Carrollwood Rear-End Accident Attorney
When a fast-moving vehicle strikes a slow-moving or stationary vehicle, the resulting injuries are often catastrophic. Sophisticated airbags, seat belts, and other restraint systems cannot possibly absorb all the force in these wrecks. Severe whiplash is one of the most common, and most serious, injuries in these wrecks. Unless doctors promptly and properly treat it, whiplash often causes paralysis.
Over the years, the experienced Carrollwood rear-end accident attorneys at Moore Law have developed proven methods for dealing with these cases. These methods usually involve old-fashioned values, like hard work and open communication. Since proof is so critical in an injury claim, we make sure we have plenty of it. Furthermore, we proactively communicate with our clients through the whole process, so they are never in the dark.
What Causes Rear-End Wrecks?
Typically, some form of driver inattention causes a rear-end wreck. Frequently, this inattention is rooted in drive impairment, such as:
- Substance Use: Alcohol and/or drug use is a factor in about half the fatal car wrecks in Hillsborough County. These substances impair motor skills and cloud judgement ability. Usually, these impairing effects begin with the first sip, puff, or pill.
- Operator Fatigue: Drowsiness and alcohol have roughly the same effect on the body and brain. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. Furthermore, shortcuts, like blasting the radio or drinking coffee, don’t cure fatigue. Only sleep does that.
- Driver Distraction: This category includes any behavior that prompts drivers to take their minds off the road (cognitive distraction), their hands off the wheel (manual distraction), or their eyes off the road (visual distraction). Hand-held cell phones combine all three forms of distracted driving.
Excessive speed often causes rear-end wrecks as well. These drivers have less time to react to fast-changing road conditions, like a vehicle that suddenly stops short. Speed also increases the force of a rear-end wreck. It transforms a non-injury “fender bender” into a serious injury collision.
Defective products cause a few rear-end wrecks. Examples include bad brakes and defective tires. Usually, these manufacturers are strictly liable for damages in these situations. There’s no need to prove negligence, at least for purposes of legal responsibility.
Basically, negligence is a lack of care. Not all driver errors are a lack of care. If Brian glanced at his cell phone at the same time the driver in front of him slammed on her brakes, most jurors would say Brian isn’t responsible for damages. But if Brian had been using his cell phone for several blocks prior to the wreck, that’s different.
Distracted driving rear-end wrecks also illustrate the difference between ordinary negligence and negligence per se. In most cases, ordinary negligence is a lack of reasonable care. This duty requires motorists to concentrate on driving when they are behind the wheel. Negligence per se is a violation of a safety law, like the cell phone law. If Brian was talking or texting on his phone prior to the wreck, even if it was one text or a brief conversation, he could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
Sudden emergency, or the emergency doctrine, is one of the most common insurance company defenses in rear-end wreck cases. Drivers are not responsible for damages if they:
- Reasonably react to
- A sudden emergency.
A stalled, stationary, or stopped-short vehicle is not a “sudden emergency” in this context. Instead, these things are everyday hazards. The aforementioned duty of care requires motorists to anticipate such hazards and deal with them appropriately. Therefore, the sudden emergency defense usually doesn’t apply in rear-end crash cases.
Reach Out to a Compassionate Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced rear-end collision attorney in Carrollwood, contact Moore Law by going online or calling 813-510-5400. Home, virtual, and hospital visits are available.