Rear-end motor vehicle accidents occur when the front bumper of a vehicle im pacts the rear bumper of the car ahead. It’s one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents, causing large numbers of fatalities, injuries, and substantial damage to the vehicles involved.
About 500,000 people are injured each year in rear-end collisions, and about 1,700 are killed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Negligence in rear-end collisions
In most cases, rear-end accidents are caused by negligence. This means one or more drivers failed to act as a reasonable person would.
Some examples of negligence that commonly lead to rear-end accidents include:
- Distracted or inattentive driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to follow at a safe distance
- Driving while overly fatigued
- Weather conditions, including wet roads or fog
When negligence is shared
In many cases, the driver who rear ends the vehicle in front of them is completely at fault for the accident. In other cases, however, the drivers may share responsibility. This can occur under circumstances such as the following:
- The front car’s driver enters suddenly from a side street
- The front car’s driver suddenly merges into the other driver’s lane
Contributory negligence in Nevada
Some states, including Nevada, follow the concept of contributory negligence in lawsuits. This means, even if you were somewhat at fault for an accident, you may still be able to recover damages, but they can be reduced by the amount you’re found to be at fault.
If, for example, you’re found to be at 10% fault, the damages you recover will be reduced by 10%. However, if you’re found to be more at fault than the other driver – 51% at fault – you won’t be able to recover any damages.
Seeking medical attention
If you’ve been involved in a rear end collision, you may feel fine, but it’s best to seek medical attention. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent. Soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be prone to injury during rear-end collisions, but they can be more difficult to detect than broken bones.
In addition, concussions are quite common in this type of injury, since your head may be abruptly jerked. In some cases, concussions can lead to ongoing physical, emotional, and cognitive issues significantly impacting your quality of life.
Contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez for a free consultation if you’ve been in a rear-end collision, and download our free accident checklist, "8 Surprising Things to Know After a Car Accident."