Rear enders account for nearly half of all vehicular collisions in the US, causing a wide array of injuries, and keeping the auto shops busy repairing our bumpers. Rear enders can be anything from a light bump in a parking lot to massive, fatal blows on the highway.
Causes of rear-end collisions
The things that often lead to rear-end collisions include, but are not limited to:
- Unnecessary speed
- Cell phone usage
- Drivers shoulder checking or looking behind them
- Drugs or alcohol
- Obstacles like unexpected pedestrians, animals, accidents
- Faulty brake lights
No matter the cause, determining fault can be tricky and filled with grey areas that the courts have to work through. In Wisconsin, the courts look at all the available evidence and will give a percentage of the fault to both drivers. If one driver is considered to be at least 51% at fault, then their right to compensation is taken from them. If a driver is considered to be less than 50%, then they maintain the right to seek compensation.
In some cases, determining guilt may be very simple, and in others, it could get very heated and complex, underlining the need for an experienced Wisconsin vehicle accident attorney.
For example, if someone is drunk, texting on their phone, and speeding all at the same time, they will almost certainly be 100% at fault when they rear-end someone who is simply stopped at a red light.
But in a more complex situation, perhaps somebody decides at the last second not to cross the street because of a reckless driver, causing the person tailing to rear end them. Things like this sometimes require more investigation.
In some cases, it makes sense to keep the case within the insurance companies. In other cases, you need an attorney to defend your rights and build a case for you, especially if your medical expenses exceed what your insurance company is willing to give, or if you’re being unfairly blamed for the accident.
Compensation can come in the form of:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Common injuries in rear-end accidents include:
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractured ribs
- Facial scarring or disfigurement
The legal process
If you’re not able to get compensation on your own, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced Wisconsin-based car accident attorney who can help you with the legal process. Once you have made sure you are safe, get yourself thoroughly medically assessed so you know the exact nature of your injuries. Many neck or back injuries can take weeks to appear or may seem minor at first until they develop into something else. That’s why precise documentation is so crucial.