Injured in a rear end collision in Maryland? Are you wondering who is responsible for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering? Does your future look grim as your recovery may take months? During that time if you are unable to work how will your bills get paid? What will your life be like long after the accident? These are all common concerns accident and injury victims have in the wake of a serious motor vehicle accident. Consulting with our Maryland car accident lawyers makes sense as they will answer all of these questions and more for you.
Please do not face this alone. You are not alone in this and our auto accident lawyers need you to know this. No matter how daunting things may seem following an automobile accident you have rights and they need to be protected. According to Maryland accident laws injury victims may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for their injuries, pain, suffering, medical expenses and other losses brought on by rear end accidents. Our legal team serves all of Maryland including Elkton, Essex, Dundalk, Landover, Hyattsville, Hagerstown, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie and Havre De Grace.
Rear End Collisions
Highway, roadway and traffic accidents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are minor fender benders with no physical injury and others are very serious and life altering and life ending. Perhaps the most common type of auto accidents are rear-end collisions. These are traffic accidents that happen when a vehicle hits into the vehicle in front of it. In a rear-end accident, there is clearer evidence of fault than in any other type of auto accident. In most cases, the car that was hit was stopped at a stop light, at a stop sign or in traffic. Usually it is caused by tailgating or panic stops. Our Dundalk car accident lawyers know how common these types of accidents are but they also know that serious injuries can arise from rear-end collisions.
Rear-end collisions are unique from other auto accidents. In most accidents, the driver who is hit is either at a complete stop or only moving at a few miles per hour, with no or very little forward momentum. Often, the victim will see the oncoming car in the rear view mirror and expect the collision.
Rear End Accident Statistics
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the following statistics apply to motor vehicle accidents in Maryland and across the United States:
23% of crashes are run-off-road/loss of control incidents
28% of crashes are rear-end collisions
9% of crashes were caused by bad lane changes
879 fatal crashes annually for passenger vehicles.
115 fatal crashes annually for large trucks.
Lane departure warning can prevent 247 fatal crashes annually.
ESC can prevent 439 fatal crashes annually.
NHTSA and IIHS are trying to make the case for collision avoidance systems to be standard on all vehicles, including commercial trucks. While it was estimated in a2001 NHTSA report that these systems would add between $2,500 and $3,000 to the cost of a new car it has to be lower today. Since FMVSS 126 became law in September 2006, the cost is much lower. This is why you are seeing more economy vehicles offering this as a standard feature or as an option.
Injuries In Rear End Accidents
A typical medical consequence of rear-end collisions, even in case of collisions at moderate speed, is whiplash. In more sever cases permanent injuries may occur. The rearmost passenger passengers, especially in minivans, benefit little from the short rear crumple zone, so they are more likely to be injured or killed in a rear-end collision. Other types of injuries that can occur are:
- Soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains, bruising and lacerations
- Facial injuries involving the face, nose, mouth and teeth
- Ankle, hip, knee and shoulder injuries
- Head injuries due to airbag deployment
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
Liability In Maryland Rear End Accidents
For purposes of insurance and policing, the driver of the car that rear-ends the other car is almost always considered to be at fault due to not being within stopping distance or lack of attention. If the driver of the car that was rear-ended files a claim against the driver who hit him, said driver could be responsible for all damages to the other driver’s car.
A determination of fault, in any type of accident, is often very important to an injured party. In what are known as fault states, Maryland included, an injured party will sue the driver they believe is at fault for the accident. Either the driver or the driver’s insurance company could be responsible for damages to the injured party’s car, as well as medical expenses and monetary pain and suffering damages. In rear-end situations, a lawsuit may not even be necessary since it is presumed that the rear-ending driver is at fault. An injured party can attempt to deal directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in an attempt to receive compensation for their injuries.
Maryland accident law states that it is every driver’s duty to not hit the car in front of him. For that reason, the car that actually does the “rear-ending” is usually found to be at fault in rear end accidents. However, like most legal doctrines, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if the “rear-ended” car creates a dangerous hazard that is impossible to avoid, then the “rear-ending” car may not be legally responsible for the accident.
Maryland Rear End Collision Lawyers
If you were involved in a rear end collision, a free case evaluation with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you to weigh all of your legal options. Our Maryland auto accident lawyers have many years experience in handling rear-end accident cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve.