In the state of Florida, rear-end accidents are sadly all too common. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction for a driver to run into the back of another vehicle, resulting in a potentially serious collision. Although such accidents can often be minor, they can also lead to significant injuries and even fatalities. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the risks and take steps to avoid becoming involved in a rear-end accident. By understanding the causes of these collisions and being cautious on the road, you can help keep yourself and others safe.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Winter Haven, FL
There are many different reasons why rear-end accidents happen, but some of the most common include:
- Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, and other activities that take your attention away from the road can increase your risk of being involved in a rear-end accident.
- Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle can make it difficult to stop in time if the car in front of you brakes suddenly.
- Sudden braking: Even when following at a reasonable distance, if the driver in front of you brakes suddenly, you may not have time to react.
- Reckless driving: Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and other forms of aggressive driving can make rear-end accidents more likely.
- Dangerous weather conditions: Snow, ice, and rain can make it more difficult to see and be seen by other drivers, increasing the risk of a rear-end collision.
- Poorly maintained roads: Potholes, cracks, and other road hazards can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, leading to a rear-end accident.
- Non-working lights: If a brake light, taillight, or turn signal is not working, it can be difficult for the drivers around you to know when you are stopping or turning. This can lead to a rear-end collision.
- Defective brakes: If your brakes are not working properly, you may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting the car in front of you.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
Although rear-end accidents are typically not as serious as head-on or side-impact collisions, they can still cause significant injuries. Some of the most common injuries seen in rear-end accidents include:
- Whiplash: A neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backwards. Whiplash can cause pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion in the neck.
- Head injuries: Rear-end accidents can sometimes result in head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
- Back injuries: These accidents can also cause injuries to the back, such as herniated discs and spinal cord damage.
- Broken bones: Because of the force of the impact, rear-end accidents can sometimes result in broken bones.
If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Comparative Negligence and Rear-End Accidents
In the state of Florida, if you are rear-ended, the other driver will usually be held responsible. This is because it is generally assumed that the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle was at fault. However, there are many cases mentioned above in which the driver who was rear-ended may be partially at fault, known as comparative negligence.
If you are found to be partially at fault for a rear-end accident, it could impact the amount of compensation you are able to recover. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 in damages but are found to be 20% at fault, you would only be able to recover $8,000.
Under Florida law, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover damages.
If you have been involved in a rear-end accident and are not sure who is at fault, an experienced Winter Haven car accident lawyer can help. They will be able to review the evidence and help you determine what your best course of action is.
How Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law Affect Rear-End Accident Claims?
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. This means that each driver’s own insurance company will pay for their medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. So how would comparative negligence come into play?
If you suffer serious injuries, you may be entitled to step outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit. A serious injury is defined under Florida law as a “physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.”
Get Help With Rear-End Accidents in Winter Haven, FL
If you have been involved in a rear-end accident, experienced Winter Haven personal injury lawyer Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group can help. We will review the evidence and help you determine who is at fault. If we believe you have a case, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.