Rear end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the US, accounting for 40 percent of crashes. These accidents often lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. With distractions like texting or emailing becoming more prevalent, it’s unlikely that rear end accidents will go away any time soon. For that reason, I’ve put together this list of questions that we often hear from clients who have been injured in a rear end collision in South Carolina.
1. What should you do when someone hits you from behind?
Prioritize your health. The first thing you need to do is focus on the health and the safety of everyone in the car. According to the National Safety Commission, the people in the front car often endure the worst injuries in rear end collisions because they were unable to brace themselves for the impact. With that in mind, the first step is to make sure everyone is okay. If there are any injuries, seek medical attention.
Make a mental note of anything that may help prove the cause of the accident. Did you see the at fault driver texting and driving before the accident? Was he or she eating, putting on makeup, or taking part in any activities that would cause them to take their eyes off the road? Likewise, did the other driver show any signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, stumbling, or popping in a piece of chewing gum? These types of details can be useful when determining the cause of the accident and searching for evidence to support your case.
Get the accident report. Whenever you are involved in a car accident, call the police so that an official accident report is created. Although the accident report is not admissible in court, it can be helpful in determining fault with the insurance companies.
Contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation to see if you have a case. You don’t always need a lawyer after an accident, but if you have injuries that won’t seem to heal or you are being stonewalled by the insurance company, a personal injury lawyer can help you seek justice. It never hurts to call an attorney and tell them your story. At our firm, if we believe you are able to handle your case on your own, we will still provide you a free copy of my books that are filled with easy-to-understand tips on handling an auto accident injury claim in South Carolina.
2. What are some common injuries from rear end crashes?
After a car accident, your injuries may not show up immediately. However, if you are still experiencing pain a few days after the collision, visit your medical provider to ensure you have not sustained any serious harm. Some of the most common injuries that occur in rear end accidents include:
- Brain injury (concussions, hematomas, etc.)
- Soft tissue damage
- Neck and back pain
- Torn ligaments
- Spinal cord injury
The severity of your injuries can depend on many factors, such as the speed at which the at fault driver hit you, and what kind of vehicles (cars, semi trucks, buses, etc.) were involved.
3. Who is at fault in a rear end collision involving three cars?
In a three vehicle collision, the car that initially ran into another car will be found at fault. If the car that got hit from behind is pushed into the vehicle in front of them, the driver of the car that got sandwiched is not at fault.
4. What is the average settlement for a rear end accident?
There is not a cut and dry answer to this question because the settlement for these types of collisions will depend on the specific facts of your case, including:
- Severity of injury
- Amount of medical bills
- Punitive damages (Was the at fault driver texting and driving or driving under the influence?)
- Lost wages
For more information on determining case worth, be sure to watch this video on the value of personal injury claims.
5. What are the most common causes of a rear end collision in South Carolina?
Distracted Driving. With the popularity of smartphones growing every day, distracted driving is becoming a bigger and bigger issue on South Carolina roads. However, texting and driving is not the only type of distracted driving to be aware of. Applying makeup while driving, eating while driving, listening/dancing to loud music, and tending to rowdy children are all dangerous forms of distracted driving that can lead to rear end accidents.
Speeding. When drivers exceed the marked speed limit, they are putting everyone on our roadways in danger because they are unable to stop quickly enough when there are abrupt changes in traffic speed.
Driving Under the Influence. Drivers that are impaired by alcohol or other mind-altering substances have a slowed reaction time that often leads to high speed rear end collisions.
Poor Weather Conditions. Unsafe weather conditions like ice, snow (though we rarely have to worry about that in South Carolina), and rain can cause drivers to hydroplane or lose control of their vehicles and hit the car in front of them.
Tailgating. When drivers follow too closely behind another car, they increase the likelihood of crashing into the vehicle in front of them. If traffic conditions change quickly, the following car may not have an adequate amount of space to stop safely.
6. What should I do about the damage to my car after getting hit from behind?
Rear end wrecks can cause serious property damage because the front car is often hit while at a complete stop, so the victim takes the full brunt of the collision. If your car is totaled, we recommend that you call a personal injury attorney to discuss the severity of the wreck and your injuries.
For minor damage, check out our property damage page where we provide links to free resources and government forms that will help you handle your property damage claim in South Carolina.
7. Should I hire a personal injury lawyer after a rear end accident in South Carolina?
While not everyone needs to hire an injury lawyer after a wreck, scheduling a free consultation can help ensure that you maximize your recovery. If you have serious injuries or are having trouble dealing with the at fault driver’s insurance carrier, you should consider at least speaking with an attorney.
If you believe you can handle your accident case on your own, I have written two books that can help walk you through what to do if you’ve been rear ended. Request free copies of my books here.
Talk with Our Experienced Accident Lawyers Today
Not sure if you need an attorney? We offer free consultations and would be happy to answer your questions. We only take on 3-5 percent of the cases presented to us, so you can rest assured we will let you know if we think your accident is something you can handle on your own. Call my Columbia, South Carolina office today at (803) 790-2800 or start a live chat to speak with a team member day or night.