When a person thinks of a rear end collision the first thing to come to mind are “fender-benders.” However, there are serious injuries and even death that can occur from a rear end car crash. An innocent party is usually waiting at a stop light or stop sign when the other driver negligently runs into the back of them. Accidents such as these can happen in the matter of seconds, but can affect the lives of the driver or passengers struck in the car forever. According to a study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, in 1999, the most recent year for which data is available, more than 6 million crashes occurred on U.S. highways, killing over 41,000 people and injuring nearly 3.4 million others. Rear-end collisions accounted for almost one-third of these crashes (1.848 million) and 11.8 percent of multivehicle fatal crashes (1,923). Rear end collisions are serious car accidents and need to be treated as such. That is why it is necessary to have an experienced attorney on your side to provide you with effective legal assistance.
Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to paralysis and even death. Neck and back injuries are very frequent with rear end collisions due to whiplash. Whiplash is most caused in a motor vehicle accident in which a person is in a car that is not moving and is struck by another vehicle from behind. It is commonly thought that the rear impact causes the head and neck to be forced into a hyperextended (backward) position as the seat pushes the person's torso forward - and the unrestrained head and neck fall backwards. After a short delay the head and neck then recover and are thrown into a hyper flexed (forward) position. Symptoms of back lash are neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain and stiffness, dizziness, and back pain.
Rear end collisions are usually caused by inattentive and careless drivers. This will encompass a variety of actors such as drunk drivers, drivers on their cell phones, people listening to the radio, and anything else that can catch a driver’s eye. These accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and it can change another person’s life forever. There are important legal aspects to keep in mind regarding rear end collisions. Under Louisiana law, according to La. RS § 32:81, a rear-ending driver is presumed to be at fault. The statute states the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway. However, that presumption can be, and often is, rebutted. The rear-ending vehicle driver may claim that the vehicle in front stopped short, had no brake lights, or slowed down for no apparent reason. That is why a skilled attorney should be consulted as soon as possible if you are rear ended in a collision.
Because a rear end collision can create multiple issues and significant losses, an injured party should hire an experienced New Orleans attorney who not only handles such accidents, but also has the resources necessary to provide for a person’s medical needs as well as the hiring of experts from a variety of fields to increase the value of the case. Cliff Cardone has practiced law over 40 years and has primarily handled personal-injury matters such as this. If you have been injured in a rear end collision, Phone Cardone at 504-522-3333 for a free in person consultation. He is direct, insightful, proactive, and passionate about his client’s cases.