What To Do if You’ve Been Rear-Ended in Orange County

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What To Do if You’ve Been Rear-Ended in Orange County

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Posted By DAM Firm | October 22 2020 | Car Accidents

Getting into a car accident can be a confusing experience for those involved. This is particularly true when someone sustains an injury. Rear-end collisions may seem cut and dry at first, but the reality is that these incidents can lead to significant complications when it comes to securing compensation for damages. Often, it is simply assumed that the rear driver is going to be at fault in a rear-end collision. That may be the case much of the time, but it is not always true. Here, we want to discuss some things that you can do if you have been in a rear-end collision in Orange County. These steps can help ensure that you are treated fairly, that liability is proven, and that you are adequately compensated if another driver was at fault for the collision.

Common causes of rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are typically caused by the error of one or more drivers involved. It is true that liability for these claims often falls onto the rear driver. Every driver on the roadway has a responsibility to operate safely, and part of this responsibility is not to follow others too closely. When drivers follow other vehicles too closely (tailgating), they will likely be unable to stop in time or maneuver out of the way should the front driver have to slow down or stop suddenly.

Aside from tailgating, there are other common causes of rear-end collisions in California. This includes:

  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Vehicle defects
  • Failing to obey traffic laws
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Poor roadway conditions

If you are involved in a rear-end collision

If you are involved in a rear-end collision, your first step is to stop the vehicle and check on your passengers. Then, you need to do the following:

  • Seek medical care for any injuries. Regardless of how severe or minor injuries may seem, you need to ensure you and others are evaluated by a trusted medical professional.
  • Contact law enforcement officials. Make sure that law enforcement officials come to the scene to conduct a preliminary investigation and complete an accident report.
  • Gather evidence. If you can safely do so at the scene of the accident, use a camera to take photographs of vehicle damage, injuries, causes of the crash, etc. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash.
  • Contact your insurer. You need to report the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. You do not have to go into much detail in your initial report, but they do need to know the crash occurred.
  • Contact an attorney. Consider speaking to a skilled Orange County car accident lawyer who can handle every aspect of your case.

Rear-end collisions often cause severe injuries in Orange County

Contrary to what many people believe, rear-end accidents can cause severe injuries for both drivers and passengers inside the vehicle. One of the most common injuries we rear-end collision victims sustain is whiplash. This is an injury caused by the rapid back and forth motion of the body, with the head in neck jerking back and forth. This can lead to significant strains of the neck and upper back muscles.

Whiplash is not the only type of injury that can occur in a rear-end collision. It is also not uncommon for victims in rear-end accidents to sustain the following:

  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Traumatic brain injuries or concussions
  • Severe sprains or strains
  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Severe contusions
  • …and more

Rear-end collisions are not uncommon. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), we know that rear-end collisions represent approximately 29% of all vehicle accidents in the US each year. While we do not have exact statistics regarding rear-end collisions in California, the state Office of Traffic Safety says that there were approximately 272,000 vehicle accident injuries reported across the state during the latest year of data available.

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