the middle of the road could cause a secondary accident. Move to the side of the road and a place of safety if possible. If you are too injured to move, stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened and your hazard lights on.
- Call the police: In South Carolina, you must report any accident that results in injury or death.
- Exchange information: Gather the names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the crash.
- Collect evidence: Take pictures of your injuries, damage to the vehicles involved, and anything that shows how the collision occurred, such as open alcohol containers or skid marks on the road. Also collect the names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Seek medical attention right away: Get treatment for all obvious injuries immediately. But you should still see a doctor, even if you don’t feel hurt. Many rear-end accident injuries, such as whiplash, take days for symptoms to develop.
- Call a rear-end car accident lawyer: An Orangeburg rear-end collision attorney will help you through the claims process, contact the insurance company on your behalf, and advise you on the next steps to take.
- Call your insurance company: Even if someone else was at fault, your insurance policy likely requires you to notify your insurer of any accident you are involved in. There can be strict notification deadlines, so be sure to read the fine print of your policy so that you don’t miss out on compensation that you may be entitled to.
Just as there are steps to take after a crash, there are also things you should never do. Do not speak to an insurance adjuster until you have talked to a lawyer, and never admit fault or apologize for the crash. Anything you say can be used against you to reduce or even dismiss your rear-end accident claim.
Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Generally speaking, the driver that hit another vehicle from behind is presumed to be at fault for a rear-end accident in South Carolina. The assumption is that the following driver was in a better position to prevent an accident and should have taken the necessary precautions.
However, there are times when drivers in the lead vehicle or another party can be held liable. For example, if the driver in front slammed his or her brakes without proper reason or cut off the driver that hit them, he or she may be found at fault for the crash. On the other hand, if the brake lights on the vehicle in front were defective, the manufacturer of the car or lights may be found liable for the rear-end collision.
What Legal Actions Can I Take After a Rear-End Collision?
Accident victims have a number of legal options after a rear-end collision. The first step is usually to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A lawyer can successfully negotiate a fair settlement for compensation, which can include benefits for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
However, the insurance company will only pay up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits. If the compensation needed exceeds the at-fault driver’s insurance limits, victims may also be able to file a claim directly against the negligent motorist.
In cases where a company or government entity bears some fault for the accident, your attorney could file a claim against them. Keep in mind that the deadline for filing a claim against a state, city, or municipality is much shorter in South Carolina. You’ll need to speak with a rear-end accident lawyer right away to ensure that you don’t lose out on compensation because of a missed deadline.
How Can Wilson Law Group, LLC Help Me?
The Orangeburg rear-end car accident lawyers at Wilson Law Group, LLC, can support you through every aspect of the claims process. We’ll investigate your case and collect the evidence needed to build a convincing case that stands up to challenges from the insurance company. You don’t have to worry about talking with insurance adjusters, because we’ll handle the negotiations for you. Our goal is to recover full and fair compensation for you with as little stress as possible.
Find out more about what Wilson Law Group, LLC can do for you. Call or contact us for a free consultation today.