A rear-end collision is when one vehicle collides with the back of the vehicle in front. Rear-end collision accident claims are a common source of injury in Ireland.
The Negligent Party
In most cases, the negligent party is the colliding car coming from behind. The car can sometimes be stationary, waiting at a junction or traffic lights. Multiple rear-end collisions can occur in queues of traffic when one car pushes the next one forward, causing a domino effect. Serious injuries can be contracted from this form of road traffic accident and can affect the quality of life of a person. In the circumstances, the victim can be left with no other option but to seek legal remedy for the pain suffered.
Who is Liable for the Collision?
As previously stated, in most circumstances liability is held with the party who collided with the vehicle in front of them. Insurance companies may often dispute where negligence lies so there are usually some standardised questions to assist you in establishing who is liable.
Could the collision have been predicted?
All road traffic users have a duty to be concentrated to the best of their ability when using the road. If you feel like there was nothing more you could have done to avoid the collision you don’t account for liability.
Could you have reacted quicker?
If you were distracted or reacted slower for some reason this may have impacted the bearing on the inevitability of the collision. However, if an object such as a child or animal appeared suddenly with little reaction time available causing abrupt breaking you cannot be held as the negligent party.
Is there any evidence?
Witnesses are a common source of providing proof for a collision. However, it is advisable to install video-cameras on the dashboard and rear of the vehicle. The visual can be undisputed with and will illustrate who is liable.
Injuries received from a rear-end collision can have life-long effects on a person. Whiplash is the most common injury contracted from the collision. Whiplash injuries often require intensive rehabilitation treatment programs. These expenses are known as special damages and may be claimed for.
Some of the other common injuries include:
Causes of Rear-end Collisions*
Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions have been:
- The driver behind you is distracted using a mobile phone.
- The driver behind you is suffering from fatigue from travelling a long distance without a break.
- The following driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Where hazards on the road cause you to brake suddenly and the car behind you is not a safe distance from you to stop in time.
- If the car in front of you is defective, i.e. brake lights are not working, causing you to rear-end them.
- If the car in front of you has not signalled before changing lanes.
- If a car is parked on the road broken down and did not put their hazard lights on.
- Road condition is wet or icy and the driver in front or behind you had not taken these conditions into consideration.
Passengers and Rear-end Collision Claims*
Passengers travelling in a car that has been rear-ended have also been known to make a claim for injuries they have sustained. A passenger is not as focused on the road or their surroundings as the driver would be, therefore in the event of an accident they will not have the same reaction as the driver. A driver may be able to brace themselves just before impact, while a passenger may not be able to, meaning that in some cases the passenger’s injuries may be more severe than that of the driver.
What to do after a road traffic accident?
Following a road traffic accident, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, there are a number of steps you should follow:
- Seek medical attention
- Gather all relevant information at the scene
- Report the incident to the Gardaí
- Contact your insurance company
- Speak to a road traffic accident solicitor
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*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
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