Rear-end collisions are very common, accounting for over 25% of all motor vehicle accidents. Many times, these types of accidents happen at low speeds and have minor consequences. But when they occur at higher speeds, rear-end crashes may be very serious. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision, we can help. For over two decades, Bergen County car accident lawyer Howard B. Leopold has been helping victims in New Jersey and New York seek compensation for their injuries.Rear-End Collisions May Cause Serious Injuries
More often than not, rear-end collisions are caused by the driver in the rear vehicle. This is because all drivers are required to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle in front, and rear-end collisions generally indicate that this safe distance was not maintained. In practical terms, this requirement means that, on a dry road in a vehicle with adequate brakes and tires, a vehicle traveling 60 mph should leave about 120 to 140 feet between themselves and the car in front—enough distance to brake to a full stop without colliding, should the vehicle in front come to a sudden stop.
But adequate braking distance is only part of the picture. Drivers also have a duty to pay attention to what is happening around their car. They also have a duty to drive their vehicles safely in other ways. Some of the most common reasons that rear-end collisions may occur are because the driver in the rear vehicle was tailgating, speeding, intoxicated, distracted, driving too fast for the road and weather conditions, or driving a car that is poorly maintained.
Less common scenarios for rear-end collisions may show that the driver in front was at fault. For example, if a driver cuts off a vehicle and then hits the brakes, the rear vehicle may have no opportunity to create a safe stopping distance before colliding with the car in front. Other scenarios may include front cars with non-functioning brake lights, providing the rear driver with insufficient warning to slow down or stop, or drivers who collide with another car when driving in reverse gear.
Whatever the circumstances of the collision, however, most of these scenarios have one thing in common. At least one of the drivers was at fault. And when a driver causes an accident, that driver may be held legally liable for the results under the legal theory of “negligence.”
In order to prove negligence in a rear-end collision, an injured plaintiff needs to show four elements. The defendant must have owed a duty to the plaintiff to use reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle. The defendant must have breached that duty, the breach must have caused the rear-end collision, and the plaintiff must have suffered injuries or property damage as a result.
Any party that is legally liable for a crash may be required to pay compensation for all of the damages caused through their negligence, often including the costs of medical care and rehabilitation, loss of income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. To obtain compensation, a victim generally must bring their claim within the statute of limitations under state law.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Bergen County Lawyer
Rear-end collisions may cause serious injuries, including whiplash, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and knee injuries. The seriousness of the injuries is frequently due to the surprise of the impact. Since it comes from the rear, victims have no opportunity to protect themselves. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a rear-end collision, contact Bergen County car accident attorney Howard B. Leopold for a free consultation to find out what we can do for you. Call (201) 345-5907 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We represent people who need an injury lawyer throughout Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, and Essex Counties, including in Hackensack, Englewood, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Dumont, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hillsdale, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, New Milford, North Arlington, Oakland, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Wallington, Westwood, Wyckoff, Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.