Out of all types of motor vehicle accidents, the most common type is the rear-end collision. As our roadways and highways get busier, especially in the summer months in Massachusetts, the probability of being rear ended and injured by another vehicle increases. According to our Framingham personal injury lawyers, there are three common causes of rear-end car crashes that we see time and time again.
If you were injured in a rear-end car accident in Massachusetts, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Our Framingham car accident lawyers specialize in helping accident victims throughout Massachusetts recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages sustained in a car crash. If you are wondering if you are entitled to money after being hurt in a crash, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. Our experienced Massachusetts injury attorneys will provide you with a free assessment of your case.
About Rear-End Car Crashes and Their Common Causes
Rear-end car accidents are very common and make up a great percentage of crashes in Massachusetts. These accidents are self-explanatory. They occur when one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle. While there are numerous reasons these crashes occur, below are the three most common causes:
Tailgating or Following Too Close
Following the vehicle in front too close can result in a rear-end collision in the event of an unexpected occurrence. For instance, tailgating or following another vehicle too close does not allow a driver enough time to react if the lead car suddenly slows down or stops. This is why Massachusetts law (720 CMR 9.06(7)) requires that drivers shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonably prudent, having due regard to the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and condition of the roadway. Drivers should always keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them to allow for safe stopping distance and enough time to react to a slowing or stopping vehicle. Tailgating – considered a type of aggressive driving – or following too close are very common causes of many of the crashes and Massachusetts bodily injury claims our accident attorneys handle.
Over the years, distracted driving has become a hot topic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads. Unsurprisingly, cell phone use, such as texting, talking on the phone, checking social media, is considered the main cause of distracted driving. Additionally, adjusting the radio or using navigation systems can also divert a driver's attention from the road. When a driver’s attention is distracted away from keeping a proper lookout and watching traffic, it often leads to rear-end collisions. When the lead vehicle on the road or highway begins to slow down or comes to a stop, if the tailing driver is distracted, they will not be able to react in time and can crash into the rear of the vehicle in front. These types of accidents happen all the time and can result in very serious injuries.
Speeding can significantly increase the risk of a car crash for a variety of reasons. When a vehicle is traveling at a higher speed than reasonable, the driver has less time to react to unexpected situations, such as sudden stops, pedestrians crossing the road, or vehicles changing lanes. This reduced reaction time often makes it more challenging to avoid rear-end collisions. Speeding will also take a longer distance for a vehicle to come to a complete stop. If a driver needs to brake suddenly to avoid a hazard, the increased stopping distance can result in rear-end collisions. Additionally, speeding can make it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, especially when going around curves or in adverse weather conditions. Losing control of a vehicle when speeding increases the chances of potential accidents.
To reduce the risk of rear-end car crashes, drivers should maintain a safe following distance, stay focused on the road, and drive at a safe speed according to road and weather conditions. Additionally, avoiding distractions, such as cell phones, and being aware of the actions of other drivers can help prevent rear-end accidents.
While this article discusses the three common causes of rear-end crashes from our perspective, rear-end collisions usually have components of all or a combination of the three. For example, our Framingham injury lawyers recently settled a car accident case where our client was injured in a car crash on Route 9 in Natick, Massachusetts. That accident was determined to be caused by a driver that was speeding and following our client’s vehicle too close. Of course, a driver will never admit to fault. However, in that case, the other driver was cited by the police for speeding and following too close. Therefore, we had proof that the other driver was at fault and the cause of the crash and our client’s injuries.
Pursue Financial Compensation if You Were Injured in a Rear-End Accident
If you were injured after being rear-ended by another driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation. In Massachusetts, you can file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company to seek compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit. In a personal injury claim, the first issue to establish is fault. In the legal terms, this is regarded as negligence. Massachusetts law requires motorists using the roads of the Commonwealth to use reasonable care for their own safety and for the safety of other motorists. With rear-end accidents, the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is often assumed to be negligent. Typically, the issue of liability in rear-end accidents is accepted by the other driver’s insurance company unless, of course, there are any extenuating circumstances. Therefore, a personal injury lawsuit may not need to be filed.
If liability is reasonably clear and the other driver's insurance company accepts that their insured driver was at fault, the next issue is to determine a fair and reasonable amount of compensation. This is generally referred to as damages. The purpose of the law in Massachusetts in awarding damages is to compensate an injured person for the losses incurred because of another driver's negligent conduct. The goal is to try to restore the person to the position he would have been in had the accident not occurred. The purpose is not to reward the injured party or to punish the negligent driver. Damages are to be fair and reasonable compensation for the legal wrong done by the negligent driver. The most common elements of damages (or compensation) are for medical costs/expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are other types of damages that compensation may be sought or awarded for, such as any permanent impairment or scarring that may have resulted from the injuries suffered in a car crash.
If you were hurt in a rear-end accident, it's essential to consult with a qualified Massachusetts injury attorney who can assess your specific situation and provide personalized advice. A skilled and experienced lawyer can investigate the accident and gather necessary evidence to substantiate your claim for compensation. Additionally, an expert injury lawyer will help you avoid many pitfalls of an injury case and negotiate a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages and losses suffered in the crash.