What You Need to Know about New Jersey Rear-End Collisions
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Aug 17, 2017 in Car Accidents News
Rear-end accidents are quite common, accounting for 28 percent of all vehicle collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In an accident where you are rear ended, severe injuries can result. Medical treatment is costly, and your recovery may cause you to need time off work, losing wages.
If you were rear ended and suffered an injury, contact the New Jersey car accident attorneys of Lynch Law Firm. We can help you determine who should be held liable for your injuries and what your legal options are.
Common Rear-End Accident Injuries
Rear-end accidents cause 30 percent of all vehicle accident injuries, according to the NHTSA. Being rear ended can cause many different types of injuries, ranging from mild to severe, or even death. Such injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Nerve damage
- Injuries to the hands
- Internal bleeding
Some rear-end accident injuries are immediately apparent. Others, such as a concussion or whiplash, do not cause symptoms right away. If you are rear ended, it is important for your health and safety that you seek medical attention immediately after an accident.
Seeking medical care not only ensures you receive treatment for your injuries, but also strengthens your personal injury case. A doctor’s evaluation immediately following a rear-end accident supports the severity of your injuries, outlines necessary recovery and treatment steps and connects your injuries to the accident, not a previously existing condition.
How Do Rear-End Collisions Occur?
A rear-end collision is typically a result of negligence. Negligent acts that can cause rear-end accidents commonly include:
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Tailgating or following too closely
One of the most common causes of rear-end collisions is following too closely behind another vehicle. N.J.S.A. § 39:4-89 states that the driver of a vehicle should not follow more closely behind another vehicle than is reasonable and prudent.
Chapter five of the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles Drivers Manual goes even further by stating that motorists should keep one car length between their vehicle and the one they are following for each 10 miles per hour of speed.
Drivers can also use the three-seconds-plus rule to determine a safe distance. To do this, choose a fixed object on the side of the road. As the vehicle in front of you passes that object, begin counting. If you count three seconds or more between when the other vehicle passes the object and when your vehicle passes the same point, you should have a good following distance.
When road conditions are poor, including situations of snow, ice or rain, the following distance should be increased.
Who Is At Fault For a Rear-End Collision?
Because New Jersey law requires that motorists leave enough space between vehicles, the rear driver in a rear-end collision is often to blame for the collision. This is because a failure to maintain a reasonable safe distance can be considered negligence.
However, there are exceptions to this rule in which another driver could be at fault, such as:
- A front driver intentionally slamming on the brakes
- Backing into the front of another car
- Circumstances out of the rear driver’s control, such as roadway hazards or brake defects
- One vehicle cutting off another driver
Personal injury lawsuits for rear-end collisions can also become complicated because of the state’s comparative negligence rule that states that multiple drivers can be held liable for a collision. If the driver of the vehicle that was hit is found to be partially at fault for the collision, his or her compensation will be reduced.
It is in your best interest to work with an experienced auto accident attorney who is familiar with New Jersey’s laws surrounding such accidents and personal injury cases.
Contact Lynch Law Firm if You Have Been Rear Ended
If you have been rear ended, turn to the New Jersey car accident lawyers of Lynch Law Firm. We will pursue your case, working to recover the maximized compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations with our legal team. We also take cases on a contingency basis, which means you only pay legal fees if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
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