Shreveport Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Over one-fourth of all car accidents are rear-end collisions. While rear-end crashes are rarely fatal compared to other types of auto accidents (T-bone crashes, rollovers, head-on collisions), a driver or passenger of a car who gets rear-ended can still experience severe injury. Even though liability might seem straightforward (the rear driver is almost always responsible for this kind of crash), issues such as comparative negligence or third-party liability can make an accident claim difficult and complex for the injury victim. Insurance companies will also try to dismiss any injuries as not serious, especially if the victim’s car was not heavily damaged.
At Rice & Kendig injury lawyers, we’ve been helping car accident victims in Shreveport-Bossier City for more than 40 years. We know how to build a strong claim that proves the other driver’s liability and firmly establishes the value of your claim while keeping you from being wrongly blamed for contributing to the accident through some negligence of your own. Call our office if you’ve been hurt in a rear-end crash in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana. We’ll help you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve.
Rear-End Collisions Are Serious Matters
After a crash, the insurance adjuster will come out to look at the car and assess the damage. If the damage to the car isn’t serious, they’ll assume any injuries can’t be serious either. Insurance companies in these cases are likely to imply your claim of personal injury is exaggerated, imagined or just plain made up. They know better, and so do we. The truth is that cars are manufactured today to absorb the shock of an impact without showing much external damage (known in the industry as the vehicle’s crashworthiness). Just because the car’s exterior wasn’t visibly damaged very much, however, does not mean that the car’s occupants didn’t suffer from the impact. Drivers and passengers can hit their heads on the steering wheel, dashboard, seatbacks or windows. Even without hitting the interior of the vehicle, they can be twisted and jostled in such a way to create a painful, lasting injury. Rear-end crashes can end in any of the following, for example:
- Muscle tears, strains or sprains
- Bruising, cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head or brain injury
- Back or spinal injury
- Neck injury
Whiplash, also known as acceleration-deceleration syndrome, is a frequent result of a rear-end collision. When a car is hit from behind, the driver or passenger’s body is pushed forward. At the same time, their head and neck are flung backward beyond their normal range, only to be thrust forward very rapidly, again beyond their normal range of motion. This quick hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck cause a whiplash injury, even at relatively low speed. When a car gets hit at 30 mph, the head of the person inside will whip back and forth at speeds as high as 75 mph. The faster the car is traveling, the more severe the injury will likely be, but even a slow-speed crash can cause severe whiplash injury, back injury or other harm.
Signs of whiplash to look out for after a crash include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck
- Decreased range of motion for the head and neck
- Blurred vision
- Memory loss
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Tingling, burning or pain in the shoulder, arm and back
Even if you don’t require emergency care at the scene of an accident or in the hospital, it is always wise to follow up with a doctor after a crash to check for symptoms of whiplash or spinal injury. If you don’t have a regular doctor or are worried about the cost, we can recommend a qualified physician who can look you over and treat you without charging you any upfront fees.
Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Rear-end collisions most often happen at stop signs or red lights, or as the result of a traffic slowdown on the street or highway. Conventional wisdom says that the driver in the rear is always at fault in causing a rear-end crash, and in this instance, conventional wisdom is fairly accurate. Safe driving includes leaving a safe distance between oneself and the car ahead (no tailgating), as well as paying attention to the road and scanning for changes in traffic patterns or unexpected slowdowns. A driver who fails to stop in time to avoid a crash was likely not watching the road carefully enough and may have been distracted by a cellphone text, changing the radio station, or another distracted driving activity.
There might be some situations where the rear driver is not at all to blame for a rear-end collision, but what happens more often is that the rear driver is partially to blame while some other party is also partly at fault. This other responsible party could be a third-party, such as a pedestrian who runs out into the road, or another driver who runs a stop sign, forcing the driver in front to suddenly and forcefully brake. The forward driver could also bear some responsibility if the driver were driving negligently, such as texting while driving or driving drunk, and unreasonably stopped in the road due to the driver’s own negligence.
The insurance company representing the rear driver will often seize on these potential issues of comparative fault to try and reduce the amount of money they owe to the injured victim in the forward car. Part of our job as injury lawyers is to keep you from being unfairly blamed for contributing to the accident so you can recover the full amount of compensation that is due to you. With decades of experience in personal injury auto accidents, including abundant jury trial experience, Rice & Kendig is well-equipped to represent you after a rear-end collision.
Legal Advice and Representation After a Shreveport-Bossier City Rear-End Car Accident
If you suffered an injury after getting rear-ended in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana, call Rice & Kendig for a free consultation on your potential claims. Our attorneys and staff will be by your side throughout the process, so you’ll know what to expect and have a place to turn to for help or any questions along the way.