A line of cars stuck in traffic after a rear-end accident

Rear end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents in Little Rock and elsewhere. Even at low speeds, these types of accidents can cause serious injuries, particularly to those that are vulnerable. Victims can suffer whiplash, neck and back injuries, broken bones, and even head injuries. Recovering from neck, back, or other serious injuries can be financially and emotionally draining. 

Schedule a Free Rear End Case Evaluation with a Little Rock Attorney

Attorney Tim Reed in Little Rock, Arkansas has in-depth knowledge of the laws applicable to your car accident case and the insurance claims process. He provides compassionate, effective advocacy while pursuing fair compensation and justice for clients. After taking the time to understand the facts of your case and your goals, he will work to obtain the most compensation possible. Contact the Reed Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.

The Most Common Causes of Rear End Accidents

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, many rear end collisions are caused by distracted driving. Driver distraction is frequently the only cause, and it is a contributing factor in nearly 87% of rear-end collisions. When a driver isn’t paying attention to the vehicle in front, the driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Distracted driving behaviors that can cause rear end accidents include:

  • Cell phone use, including texting while driving
  • Adjusting the radio, climate control, or GPS
  • Eating or drinking
  • Reaching around the cabin
  • Talking to passengers
  • Daydreaming
  • Applying makeup or grooming

Other types of negligence that can cause rear end accidents include:

  • Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
  • Aggressive driving
  • Tailgating
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Suddenly changing lanes, especially without signaling
  • Drowsy driving
  • Defective auto parts
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Inexperienced drivers

Neck and Back Injuries Are Common in Rear End Collisions

The force of a rear end accident can cause damage to the neck and back area. The spinal column consists of bone, cartilage, and soft tissue, including ligaments and muscles. The vertebrae are surrounded by nerves that send electrical signals between your brain, spinal cord, and the rest of your body. These electrical nerve signals help you feel sensations (sensory nerves) and move your body (motor nerves). 

This highly complex structure of the spinal column is vulnerable to all types of injuries that result from car accidents, especially rear end collisions. In a rear end collision, a person’s head typically snaps forward and backward quickly, causing strain to the spinal cord and surrounding muscles and ligaments. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in a rear end collision and can result in damage to the discs, muscles, and nerves in a person’s neck. Whiplash symptoms range from stiffness and headaches to chronic neck pain, neck immobility, and numbness and tingling in the upper extremities.

What To Do After a Little Rock Rear End Collision

If you’ve been in a rear end accident, call for help. Don’t move the vehicles unless you have to. It’s important that law enforcement and other first responders understand what happened so the event can be documented. 

See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t immediately experience pain. Due to adrenaline, symptoms of whiplash and other neck and back injuries may not command your attention immediately after the accident. Undergoing a thorough medical evaluation is necessary to understand the extent of your injuries. Further, by seeking medical attention, you will establish a medical record that can be used as evidence of the injuries you suffered in the rear end accident. 

It is also important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible, ideally before you talk to an insurance company representative. Totaled vehicles are often quickly discarded. You may have a limited time to obtain CCTV footage from a nearby business. Witnesses’ memories fade.  Evidence, including witness statements, photos, and video footage, must be preserved, and an experienced attorney can help.

Damages Available For A Collision Claim

Victims of car accidents have a right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, victims can file a lawsuit against the driver to recover damages. Personal injury victims are entitled to several different types of damages, including:

  • The nature, extent, duration, and permanency of any injury
  • Aggravation of pre-existing conditions
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity

How Much Is My Case Worth?

The damage caused by rear end collisions can vary. Some rear end accidents cause minor property damage and minimal injuries. Other collisions result in totaled vehicles and severe, long-term injuries. Generally, the more severe and debilitating a person’s injuries, the more damages will be available in a personal injury claim. 

For example, if you’ve had to undergo months or years of medical treatment and rehabilitation and you’ve been unable to work, your claim will be worth more. However, even if you’ve had relatively brief medical treatment for a moderate neck injury, your claim has value. It’s worth taking the time to discuss your case with an attorney to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome, regardless of the severity of your accident. 

Proving Liability in a Little Rock Rear End Accident Claim

The driver in the rear vehicle is usually assumed to be at fault in rear end collisions. All drivers must leave enough space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them so they can slow down or stop safely when necessary. When the rear driver is distracted and not paying attention, he or she often cannot stop in time. In that scenario, the rear driver will typically be at fault for the accident.

However, the rear driver isn’t always at fault for a rear end collision. When a driver cuts off another driver and slams on the brakes, the rear driver might not have enough time to slow down to avoid a rear end collision. In that case, the front driver might be at fault. Similarly, suppose the front driver failed to take his or her vehicle in for repairs after noticing problems with the vehicle’s brake lights. If the rear vehicle collides with the front vehicle due to brake light failure, the front driver may be at fault. If you are unsure who is at fault for your injuries, consulting with an attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.

Discuss Your Case With a Rear End Collision Attorney in Little Rock and Arkansas

If you or your loved one has been injured in a rear end car accident, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced attorney. Attorney Tim Reed will carefully investigate your case and develop an effective strategy for obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. He offers potential clients a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Contact the Reed Firm today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable car accident attorney.