Rear-end collisions are common car accidents that occur when a motor vehicle hits the vehicle in front of it because they were following too closely. The driver of a motor vehicle is obligated not to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of the vehicles, the traffic, and the conditions of the road. Rear-end collisions are one of the most basic forms of negligence on the roadway and can carry criminal charges along with civil liability.
These kinds of crashes can incur serious injuries and lasting financial consequences, so if you have suffered harm because another driver hit your vehicle, you should engage legal representation right away. A Chattanooga rear-end car accident lawyer could take on your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Rear-end collisions are often the result of distracted driving practices that lead individuals to not notice the lack of appropriate space between their car and the vehicle in front of them. Motor vehicles are full of distractions, such navigation systems, cell phones, radios, and any other object within a vehicle that may require the driver to avert their eyes from the road. These distractions can lead to a situation in which a driver does not have enough time to change speeds when traffic slows or comes to a halt in front of them.
Weather is also a common factor in rear-end collisions. Heavy rain, snow, and freezing precipitation can leave the roads, bridges, and overpasses slick and dangerous. Bad weather conditions can make it even more difficult to stop one’s vehicle on command, increasing the potential for a rear-end accident.
Additionally, significant traffic congestion on busy streets often makes these types of collisions more prevalent. Even though the accidents caused by stop-and-go traffic may seem less serious than high speed collisions, they may still cause whiplash and bodily injury. Any type of rear-end crash can result in steep medical bills, extensive physical therapy and a lengthy recovery period for the parties involved, which can make the assistance of a Chattanooga attorney especially crucial when filing a claim for damages.
Tennessee is a comparative fault state, meaning that liability may be apportioned between one or more parties, including the plaintiff in an automobile wreck. For example, if the plaintiff was driving in an erratic manner or stopped in the middle of the road for no reason, they may be considered at least partially at-fault for the accident, even though the other vehicle struck them.
The comparative negligence rule would bar a plaintiff’s claim if it was determined that the responsibility for the accident is 50% or more of their fault. However, these situations are fairly rare, but it is possible for a defendant, especially with a skilled defense lawyer hired by an insurance company, to successfully defend a plaintiff’s claim by making this argument and based on the facts and circumstances of a particular accident.
One of the simplest ways to prove negligence in a rear-end collision case is analysis of the statements of the involved parties and any witnesses. These statements help set the scene for what occurred on the road and can be the key to establishing the defendant’s liability.
Other forms of evidence in these cases include the physical damage the other driver inflicted upon the plaintiff’s vehicle and the severity of the injuries the plaintiff sustained. A rear-end car accident lawyer in Chattanooga may hire a biomedical engineer to explain how the force of the collision impacted the plaintiff’s body, even if their injuries are not readily visible. Beyond this, an attorney may use crash analysis from an accident reconstructionist, observations of the physical scene and the resulting damage, and animated reproductions of the accident site to demonstrate the forces exerted in the crash.
Waiting too long to file an official claim can have catastrophic effects for a plaintiff’s case. Tennessee has an extremely short statute of limitations of 12 months, so it is imperative that the injured party does not delay. If they fail to file suit within a year of their accident, they will lose the right to recover damages from the other party and even from their own insurance company.
If you are injured in a rear-end collision and wish to recover damages from the negligent party, you should enlist a Chattanooga rear-end car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Skilled legal counsel could provide critical information regarding the legal process and guide you through the necessary steps to maximize and preserve the value of your claim. Schedule a consultation today.