A rear-end collision is a collision where the front of a vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle. It is among the most common types of motor vehicle collisions in Indiana County and Western Pennsylvania. If you have suffered injuries as a result of being rear-ended, a Western PA rear-end collision lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your medical treatment, lost income, and other damages. Reach out to a dedicated car accident lawyer today.
Common Fact Patterns
Some of the common fact patterns or scenarios leading to rear-end collision scenarios in Indiana County and Western Pennsylvania are a failure to obey traffic signals where somebody is speeding or tailgating, as well as distracted driving. Often, a driver may not see a red light and end up colliding with a vehicle ahead of them that is safely slowing or stopping.
Rear-end collisions can also occur in construction zones with altered traffic patterns. Drivers who are familiar with certain areas might not expect there to be caution signs or stop signs, which can cause a rear-end collision in that circumstance.
Speeding often goes hand-in-hand with tailgating. When someone drives over the speed limit, they may not be able to stop in time before they impact another vehicle. Tailgating, when a vehicle is following another vehicle on the road at a distance that is dangerous and too close, can lead to severe injuries. When a car is tailgating, they do not have an opportunity to stop their vehicle in enough time to prevent the rear-end collision and could be subject to a personal injury claim.
Assigning Fault in a Rear-End Accident
The car that is in the rear is generally at fault in rear-end collisions. According to Pennsylvania’s assured distance law, all drivers must maintain an assured clear distance ahead of them that would allow them to stop their vehicle in the event of an emergency. Somebody who is tailgating is clearly not obeying the assured clear distance rule ahead of them because they are, by definition, not allowing enough distance between the vehicle in front of them and the vehicle behind their vehicle that would allow them the assured clear distance to stop.
The assured clear distance rule does not always mean that the car that is behind is at fault, however. There are egregious circumstances in which the car in front may be at fault, such as where a vehicle is driving at night without adequate lighting. An experienced Indiana rear-end collision lawyer may be able to handle a case in which a trailing driver believes the motorist in front of them was at fault.
Contacting a Western PA Rear-End Collision Attorney After an Accident
It is important for an injured party to contact a personal injury lawyer after a rear-end collision instead of waiting, as evidence collection and the initial investigation by the insurance company is critical to developing the injured party’s claim.
It is also important that a potential plaintiff speaks to an attorney so that they do not mistakenly say something that could harm their claim. Even common courtesies such as apologizing after a collision can often be taken by an insurance company to be an admission of fault or liability.
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, contact a Western PA rear-end collision lawyer for help pursuing damages and negotiating with insurers.