You’re stuck in a traffic jam on one of Salt Lake City’s freeways, anxious to get home after a long day at work, when suddenly your vehicle lurches forward. What just happened? You’ve been the victim of a rear-end collision.
A rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle hits the rear of the vehicle in front of it, typically with little or no warning to the driver in front. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident. According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration (NHTSA) rear-end collisions make up 30% of all traffic accidents each year.
If you’ve been in a rear-end accident, don’t presume that you won’t need a lawyer because you think it is a cut and dry case. It is often assumed that the driver of the vehicle that rear-ends another is going to automatically be found at fault. While this is often the case there are exceptions. When negligence is being determined, there are many factors that are considered and that come into play. Contact Salt Lake City car accident lawyers of Fielding Law in Salt Lake City at (877) 880-4090.
When filing a lawsuit you must prove that the driver who hit you was negligent in some way. The following are some common reasons why drivers are found negligent in rear-end accident cases:
The following are some circumstances where the lead driver may be responsible for causing the rear-end collision:
After you are in a rear-end accident your first concern should be to seek needed medical attention. Call the police and make sure that a police report is taken. After you make sure that everyone’s injuries are attended to, start to gather as much evidence as possible to prove who is negligent in the accident. The more evidence that you gather, the better chance you have of obtaining the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and damages.
Almost everyone these days has a smartphone with a camera. This can be very helpful after an accident. Take as many pictures of the scene of the accident as possible. Be sure to get photos of the vehicles, the road and weather conditions, skid marks, and the passengers themselves. If the driver is given a sobriety test at the scene, you could take a video of this to provide as evidence later on.
Speak to witnesses of the accident, and obtain their contact information in case you need them to provide a statement later on. You also should collect the contact information of the driver and passengers involved in the accident, as well as their insurance and vehicle information.
The compensation you receive after your accident should return you to where you were financially before the accident occurred. The following are some economic losses that you can seek compensation for:
Medical Expenses. The driver and passengers in the front vehicle of a rear-end collision can sustain major injuries. There are many medical related costs that can accrue after an accident such as:
You can pursue compensation for both short-term and long-term care.
Property Damage. This includes damage done to your vehicle. Damage from a rear-end collision can include much more than just a cracked bumper, there’s often greater underlying damage. The impact can loosen wires that compromise the various electrical systems in your car. Misaligned wheels and trunk malfunctions are other common problems. Even low impact collisions can cause damage to the frame of your vehicle, which if not addressed can lead to future safety problems.
Lost Income. After a rear-end collision you may sustain injuries that inhibit you from working. Your recovery may take weeks or months, or it might mean you’re unable to work at all in the future. The amount of compensation you receive depends on the type of work that you did before the accident, and how the accident affected your ability to work. For example, if you were a construction worker your compensation would theoretically be higher than someone who could still work their desk job.
If your injuries are so severe that you won’t be able to resume work ever again, you will be entitled to lost wages over the lifetime of your career
Pain and Suffering. Victims of accidents often suffer greatly, both physically and emotionally. It is impossible to put a dollar amount on an individual’s suffering; the amount awarded will depend on the evidence that is provided in court. Evidence will need to be provided as to how the victims mental health has been affected by the accident, and how their physical injuries have impacted their day-to-day life.
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision in Utah, it is important to have an experienced car lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Insurance companies may try to offer you a quick settlement before the full extent of your injuries are apparent, leaving you with unpaid medical bills. The expert lawyers at Fielding Law will fight to get you a fair settlement. We are committed to making sure the driver responsible for the accident is held liable for their carelessness. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case.