Rear end auto accidents occur when the back of a vehicle is struck from behind by an approaching vehicle. Rear end car accidents can cause injuries even at slow speeds; collisions in parking lots, for example, have caused neck problems. This is why attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth M. Quick take these kinds of crashes so seriously, helping accidents victims throughout the Kirkland and the greater Seattle, WA area.
Let’s take a moment to consider some of the causes of rear end collisions and who should be held legally liable in the event of such a crash.
Driver Actions That Cause Rear End Accidents
There are numerous potential causes of rear end collisions. These include the following errors made by drivers:
- Tailgating - Whenever a driver follows too closely behind another vehicle, the risk of a rear end collision increases. Always leave sufficient distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
- Speeding - The faster an object travels, the more distance will be required for it to come to a safe stop. Speeding makes rear end crashes more likely just given the physics.
- Driver Distraction - Looking at your cellphone, texting, rubbernecking, or reaching for an object in your vehicle takes your attention off the road ahead of you, making crashes more likely.
- Drunk Driving - Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol increases the risks of all kinds of accidents, including rear end crashes.
Additional Causes of Rear End Accidents
Sometimes a driver is abiding by all rules of the road, but other factors contribute to a rear end crash. The include:
- Brake Problems - When brakes don’t respond properly, it can result in longer stopping times or a sheer inability to slow down. This increases the chances of a rear end crash.
- Malfunctioning Brake Lights - Brake lights give drivers behind you sufficient warning that you are slowing down. When tail lights do not function properly, it increases the risk of a rear end collision.
- Poor Road Conditions - Sudden turns, pot holes, objects in the road, and anything that affects visibility to traction could increase the risk of a rear end crash.
- Bad Weather - As with road conditions, any weather than affect visibility and traction can lead to a rear end collision. This includes rain, fog, or ice.
Injuries in Rear End Auto Accidents
Injuries from a rear end crash can include broken bones, cuts, bruises, and traumatic brain injuries. Neck injuries are also a major hazard given the violent motion the neck makes when a vehicle is struck from behind.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash is the most well known neck injury associated with rear end crashes. This involves the rapid overextension of the neck, affecting the vertebrae of the cervical spine as well the muscle and nerve tissue in the neck and upper back area.
The most common signs and symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Reduced range of motion
- Headaches often originating from the base of the skull
- Shoulder and upper arm pain
Additional whiplash symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Sleep problems
- Problems with focus
- Memory lapses
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Determining Liability in Rear End Accidents
Liability in a rear end crash will depend on the nature of the collision and its cause or causes. In the case of driver error, a person who violated the rules of the road is likely to be held liable for causing an accident. By contrast, brake problems could mean a vehicle manufacturer or a mechanic is liable for the rear end collision due to design defects or faulty work, respectively.
Our lawyers will note the details of your accident and go over all available evidence to build a strong case. Our goal is to help you recover damages for the harm and hardships the collision has caused.
Contact Our Auto Accident Attorneys
For more information about your legal rights and options following a rear end auto accident, be sure to speak with our injury car crash attorneys. Quick Law Group, PLLC can be reached by phone at (425) 576-8150.