Rear-end car accidents are among the most common types of collisions on Texas roads, like everywhere else. Perhaps surprisingly, the Texas Department of Transportation does not compile statistics or keep records regarding the number of rear-end accidents that occur every year. Nationally, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report there are approximately 1.7 million rear-end collisions every year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made recommendations that all passenger vehicles be equipped with collision-avoidance systems within the next few years, which they believe could potentially reduce that number by as much as 80 percent.
Your rear end accident settlement will depend on several very important factors, which vary case to case. Those factors include how clear it is that someone else is at fault, how badly you were injured, and how much money is available to recover from insurance companies or the parties that caused the rear end accident:
Fully developing these three factors is critical in any personal injury case. A good personal injury lawyer can help you put together the best strategy regardless of how these factors weigh, but it is important to build that strategy as soon as possible after an accident. There are many pitfalls on the road to maximizing your car accident settlement, and the sooner you avoid them, the better off you will be.
As is the case with virtually any auto accident settlement, the size of settlements tend to vary widely, from very low to very high. Low settlements typically come from cases where liability is disputed between the parties, which is not that common in rear end collisions. If your injuries are very minor, or if you were not injured at all, your financial losses and quality of life losses are also probably very minor, and your rear end accident settlement will probably be on the lower end of the spectrum. Also, even if your injuries are severe, but there are limited resources to recover from, your settlement could be lower than you want or deserve. In those situations, a personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate your medical bills so that more of the settlement goes directly to you. Or, the lawyer might be able to dig deep and find some other sources of recovery.
At the end of the day, rear-end car accident settlements are usually calculated later in the case once you have taken the time to really learn whether your life will be permanently different because of the car accident. You should work with your personal injury lawyer to put a number to the losses that come with that permanent injury, such as financial losses (like medical bills and lost earnings) and quality of life losses (like pain and physical impairment). Often times, your lawyer can help determine the difference in your lifetime earnings and medical costs because of the crash, or help an insurance company or jury understand what amount of money should be paid to offset the decrease in your quality of life. No two cases are the same, and each case requires thoughtful analysis before a settlement amount is discussed.
Looking back to the bygone days of driver’s ed classes, when you were learning to drive, among the most important and basic instructions you received were the admonitions to:
It’s a simple fact that anyone who took those instructions seriously and continues to abide by them has probably never rear-ended anyone. Of course, if you ever drive in the largest cities in Texas, especially during rush hours, you have probably seen numerous drivers who fail to heed this basic advice. People who ignore those basic rules are the most common causes of rear-end accidents. With everyone driving in a hurry, and getting distracted by things like cell phones or passengers in their cars, the roads are more dangerous than ever.
The fact is, rear-end car accidents can be very serious, even when they happen at slow speeds. That is because a rear-end accident at 30 miles per hour exerts 1.6 tons of force on a 160-pound person wearing a seatbelt. Without a seatbelt, the amount of force exerted is equal to 12 tons.
Many injuries can come from a rear-end collision. Among the most common injuries include the following:
One aspect of rear-end car accidents that makes them so potentially disastrous is that, unless you are staring at your rear-view or side mirrors, you will not know what is about to happen, which means you won’t be able to brace yourself or prepare for the impact of the airbag that is designed to protect you. Even if you brace yourself, the forces even in small rear end collisions are enough to do real damage.
If you have never hired a lawyer to help you before, you may be wondering what a lawyer will do for you and whether you even need them. You might even wonder whether it is worth your time to talk to a lawyer for a free consultation, and what you should expect to gain by calling a personal injury lawyer. You deserve to know what your rights and options are, and should take the time to get a clear education that will help you understand what choices you should make to maximize your recovery. By having a strategy and sticking to that strategy, you can get a better than average settlement for your rear end car accident.
During the consultation, you will be taught how the claims process works, and what choices you have for getting the medical care you need. You will also be taught what action needs to be taken immediately to preserve your rights and put yourself in the best position possible to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company. Simply stated, if you were hurt in a rear end car accident, you will benefit from a consultation with a personal injury lawyer at FVF.
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