Even a seemingly minor rear-end collision can have long-lasting and wide-ranging consequences for the people involved. Injuries from a rear-end accident can be disruptive and painful, and you might find yourself facing costly medical bills while your injuries prevent you from earning income. You should know that you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses if someone else was to blame for the crash.
For over four decades, the law firm of Arrington Schelin has fought for the rights of accident victims throughout Southwest Virginia. We know how painful injuries from a rear-end car accident can be. We want to help you navigate the legal system to pursue the compensation you need. Our firm focuses specifically on car accidents, and we are as adept at negotiating with insurers as we are at taking cases to trial.
Contact our office today to get started with a free consultation with one of our rear-end accident lawyers in Virginia.
What Is a Rear-End Collision?
A rear-end collision occurs when the front end of one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle. Rear-end collisions are the single most common type of crash by point of impact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They can be caused by various factors, including following too closely, distracted driving, and other forms of driver carelessness or recklessness.
Causes of Rear-End Car Accidents in Virginia
Some of the most common causes of rear-end car accidents include:
- Drunk driving – Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have dulled reflexes and lack judgment, so they may fail to stop in time to avoid a rear-end accident.
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are texting, making phone calls, or otherwise not paying attention can easily fail to notice that traffic ahead has slowed or stopped.
- Speeding – Drivers going too fast may not have enough time to stop to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Reckless driving – Drivers who are not being careful behind the wheel can easily make maneuvers that put themselves and other road users in danger.
- Drowsy driving – Driving while overly tired can dull a person’s reflexes and make them less aware of their surroundings.
- Unsafe lane changes – Failing to check for vehicles in an adjacent lane can lead to a rear-end collision.
- Tailgating – A tailgating driver will not have enough time or space to stop to avoid a crash.
- Aggressive driving – Drivers swerving in and out of traffic or being aggressive are not exhibiting the car necessary to avoid collisions.
- Poor road conditions – Icy, wet, or slippery roads can make it harder for drivers to slow down in time to avoid crashes.
- Defective car parts – If brakes fail while a car is on the road, a rear-end collision is possible.
What Should I Do After a Rear-End Accident in Virginia?
If you are injured in a rear-end collision, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your legal rights. You should do the following:
- Report the accident to the authorities. Under Virginia law, a driver involved in an accident resulting in death, injury, or property damage must stop at the scene and report the crash to state police or local law enforcement. Drivers must also exchange contact information and render aid to any injured victims. Failure to do so could result in felony or misdemeanor charges and fines.
- Seek medical treatment. If an ambulance does not take you from the crash scene to the hospital, get a thorough medical exam as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor at first, you should see a doctor to get a diagnosis and proper treatment before complications arise. Your medical record could be helpful evidence if you seek compensation.
- Gather evidence. If it’s safe, take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, and physical injuries.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Anyone whose actions or failure to act contributed to a rear-end collision is said to be at fault for it. While this is often the driver of the rear vehicle, that is not always the case. For example, a driver with broken taillights or who suddenly slams on the brakes without cause could be at fault if another driver cannot avoid hitting them.
Virginia follows a contributory negligence rule when determining fault for car accidents. Under this legal doctrine, if an injured party contributes to the accident that causes their injuries, they are barred from seeking compensation in civil court. If an injury victim is even 1 percent to blame for the accident, they cannot pursue financial relief for their losses. Because of this law, it is crucial to hire an experienced rear-end accident attorney who can prove the other driver is entirely to blame for the crash that injured you.
A rear-end accident lawyer may use the following types of evidence to prove fault for a collision:
- Information from the police accident report
- Photos of the accident scene
- Videos of the crash from traffic cameras, dash cams, or nearby surveillance cameras
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Testimony from medical and accident reconstruction experts
- Medical records
Seeking Damages for a Rear-End Collision in Virginia
If you were injured in a rear-end collision in Virginia, you could be entitled to financial relief for your crash-related losses. You could seek compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical bills and hospital expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Damage to personal property
Filing a Rear-End Car Accident Lawsuit in Virginia
If you are involved in a rear-end car accident, you might be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver or another party responsible for the crash. However, navigating the legal system can be tricky, particularly if you are also trying to heal from injuries. Fortunately, a rear-end accident lawyer from Arrington Schelin is ready to prepare your case.
Your attorney can investigate the accident, gather crucial evidence to prove liability, and build a compelling case for compensation. A lawyer will also identify all possible sources of financial relief, including the availability of insurance coverage, to help you pursue maximum compensation.
Before filing a lawsuit, your attorney will calculate the total value of your financial and personal losses to help you seek what you are owed. They can then prepare your lawsuit and file it with the appropriate court, keep track of important deadlines, and see that all paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Before trial, your attorney can negotiate for a fair settlement with the responsible insurer in an attempt to get you the compensation you need quickly and without having to go to court.
Get Help from Our Virginia Rear-End Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Arrington Schelin, we believe every injury victim deserves compassionate, effective legal representation. For over 40 years, we have advocated for accident victims in Virginia and helped them pursue justice and fair compensation for their injuries. Let us put our experience and tenacity to work for you.
Contact our Virginia rear-end car accident attorneys today to discuss your case during a free initial consultation.