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San Diego Rear End Accident Attorney

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Why Choose San Diego Rear End Accident Attorneys?

Getting rear-ended while driving is an unexpected event that can lead to serious complications. The trailing car is required to maintain a safe distance from the car in front. When the car in front is hit at a high speed, the drivers and passengers are vulnerable to severe head, spinal, neck, and back injuries that can have emotional and financial consequences. Drivers who rear-end victims due to their negligence need to be held accountable for their actions. At Haffner & Morgan, LLP our San Diego personal injury attorneys will fight to get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for your free consultation.

What is a Rear End Collision?

A rear end accident occurs when a driver who is behind another vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of the driver. Rear end collisions should almost never occur because practically all traffic laws require drivers to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them. The requirement is designed to allow drivers to stop if necessary and protect the vulnerable driver in front who cannot prevent an accident from occurring.

rear end accident attorney

What are the Causes of Rear End Car Accidents?

Rear end accidents are a common form of car accidents and can occur for various reasons. Some commonly seen cases include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Rainy weather
  • Poorly paved roads
  • Driving too close to the rear of another vehicle

Distracted Driving: A Primary Risk Factor

Distracted driving is a major cause of rear-end collisions and other car accidents in San Diego. A driver with eyes on the road ahead should clearly see a stopped or slowing car in front of them. Distracted driving has always been a concern, but in the past, the distractions were limited to causes such as adjusting the radio, eating while driving, or applying makeup. Unfortunately, distracted driving incidents have sky-rocketed in numbers since smartphones have become common tools of everyday life. Now, the Department of Transportation statistics shows that 30% of all accidents are rear end collisions and of those, over 80% are related to distracted driving. Rear end collisions are now the third leading cause of car accident deaths in the U.S. The most dangerous distractions known to cause rear end accidents are the following:

  • Texting or instant messaging
  • Reading/writing emails
  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Using a GPS app
  • Adjusting/choosing a playlist on a smartphone
  • Scrolling or posting on social media
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Playing games
  • Browsing the internet 
  • Eating
  • Adjusting sound equipment on the dash
  • Applying makeup
  • Tending or monitoring children in the backseat

Smartphones are by far the most significant risk factor in rear end collisions today. Worse, this type of distracted driving doesn’t just happen at low speeds. Some drivers are distracted by their cellphones while hurtling along at high speeds on the highways or on San Diego roadways.

When drivers focus on their smartphones rather than the road ahead, they are breaching the duty of care that others on the roadway have the right to expect from them.

  • Texting or instant messaging
  • Reading/writing emails
  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Using a GPS app
  • Adjusting/choosing a playlist on a smartphone
  • Scrolling or posting on social media
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Playing games
  • Browsing the internet 
  • Eating
  • Adjusting sound equipment on the dash
  • Applying makeup
  • Tending or monitoring children in the backseat

Smartphones are by far the most significant risk factor in rear end collisions today. Worse, this type of distracted driving doesn’t just happen at low speeds. Some drivers are distracted by their cellphones while hurtling along at high speeds on the highways or on San Diego roadways.

When drivers focus on their smartphones rather than the road ahead, they are breaching the duty of care that others on the roadway have the right to expect from them.

Proving Liability in a Rear-End Collision

California is a comparative fault insurance state in which the burden of proving the at-fault driver negligent falls on the injury victim. A rear-end collision lawyer from Haffner & Morgan will investigate your accident to prove liability by demonstrating the following:

  • That the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injury
  • That they breached this duty by acting negligently
  • That the negligent breach of duty directly caused your injury
  • That you’ve suffered significant damages due to the injury

These are the legal points of liability required under comparative negligence laws. This type of fault-based insurance law means you can still recover a portion of your damages even if you were partly at fault for the accident. For example, if you slammed on your brakes abruptly you could be found to be 25% at fault for the accident. In that case, if damages equal $100,000, you could still recover $75,000.

What Are Common Injuries from a Rear End Accident?

There are numerous body injuries that can result from a rear-end accident. The most common personal injury is a condition called whiplash. During the collision, the neck is vulnerable and a sudden jolt of the neck can cause damage to the neck and potentially even the spine. The symptoms can develop days after the injury. Many of the symptoms are not long-lasting but they can also be chronic. Common symptoms seen following a rear end accident include:

  • Headaches
  • Arms going numb or tingling sensations
  • Shoulder pain
  • Restricted neck movement due to pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Difficulty in sleeping

Rear-End Accident Statistics

Rear-end accident statistics in the United States are startling. Not only are they increasing in numbers annually, but these accidents cause 1,700 deaths. They are also a leading cause of multi-car pileups on major highways. More stunning statistics include:

  • An estimated 1.7 million rear-end collisions occur each year
  • Rear-end collisions cause 85% of accident-related neck injuries
  • 81% of rear-end accidents occur when the vehicle in front is at a complete stop
  • A rear-end accident occurs approximately once every eight seconds
  • 30% of 2-car accidents are rear-end collisions

What to Do Following a Rear End Collision

Rear end collisions may cause serious injuries. If you are severely injured in this type of accident, remain in place and wait for help to arrive. If your injuries don’t limit your mobility and you can keep a clear head, taking the following steps can help you to protect your safety, health, and financial future:

  • Move to the shoulder of the road or a safe location out of traffic, but NEVER leave the scene of the accident
  • Call 911 to report the accident
  • Provide reasonable aid and comfort to any other injured parties
  • Document the scene with your phone by snapping photos of the involved vehicles, including their tags
  • Take photos of the immediate surroundings of the accident scene, including any relative factors
  • Collect contact information for other drivers and any witnesses at the scene
  • Allow EMS to transport you to a hospital or go to an E.R. as soon as possible
  • Have your medical professionals take detailed notes on every injury, your treatment recommendations, and prognosis
  • Gather medical records, the police report, and insurance information and contact a San Diego rear end accident attorney

While it can be challenging to remain calm at the scene of the accident, especially if you are injured, by taking these precautionary steps you can protect your future physical and financial health.

Recovering From a Rear-End Collision

The days, weeks, and months following a serious car accident can feel overwhelming. It’s difficult to take on a legal challenge when you’re feeling vulnerable. A car accident attorney from Haffner & Morgan of San Diego can take on the legal aspects of your case while you follow these tips to maximize your physical recovery:

  • Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and make every appointment
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Stay well-hydrated and eat a healthy diet
  • Engage in doctor-recommended mild physical activity to keep yourself moving. This improves circulation to bring healing oxygen into damaged tissue to promote healing
  • Don’t over-exert yourself or return to work too soon
  • Keep a pain journal detailing your daily pain and activity levels during recovery so you can look back on your progress
  • Speak to a mental health professional if you experience post-accident anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, or PTSD

Taking care of yourself during this distressing time is the best way to maximize your recovery. Often, compensation for your damages after a rear-end collision covers visits to a mental health professional to help you deal with the effects of trauma.

Damages, Liabilities, and Claims

Damages from a rear-end car crash can be economic damages or non-economic damages.

Typical economic damages include:

  • Automobile repairs
  • Medical costs
  • Loss of salary

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Emotional distress

Pain and suffering damages can end up being three times the amount for economic damages. The permanence of the injuries and the impact on future wages can be a sticking point for juries when determining the compensation you can get for your case.

File Your Claim in a Timely Manner

While sometimes the extent of the physical and financial toll an accident takes on your life isn’t completely clear until long after the accident, it’s important to file a claim as soon as feasible after an accident. Not only does this help to preserve the fresh quality of evidence and eyewitness testimony which tends to degrade over time, but it also abides by California’s statute of limitations law. In California, you have up to 2 years to file a claim for a rear end accident. Typically, claims filed in a timely manner get the best results for settlements or court awards.

Why You Probably Won’t See a Courtroom for Your Rear-End Injury Claim

The overwhelming majority of car accident claims, including rear-end collisions, settle out of court when your San Diego car accident attorney crafts a compelling case for your damages by proving liability on the part of the driver at fault and carefully calculating your damages to maximize your compensation. Only when insurance companies use bad-faith tactics to deny your valid rear-end collision claim or seriously underestimate its value does the case move forward into a lawsuit. If that’s the case in your claim, your San Diego accident lawyer from Haffner & Morgan is more than ready to zealously defend your best interests in court to gain a substantial jury award. While court cases take longer than a settlement, compensation from a jury award for damages is typically higher than you’d recover through a direct settlement. 

Your attorney will offer advice and counsel about whether or not to move to a lawsuit within the state’s 2-year statute of limitations.

Contact Haffner & Morgan Today and Talk to Our San Diego Rear End Accident Attorneys

Victims in car crashes have enough to deal with then to worry about battling insurance claims over a proper amount for their injuries. At Haffner & Morgan, our lawyers can help you build a strong car accident case with thorough investigation and gathering of evidence. Our San Diego car accident lawyers are prepared to help you evaluate your options, provide you with a realistic sense of the strength of your case, and ensure that you have done everything you can to preserve the evidence you need for your claim.

A rear end car accident can cause a sudden disruption to your routine life. Our San Diego rear-end accident attorneys will give you the confidence so that you can sleep at night knowing we are fighting every day for the compensation you deserve. Contact our San Diego car accident attorneys online for your free consultation, or call us at (619) 541-8787.