The sound of screeching brakes. A foot desperately pressed to the brake pedal – or not on the pedal at all. Metal and glass colliding as a driver crashes into the car ahead. These are the familiar sounds and sights of a rear-end collision. The sudden, unexpected and violent impact of a rear-end accident, even at slower speeds, can cause severe injuries to the drivers and other occupants of both vehicles and others whose cars get caught in the chain-reaction that often follows. Unfortunately, with the ever-expanding use of cell phones and in-car technology, injuries from rear-end collisions are increasing in frequency.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a rear-end collision, your damages and losses were likely the fault of the driver who crashed into your vehicle. At Berman & Simmons, our Maine rear-end collision attorneys work tirelessly to hold negligent drivers accountable and obtain the compensation and support that can help victims of rear-end crashes recover and move forward with their lives.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
On roads and interstates throughout Maine and across the country, rear-end collisions are the most common types of car accidents. The National Safety Council estimates that over 2.5 million rear-end car accidents occur every year in the United States.
The causes of these crashes are not mysterious. The overwhelming majority of rear-end accidents (but not all of them) occur because of the trailing driver’s conduct, including reckless and dangerous driving behaviors such as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Use of cell phones and other in-car technologies
Of these, tailgating is perhaps responsible for more rear-end collisions than any other conduct behind the wheel. Not only does following a vehicle too closely dramatically increase the likelihood of a crash, but it is also against the law in Maine. Specifically, Section 2066 of the state’s motor vehicle code provides that “An operator of a vehicle may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles, the traffic and the condition of the way.”
While most rear-end crashes are the trailing driver’s fault, the lead car can sometimes cause or contribute to an accident because:
- It has broken or disabled brake lights.
- The lead driver reverses suddenly.
- The lead driver suddenly and unexpectedly changes lanes and pulls in front of a vehicle.
Injuries From Rear-End Collisions
Even low-speed rear-end crashes can cause serious injuries. When the lead vehicle’s occupants are not expecting the impact, its shock and force thrust their bodies forward while their heads are thrown back, only to be quickly sent forward again when the car stops. This trauma causes “whiplash,” the most common injury that results from rear-end crashes.
One important thing to know about whiplash and neck injuries after a rear-end collision is that the pain and discomfort may not appear for days after the accident. What may appear to be minor soreness can worsen and be a sign of a more severe injury. Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Blurred vision
- Shoulder, arm, or back pain
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Decreased range of motion
- Burning, prickling, tingling in arms
- Sleep disturbance, fatigue, or trouble concentrating
The sometimes delayed onset of neck injury and whiplash symptoms is yet another reason always to seek medical attention after a rear-end crash, even if you don’t think you are hurt. If you have a potential compensation claim for your injury, failure to get immediate medical attention can make your chances of a full recovery more difficult.
While whiplash can be painful and debilitating, rear-end collisions can lead to even more serious injuries, including:
- Brain injuries and concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Arm and wrist injuries
- Broken bones and fractured ribs
- Facial injuries and disfigurement from airbag deployment
- Foot and ankle injuries
Contact a Maine Rear-End Collision Attorneys at Berman & Simmons for Your Free Consultation
At Berman & Simmons, our experienced Maine rear-end collision lawyers bring decades of experience and unmatched resources on behalf of rear-end collision victims. As a result, we have built a lengthy track record of success, obtaining over $1 billion in compensation for injury victims and their families in a wide variety of injury cases.
When you meet with us during your free initial consultation, we will take the time to listen to your story and understand your concerns. We will assist you and provide guidance on everything from medical care to insurance matters. As your attorneys, we will stand by your side at every step in the process, keeping you informed and always be available to address any questions or concerns. We want you to focus on your recovery while we focus on holding those who caused your injuries accountable for their actions.
Contact a rear-end collision attorney at Berman & Simmons today for a free consultation to discuss your claim.