If you have been injured in a rear-end accident, you are certainly not alone – although it may feel like it. When the insurance company is trying to get you to settle, you should talk to a car accident lawyer in Stone Mountain before you make any decisions. Having someone with experience will allow you to get a feel for what your claim is really worth.
Going through an accident is hard, but rear-end collisions are especially frustrating because you may have just been innocently sitting at a stoplight when the crash occurred. John Foy & Associates has the type of experience you need to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement based on the unique facts of your case.
Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Stone Mountain?
Yes, in many cases, you can sue for a rear-end collision. In fact, rear-end collisions are often the most clear-cut type of car accident claim you can file, as they’re so often caused by the rear driver’s recklessness or inattentiveness.
The most common avenue that people choose to sue for rear-end collisions is through a personal injury claim. In any personal injury claim, the liability depends on negligence. In order for negligence to come into play, these three things must be true:
- The other party had a duty of care, which means they could be reasonably expected to treat you a certain way.
- The other party breached their duty of care, which can be anything from distracted driving to speeding to road rage.
- The other party’s breach of duty caused you specific damages.
The best way to go about suing for a rear-end collision is by contacting a personal injury lawyer in Stone Mountain. The car accident attorneys from our firm know what to look for after your accident and know how to prove that you were the victim of a negligent driver.
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What Is a Fair Settlement for a Rear-End Collision in Stone Mountain?
There is no one number that counts as a “fair” settlement for a rear-end collision. In order to be fair, your settlement should cover all of the damages that you suffered due to your accident. Those damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Diminished or lost wages
- Expenses for special equipment needed to accommodate your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
When you hire a rear-end accident attorney in Stone Mountain, they will calculate your damages and show the insurance company exactly how much you’re owed. That will include expenses you’ve already paid and those that you will most likely have to pay in the future.
Is Fault Automatic in a Rear-End Collision?
In the vast majority of cases, the driver who hit you from behind will be at fault for the rear-end accident. But fault is not automatic. You still need to prove your case by presenting evidence and testimony to a judge or jury. You can do this by showing any of the following facts.
- The other driver was following too closely. One of the rules of the road is that you must follow other vehicles at a “safe distance,” which changes based on how fast you are moving and what the conditions of the road may be like. When a driver is too close and ends up rear-ending you, that will usually mean they are at fault for the accident.
- The driver who rear-ended you was going too fast. Speeding is very common, but it is also very dangerous. When a driver is traveling too fast to be able to stop quick enough to avoid a collision, that will usually mean they are to blame for the crash.
- The other driver wasn’t paying attention. In the age of in-car technology and smartphones, drivers who are completely focused on the road are harder to come by. When a driver is distracted and doesn’t see you stopped or slowing down in front of them, that often leads to rear-end crashes.
You can use a variety of methods to prove these facts, including things like:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Damage on both of the vehicles
- Witness statements
- Driver testimony
- Phone and data records
- The police report
- Accident reconstruction experts
Even though fault may seem straightforward in a rear-end accident, you must still gather and present evidence. Thankfully, however, these cases are often easier to win because there was likely a reason that the other driver ran into you—and that reason is usually created by the other driver.
Are There Situations Where the Rear Driver Wouldn’t Be At Fault?
There are some circumstances where the rear driver wouldn’t be at fault or would only be partially at fault for the accident. But, most crashes can be avoided if the rear driver is following at a safe distance and paying attention to the road.
That means that although the front driver may contribute to the accident, the rear driver is usually going to take the brunt of the blame. Proving one of the below defenses is often hard to do in Stone Mountain. Situations in which the rear driver may not be at fault or would only take partial blame for the accident include circumstances where the first driver:
- Is driving erratically or in an unsafe way
- Slams on their brakes for no reason
- Suddenly cuts in front of the second driver
- Unexpectedly reverses into the rear driver
- Merges into traffic too slow for the flow of traffic
- Has brakes or brake lights that are not working properly
Keep in mind that where the first driver does stop for a good reason, such as when a child runs out into the street, the rear driver will generally still be responsible. It’s only when the first driver stops suddenly for no apparent reason that this type of fault would arise. The second driver should always follow the first driver at a distance that allows the second driver to stop suddenly if necessary.
How Comparative Fault Works in Georgia
Because Georgia is a comparative negligence state, you could be found partially at fault for your accident. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-33, if the other party is able to show that you had some fault in your accident, then your compensation could be decreased.
According to the comparative negligence rule, for any percent of fault that you had in your crash, your compensation could be docked by the same degree. For example, if you stand to get $10,000 for your damages, but you were 30% at fault, then you could lose $3,000, leaving you with just $7,000.
You can avoid that with the help of a skilled car accident attorney in Stone Mountain. Our team will work to prove that you were not at fault in any way for what happened and that the other party is responsible for 100% of your damages.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Associated with a Rear-End Collision?
Because rear-end crashes are so similar, you will see some of the same injuries over and over again. These often include:
- Spinal injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken bones or rib cage
- Facial disfigurement
- Brain injuries
Every crash is different. Just because your damage isn’t one of the most common in a rear-end crash doesn’t mean that it was caused by some other reason. You may be surprised which injuries are the result of a car accident, even if it is indirectly associated with the crash.
Talk to a Stone Mountain Rear-End Collision Accident Attorney at John Foy
We know your case is important, and our team treats it that way. Stone Mountain rear-end collision lawyers John Foy & Associates work hard to keep you informed at every step of the process. We want to get the best result for you, and you can be as involved or as hands-off as you want to be during that process.
Don’t wait to make the call to our team – the sooner you file your claim the better. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.