You can sue for rear-end collision if your accident was not your fault. To win your lawsuit, you will need to prove your crash was caused by someone else’s negligence.
What Is Negligence?
All drivers are expected to operate their vehicles with a reasonable degree of care. According to the American Bar Association, drivers are negligent if they are behaving carelessly or recklessly. If their negligence causes injuries or damages, they may be liable, or responsible, for the costs. Drivers may be negligent if they were breaking traffic laws, driving while distracted, driving under the influence, or engaging in other unsafe actions.
When it comes to rear-end collisions, in most cases, the tailing driver is the liable party. The lead vehicle usually has the right to stop to avoid traffic, an object in the road, or any other safety hazard. It is generally the tailing driver’s responsibility to pay attention to the lead vehicle and not follow too closely. However, the driver of the lead vehicle may be responsible in certain situations, such as if they are driving erratically or their brake lights are out.
The Liable Party May Owe You Compensation
If someone else is liable, you could be owed monetary awards.
Who You Can Sue for a Rear-End Collision
You can sue anyone whose negligence caused your accident. This may be another driver, or even the driver’s employer if the crash happened while they were on the job. In some cases, it could also be the entity responsible for the road conditions where your accident occurred, or even the company that made your vehicle or its parts.
If your accident was caused by a problem with the roadway, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the city, county, or state responsible for its maintenance and design. If a defect with your vehicle or the other driver’s vehicle led to your crash, you may have the basis for a product liability lawsuit against the car’s manufacturer or the maker of the defective part.
Damages You Can Win
You may pursue compensation for economic and non-economic damages you have suffered because of your accident. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, including the costs of emergency treatment, physical therapy, surgeries, and more.
- Property damage, including the costs of damages to your vehicle, as well as any other personal property that was destroyed or broken.
- A sum to compensate for wages you have lost due to your injuries and recovery.
- If your family member died from injuries suffered in a rear-end collision, you can seek awards for their medical care and final expenses.
Noneconomic damages are financial awards for a victim’s pain and suffering. These awards attempt to compensate for the ways your injuries may negatively impact how you live your life. Noneconomic damages may include:
- Awards for disfigurement, scarring, or amputation.
- Awards for the mental strain caused by your accident. This may include conditions like insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
- Awards for the ways your accident may have diminished your capacity to enjoy life.
- In the event your family member died, you could be compensated for your grief and other suffering caused by their death.
Resolving Your Case in Court
Some rear-end collision cases can be resolved through insurance claims. How you proceed with insurance will depend on your state’s insurance model. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), there are four basic insurance categories:
- Tort liability – Also known as at-fault, this is the most commonly used insurance model. Under tort liability insurance, drivers file their claims with the liable driver’s insurance company. There are no restrictions in seeking additional compensation through a lawsuit in at-fault states.
- No-fault – In no-fault states, drivers involved in a crash submit claims to their own insurance provider, no matter who is liable for the accident. Drivers carry personal injury protection (PIP) policies that cover their injuries in a crash. In a no-fault, you can only sue another driver if your injuries are severe enough to meet the criteria set by your state.
- Choice no-fault – Drivers may choose an at-fault or no-fault policy. Your choice will affect your options for seeking compensation in a lawsuit.
- Add-on – This insurance model is similar to no-fault in that drivers file claims with their own providers first. However, there are no restrictions on lawsuits, like in tort liability states.
Call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Understanding insurance and knowing when and how you should pursue a lawsuit can be complicated. Working with an attorney may assist you in understanding your options for seeking a settlement and knowing when you can sue for rear-end collision.
To learn more about how a lawyer can help with your case, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 for a risk-free consultation.