Des Moines Rear-end Collision Lawyers
Rear-end collisions are a type of car accident that happens when a vehicle traveling in the same direction and lane that you are traveling in strikes the back of your vehicle. Research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2017 found that rear-end crashes accounted for approximately 29 percent of all auto accidents. It is estimated that this type of collision happens every eight seconds, so even the most conscientious of drivers are at risk of being hit from behind when another motorist is not paying attention.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision, LaMarca Law Group, P.C. understands what you are going through because we’ve had more than 25 years of experience working with clients in the same situation. We deal with insurance companies every day, and we know how to successfully negotiate the settlements and win the verdicts that our clients deserve. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential claim and explain your legal rights. Call us today at (515) 225-2600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Des Moines rear-end collision lawyers.
Benefits of Having a Rear-end Collision Lawyer
If you were struck by another vehicle in a rear-end collision and got injured, you should have a resourceful lawyer working on your behalf. Our attorneys will do the work to build a strong claim to seek compensation for the damages the other driver caused. Here is what LaMarca Law Group, P.C. will do for you:
- Inform you of your rights and provide legal guidance: Our Des Moines rear-end-collision lawyers have knowledge and experience with these situations and can explain what will happen and offer advice when you need to make decisions.
- Investigate your case: Along with the review of all the details and evidence from the accident scene, our legal team can also engage with outside experts to obtain information to explain and support your claim. We do what it takes to build the strongest case possible.
- Deal with the insurance company: We take charge of all aspects of the process to file a personal injury claim and communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. As skilled and experienced negotiators, we will fight for the settlement you are owed. We can also file a lawsuit and represent you in court if the insurance company fails to cooperate with a fair offer.
- Determine the full extent of your damages and the compensation you are owed: We look beyond the immediate costs from your accident and assess all the ways you have been affected both currently and in the future. This includes calculating the costs for medical treatment, how your injuries may affect your employment viability, and the ways you have been impacted emotionally.
Common Causes of Rear-end Collisions
Rear-end collisions tend to occur when vehicles are moving at lower speeds. Sometimes the driver of the lead vehicle will see the vehicle behind them in the rear-view mirror before the collision, and sometimes the driver in front will have no idea they are about to be struck. The following circumstances are the most common causes of rear-end collisions:
- Tailgating – If vehicles are traveling too close together, there is a higher risk for colliding. The traffic rules stated in Iowa Code 321.307 explain that vehicles should be followed at a sensible distance.
- Distracted driving – Along with other types of accidents, distracted driving is a very common reason why rear-end collisions happen. Drivers who are on their phones or attempting other tasks are more likely to lose their focus and hit the car in front of them.
- Impaired driving – Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal because judgment and reflexes are impaired. Someone in this condition is far more likely to rear-end another vehicle.
- Sudden stops – When one vehicle halts unexpectedly, the vehicle following it may not have time to stop before striking it. Abrupt stops can happen when a driver loses focus or to avoid hitting another car, animal, or other objects in their path.
- Diminished visibility – When darkness, heavy rain, snow, or fog limits a driver’s sight of the road, a rear-end collision can be caused.
- Absence of vehicle lights – Brake lights are a crucial safety feature and legally required because they warn other drivers that a vehicle is stopping or slowing down. Hazard lights are also an important warning that a vehicle is stopped where it shouldn’t be or must travel at a slower speed. If these lights aren’t functioning on an automobile, there is a higher danger of a rear-end collision.
Typical Injuries from Rear-end Collisions
When a vehicle is struck from behind, the impact can launch a passenger’s body forward, with the head being thrust past the body and then immediately forced back. The speed at which the collision occurs, as well as what part of the vehicle is struck, contributes to which injuries are sustained, and these include:
- Whiplash – This neck injury results from when the head is abruptly forced back-and-forth, and it can affect spine bones, disks between the bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and other neck tissues. Whiplash injuries range in severity, with some complications potentially lasting several months or years.
- Soft tissue injuries – Because rear-end collisions cause a violent jolt to the body, damage from impact can be done to the soft-tissue of ligaments, muscles, and tendons causing pain, bruising, and swelling. Conditions related to this damage include strains, sprains, and tendinitis.
- Head trauma – During a rear-end collision, an occupant can strike their head against the headrest, steering wheel, window, or airbag and result in a traumatic brain injury. When brain tissue is damaged, the symptoms can include loss of consciousness, memory loss, dizziness, fatigue, or impaired cognitive function. In some cases, the effects can be permanent.
- Fractures – Rear-end accident victims will often suffer broken bones in their fingers, feet, hands, neck, or back from bracing themselves for the impact.
Some victims of rear-end collisions are not immediately aware they have been injured and fail to get medical care, but the symptoms linked to these injuries can sometimes take time surface. This is why you should always seek medical attention following any car accident.
Establishing Liability and Getting Compensation for a Rear-end Collision
Safe driving requires keeping an adequate distance from vehicles in front of you to allow for unexpected slowdowns or stops. The driver that rear-ends the lead vehicle will virtually always be considered at fault or at least partially negligent. However, the lead vehicle driver can be negligent as well in certain situations, such as suddenly reversing direction or stopping in the middle of an intersection for no apparent reason. When more than one driver is at fault, a percentage of liability is placed on each driver. For example, one driver is found 40 percent at fault, and the other driver is assigned 60 percent fault.
Establishing liability for a rear-end collision is complex and requires the knowledge of an experienced lawyer. The attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. work diligently to prove how the negligence of another driver caused your injuries and suffering and pursue settlements our clients are entitled to. The damages you may be eligible for from a rear-end collision include reimbursement for:
- Your current and future medical expenses
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle
- Loss of your wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering you’ve endured
- Loss of your quality of life
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Rear-end Collisions
Many questions run through the minds of someone who has been injured in a rear-end collision, and LaMarca Law Group, P.C. wants to be sure they are all addressed. Listed below are responses for a few typical questions, but we invite you to call us today at (515) 225-2600 and schedule a free consultation, so we can discuss your claim in more detail.
Do I need a lawyer if I only have minor injuries from a rear-end collision?
Even minor injuries mean suffering damages, so it’s in your best interest to discuss your situation with an attorney. Initial consultations with LaMarca Law Group, P.C. are complimentary, so there is no risk in finding out whether your claim could be worth much more than the insurance company will offer you.
What if the rear-end accident was partially my fault?
Just because you share in the fault doesn’t mean you are not entitled to a settlement, but your compensation will be reduced. For example, if you are determined to be 20 percent at fault, you will receive 80 percent of your damages. However, if you are over 50 percent at fault, you are not eligible for a settlement.
Does a rear-end accident claim have to be filed immediately?
You don’t have to file immediately, but there is a time limit. Iowa law requires that a personal injury claim be filed within two years of the date the accident.
Get in Touch With LaMarca Law Group, P.C. Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rear-end collision, don’t hesitate to reach out for the legal assistance you deserve. We want to put our history of success in these handling cases to work toward giving you the best opportunity for recovering fair compensation. Schedule a free consultation to review your case by contacting us today at (515) 225-2600 or online.