Rear-end collisions are by far the most common type of vehicle accident making up over 30 percent of all accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an average of 2 million rear-end collisions a year resulting in over 500,000 injuries and 17,000 deaths.
In Florida, over 400,000 auto accidents happen each year with 120,000 of them being rear-ended collisions. In addition, the NHTSA found that rear-end collisions were more likely to occur in urban areas. Subsequently, this means you are at more risk of a rear-end collision in places like Tampa Bay, St Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, and Spring Hill. In fact, this is primarily due to the number of cars and the stop-and-go driving that is common in urban driving.
Thus, if you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a rear-end collision in the Tampa area, contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
First, there are many reasons why rear-end crashes occur, and understanding these can help someone avoid rear-end crashes in the future. Some of these are:
- Sudden stop/Failure to stop: This is common on freeways and highways where the car in front suddenly stops and the following car doesn’t have time to avoid a collision.
- Lane change: Often times a driver will change lanes and not maintain the proper distance from the car in front.
- Distracted driving: Cell phone use is becoming the number one distractor in all automobile accidents. Others are eating, shaving, putting on make-up, changing radio/cd, interacting with other passengers.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol has been the number one type of impaired driving responsible for many rear-end crashes. Today, marijuana impairment is trending upward as more states legalize recreational usage of the drug.
- Drowsy driving/fatigue: Driving too long without a rest or just getting behind the wheel without enough sleep cause a significant amount of rear-end collisions.
Common Rear-end Collision Injuries
At RHINO Lawyers, we see all types of injuries that come from automobile accidents. Those that are most common with rear-end collisions are:
- Whiplash: In medical terms, this is a hyper-extension and hyper-flexion injury and is the number one type of injury in rear-end collisions. It happens when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. Afterward, the person slams forward and then slams back into their seat. These injuries can be painful and take a long time to heal. In some cases, people need surgery to repair cervical disc injuries that are common with whiplash.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Head impacts on the dash or the steering wheel can cause mild to severe concussions. Unfortunately, this causes injuries to the brain. When the head makes a sudden impact, the brain moves inside the skull, and in many cases, brain damage is a result. When this happens, there is typically a long road of cognitive rehabilitation ahead for the victim.
- Broken Bones: Anytime there is a sudden impact on a person, there is a chance for a fracture. In a rear-end collision, common fractures are to the hands due to bracing or holding onto the steering wheel; the feet from the legs and feet impacting the floorboard and firewall; collarbone/ribs from the seatbelt; and spine fractures that can lead to paralysis.
- Airbag injuries: Airbags undoubtedly save lives, but they can also cause severe burns and even death if the person is not the right heights or weight to be in a seat with an active airbag. Incidentally, some airbags malfunctions can send shrapnel through the car causing injury or death.
- Permanent disfigurement: Sometimes the victim of a rear-end collision will hit a steering wheel, dashboard, side window or side door frame and receive deep and severe lacerations requiring surgery. Personal property flying inside of the vehicle or broken glass may cut a person in the car.
Common Damages in a Rear-End Collision
Under Florida law, a person hurt by another’s negligence is entitled to be “made whole.” This is often impossible, but it can provide a basis for determining a financial award. Some of the damages allowed are:
- Medical Bills
- Lost wages, past, and future
- Permanent injuries/disabilities or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life/consortium
- Wrongful Death compensation
- Emotional distress
In short, money can’t make these things go away. But, it can help compensate for the many losses that come from an accident like a rear-end collision. Therefore, many victims of these accidents wonder if they need to get an attorney. In most cases, the answer is yes.
Contact a Tampa Area Car Accident Lawyer
Lastly, contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer that knows the law and can evaluate your case. So, talk to an Attorney at RHINO Lawyers today. Our personal injury team is ready to start working for you to get you the compensation you deserve.