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Who Is at Fault in a Rear End Collision in Phoenix, AZ?

who is at fault in a rear end collision

No matter what type of Phoenix car accident you’re in, it always has the potential to cause you injuries. Even rear ended accidents have that possibility. However, it can be difficult to figure out who is at fault in a rear end collision. That’s why it’s always a good idea to speak with a Phoenix car accident lawyer if you’re involved in a rear end accident.

At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers handle rear end collision cases on a regular basis. We know what it takes to litigate successful claims on behalf of accident victims. If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a rear end collision, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced rear end accident lawyer, please call our office at 602-910-4040 today.

Arizona Rear End Collision Laws

Across the country, rear end accidents are among the most common types of accidents. This is especially true in Arizona, where there are many areas of heavy traffic. A general increase in distracted driving has also contributed to the increase in rear end collisions. In the state of Arizona, as well as in many other states, the rear driver is usually held liable for a rear end car accident.

Additionally, Arizona operates as a pure comparative negligence system. This means that any driver involved in an accident can seek compensation, even if they are partially to blame. As long as they are under 100% to blame for the crash, they can recover compensation. However, it’s important to remember that someone’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage they are at fault.

For example, let’s say that the rear driver followed the lead driver too closely. Arizona law states that drivers must give each other enough room on the road. Because the rear driver failed to do this, they will most likely be held more at fault for the accident. If they are found to be 60% to blame, their compensation will be reduced by 60% if they pursue it.

What Is a Rear End Accident in Arizona?

phoenix rear end collision lawyer

Rear end collisions occur when the front of a rear vehicle collides with the back of a lead vehicle. These are some of the most common types of car accidents across the nation. While many rear end crashes do not result in injuries, they still have the potential to cause very serious, even fatal injuries.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Rear End Accidents?

Many factors can contribute to the cause of a rear end crash. The following are some of the most common causes behind rear end collisions.

  • Brake checking: Brake checking occurs when you brake suddenly to force the driver behind you to slow down. If the lead driver suddenly slams on their brakes to get the rear vehicle to back off, this could cause an accident. In most cases, if you can prove that the lead driver brake checked you, they will likely be held liable for the crash.
  • Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit increases the risk of all types of crashes, including rear end crashes. It can also potentially increase the risk or severity of injuries, as higher speeds generate more force.
  • Not maintaining a safe following distance: Following too closely to another vehicle, or tailgating, gives someone less time to react to any changes. It is much more difficult to stop in time if you do not maintain a safe distance from the lead car.
  • Distracted driving: Many rear end accidents happen because of distracted driving. If a driver checks their phone or does anything else that takes their eyes off the road, this could cause a crash.
  • Ignoring traffic laws: Speed limits, traffic signs, and traffic lights all serve very important purposes. If someone chooses to ignore these signs, they may end up causing an accident.
  • Inclement weather: Nobody can control the weather, but they can control how they drive during bad weather. Drivers are expected to be more careful when driving in heavy rain or low visibility situations. Unfortunately, many people still drive recklessly, even in the middle of a bad storm.
  • Auto defects: Defective car parts can also cause accidents. If this is the case, it may be possible to sue the part manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit.
  • Driving while under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous. Drunk or drugged driving is one of the leading causes of car accident fatalities. If the at-fault driver was under the influence when they caused the accident, they may face very serious consequences.

What Happens to Your Body When You Are Rear Ended?

what happens to your body when you are rear ended

Many people don’t have more than a split second to prepare for a rear end collision if they have any time at all. These crashes tend to happen suddenly and without warning, which means you can’t brace yourself for the impact. The mechanics of a rear end accident are very important to understand if you want to learn how the crash affected your body.

At the moment of the impact, the momentum from the rear vehicle is transferred to the vehicle ahead of them, as well as the lead driver’s body. The higher the rear vehicle speed is at the time of the accident, the more damage that can occur. When the rear car strikes the back of your car, your body will jerk forward against your seatbelt, then snap backward against your seat. This generates a tremendous amount of strain and pressure on your head, neck, and back.

In high speed crashes, victims tend to suffer more severe injuries. This is because more force was exerted on their bodies during the accident. Injured victims can suffer a wide variety of injuries to varying degrees of severity.

Common Injuries in Rear End Collisions

In a rear end accident, just about any injury is possible. The severity of a victim’s injuries largely depends on how much force their body endured during the crash. Below, we outline the most common injuries resulting from rear end crashes.

  • Spinal injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Brain injuries (such as a traumatic brain injury)
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal fractures
  • Seat belt syndrome
  • Herniated disc
  • Nerve damage
  • Back strains
  • Chronic pain
  • Paralysis
  • Concussions
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Minor injuries, like bruises, cuts, and burns

What Should I Do After Being Rear-Ended?

As soon as you are safe and able to do so, you should always call for help. Even if you don’t think you sustained any injuries, it’s important to call for medical attention. You should also make sure to call the police so you can get a copy of the accident report. After the officer arrives to write up an accident report, you should do the following.

  • Seek medical treatment. As an accident victim, you should have first responders examine you for any injuries that require immediate care. You should also have a doctor formally evaluate you after you leave the scene. Medical records can serve as strong evidence in a personal injury claim.
  • Gather evidence from the crash scene. If you are able, try to take pictures and videos of the crash scene, as well as any visible injuries you sustained. Take pictures of the location, the condition of the road, and all the damage your vehicle sustained.
  • Get contact information from the other driver and any witnesses. Exchange contact and insurance information from the drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash. Then, gather contact information from witnesses. Their statements may help your case.
  • Contact a rear end collision attorney. Last but not least, contact an experienced car accident lawyer. We will deal with the insurance company and handle your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Who Is at Fault in a Rear End Collision?

who is at fault in a rear end accident

Fault in most rear end collisions is placed on rear drivers. This is because many rear end accidents are caused by distracted driving or tailgating. However, every motor vehicle accident claim is unique in some way. This means that the driver of the front car could also be held liable. For example, if they were braking suddenly, driving with their brake lights out, pulling out in front of others suddenly, or driving recklessly, they could be held liable for the accident.

How to Determine Liability in Rear End Collisions

In order to determine who is at fault and to what degree, you and your attorney will need to gather evidence. The team at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group is skilled at investigating cases and gathering all the evidence you need for a successful claim. Some of the most helpful forms of evidence in these cases include the following.

  • Eyewitness statements
  • Accident and police reports
  • Accident reconstruction experts
  • Pictures and videos of the crash scene
  • Surveillance footage, if available
  • Expert opinions

How Long After a Rear End Car Accident Can You Sue in Arizona?

phoenix rear end accident attorney

In Arizona, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years from the date of the accident. This means that, beginning on the day of the accident, you have two full years to file a lawsuit for compensation. Waiting too long to file your claim may put you at risk of losing your right to compensation. The best time to seek help from an attorney is as soon as possible after your accident.

Compensation in Rear End Car Accidents

So, how much is a rear end accident worth? Every accident is unique, and rear end accidents can be very minor or very serious. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be able to pursue compensation for the following accident-related damages.

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages or income
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage and vehicle repair costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability, disfigurement, paralysis, or loss of limbs

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Rear End Collision Case?

rear end accident lawyers

There is no rule or law that requires you to get an attorney after an accident. However, it is in your best interest to at least schedule a consultation with one. If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury, spinal cord injury, or other injury, it’s important that you have plenty of time to recover. Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer can give you the time and space you need to get back to full health. While our attorneys litigate on your behalf and fight for fair compensation, you can rest and recuperate until you’re ready to join the fight.

Contact a Phoenix Rear End Accident Lawyer Today

If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a rear end auto accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Handling personal injury claims while you’re recovering from severe injuries can be very difficult. That’s why it helps to work with a compassionate, skilled attorney in Phoenix. The team at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group has extensive experience with car accident cases. While you focus on your recovery, we’ll focus on fighting for full and fair compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our Phoenix law office at 602-910-4040 today.

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