As any driver knows, the roads and highways of Los Angeles are heavily congested, which makes rear-end accidents common. While the striking driver is usually responsible, determining liability requires the skill of an experienced rear-end accident attorney.
At Saeedian Law Group, we have a demonstrated track record of success in car accident cases, including rear-end accidents. Lead attorney Michael Saeedian is well-versed in the applicable negligence and insurance laws in California and will work to protect your rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Los Angeles
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end accidents are the most common car collision, accounting for 29 percent of crashes. Read-end accidents typically occur at traffic signals and intersections or in slow-moving traffic and are often caused by:
- Distracted Driving
- Tailgating (following too closely)
- Excessive speed
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
The NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in general and a key contributor to rear-end accidents. Smartphones and GPS devices are a primary distraction for many drivers, in spite of the fact that using a cell phone and texting while driving is illegal in Los Angeles and all of California.
A tailgating driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, particularly on wet or icy roads. Speed is also a leading factor in rear-end collisions because speeding drivers are prone to misreading distance when approaching a slow-moving or stopped vehicle. Finally, drunk or drugged driving can impact a driver’s ability to react to traffic conditions and stop without causing a rear-end accident.
Who is Liable for a Rear-End Accident?
When a driver is rear-ended, the striking driver is generally deemed to be at fault, particularly if that driver was distracted by digital devices, talking to passengers, tuning the radio, eating, smoking, or drinking a beverage. Moreover, a driver that is following too closely or speeding, can also be held liable for striking a driver that was stopped at a red light or slowing down in traffic.
Rear-end collisions can also involve multiple vehicles when the first vehicle strikes a vehicle ahead and the force pushes that vehicle into another driver. In this scenario, if two cars are pushed together by a third car striking the middle car, the driver of the third car is most likely at fault. The other drivers will have claims against that driver.
Depending on the circumstances, the driver of the car that was rear-ended may be partially at fault for the accident if:
- The vehicle’s brake lights did not function
- The driver stopped short without a good reason
- The vehicle had a mechanical problem and the driver stopped in the road, rather than moving the vehicle to the shoulder
If the driver of the struck vehicle is found to be partially at fault, California’s rules of comparative negligence apply. This means that the amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the claimant. For example, if the hit driver is assigned 20 percent of the fault and the total damages assessed are $20,000, then the amount of the award will be reduced to $16,000.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end collisions can result in serious injuries, particularly when the impacting vehicle is traveling at high speed. Common injuries include:
- Lacerations and bruises
- Neck injuries (e.g.whiplash)
- Broken bones
- Tendon, ligament, and muscle strains
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Wrongful death
If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, seek immediate medical treatment, even if you don’t feel as if you’ve been injured. In some cases, symptoms of whiplash, strains, sprains, and other injuries may not surface immediately. It is crucial to have an accurate medical diagnosis to prevent njuries from worsening. The medical record will also be important evidence in your injury claim.
How Saeedian Law Group Can Help
Our practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of car accident victims. We know that rear-end accidents don’t just happen, they are usually caused by driver negligence. Once you become our client, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and work to hold the other driver accountable. Above all, we will fight to help you obtain just compensation. While no two accident claims are the same, you may be entitled to significant compensation that includes economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Rehabilitative costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability/disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Although car accident claims are often settled through negotiations with an insurance company, we prepare each case for trial to achieve the best possible outcome. You can depend on us to guide you through the process and protect your interests.
Contact An Experienced Los Angeles Rear-End Accident Lawyer Today
At Saeedian Law Group, our clients always come first. Once you become our client, you can rest assured your injury claim will be in good hands. Contact our office today to get started.