Boston Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Rear-end collisions in Boston often involve drivers traveling too closely to the car in front of them and not maintaining a safe stopping distance. This behavior is especially dangerous in the winter when there is ice or snow on the roads. Distracted driving can also be a factor, especially in the age of mobile devices and texting. The driver of the rear vehicle is typically primarily at fault, and therefore liable for damages.
Rear-end accidents can result in serious injuries and property damage, and victims are often left with expensive medical bills and lost wages from missed work. Common injuries include broken bones, whiplash, and brain injuries. These conditions usually require immediate medical treatment, so be sure to get the care you need as soon as possible.
Fortunately, compensation for your care and other consequences may be available with the help of a Boston rear-end collision lawyer. An experienced Boston rear-end collision attorney can examine the facts of a case and hold the at-fault party accountable. Contact the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today about a free case evaluation of your rear-end accident at (617) 295-7731.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Accident in Boston?
The law typically presumes that the driver who rear-ended the car in front of them is at fault. This is because drivers are obligated by the rules of the road to leave enough room in between their car and the car in front of them to allow for a safe, controlled, and gradual stop. When a rear-end collision happens, the assumption is that the driver in the rear either failed to provide adequate space between the vehicles or was distracted from the road and didn’t see the car in front of them stop.
There are times, however, when there may be other factors that influence a court’s determination of who is at fault. For example, if the car in front made a sudden and abrupt stop without any reason or warning, he or she may be partially or even wholly at fault. Weather conditions such as ice accumulation on the road may inhibit a driver’s ability to stop their vehicle on command. Additionally, a sudden medical emergency could cause an accident through no fault of either driver. For example, drivers may not be at fault if they suffered a heart attack or stroke without warning that caused the accident.
Massachusetts is a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction, which means that claimants who bear some responsibility for their own injuries may still recover damages, as long as they are not more than 50% at fault. Plaintiffs could be comparatively negligent in both causing the accident and causing their own injuries. The damages would be reduced by whatever percentage of fault they share, and the percentage is determined by the jury (or the judge if the case is a bench trial).
For instance, if Driver A sues Driver B for rear-ending them, but Driver A was not wearing a seat belt, the court would determine what percentage of responsibility Driver A shares. If Driver A claims $20,000 in injury damages and the court determines that Driver A was 20% responsible, Driver A could only recover $16,000 in damages.
How Fault Is Determined After a Boston Rear-End Collision
After a rear-end collision in Boston, a victim’s personal injury lawyer often conducts an investigation in order to gather evidence and determine fault. One of the most important methods an attorney uses to establish liability is collecting witness statements. It is very important to identify all potential witnesses to confirm what they saw and to preserve the memory in their testimony for future use. These statements can be important when negotiating settlements with the insurance company or presenting the case at trial before a jury.
Another valuable piece of evidence is video footage. If there is a security camera in the area that recorded the accident, that would be very important evidence. Also helpful are photographs of the scene or the vehicles involved in the rear-end collision, especially those showing the severity of the damage and the point in the roadway where the contact was made. This helps a lawyer determine who had the right of way and what caused the rear-end collision.
If the rear driver was violating the rules of the road in any way, this is typically a telltale sign that they were at fault. Speeding, failing to heed stop signs or traffic lights, or distracted driving violations (such as texting or driving under the influence) are typically grounds for liability in a rear-end collision injury lawsuit.
Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions in Boston
Rear-end accidents, even at low speeds, can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers in the impacted vehicle. We strongly recommend that you seek medical attention after any accident to determine the extent of your injuries, including the most common ones listed below.
Neck injuries such as whiplash typically result from car accidents where the victim’s head is thrust back and forth by the impact of the collision, resembling the motion of a whip. Because the neck and spine are directly affected, people dealing with whiplash often experience a severe limitation on their range of motion throughout their body. Whiplash is typically treatable through physical therapy, but serious cases may result in long-term chronic pain.
While car safety features have evolved dramatically in recent years, they can only do so much. In the case of rear-end collisions, two of the most common injuries are broken collarbones where the seatbelt stiffens or fractures to facial bones on impact with the steering wheel or airbag. Even if your injuries were related to the car’s safety features, you can still recover from the at-fault driver. If your vehicle’s safety features malfunctioned, you should talk to your Boston rear-end collision lawyer about your ability to name the car or safety feature manufacturer in your injury lawsuit.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) such as concussions should not be taken lightly. When a person sustains the force of a car accident, it can cause their brain to bounce up against the inside of their skull. Like any other injured body part, the brain can bruise, bleed, or swell. These consequences may cause changes in brain function and lead to life-threatening conditions. The scariest part of this is that you might not realize your injuries immediately after an accident. Sometimes, the only way to tell is to obtain thorough medical assessment.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
It is very important to contact a Boston rear-end collision lawyer soon after a car accident to identify and contact all potential insurance companies that would provide coverage. Unfortunately, victims are sometimes in situations where the car was uninsured. Maybe the insurance policy had lapsed for lack of payment, or there might be some exception or exclusion in the insurance policy.
For example, if the insurance policy covers household members of the driver, but the driver was not named as insured, the insurance company might try and deny coverage. In this situation, it is very important for victims to represented by a lawyer who could pursue all avenues of compensation. This might include potential claims through the injured driver’s policy for uninsured or underinsured motorists benefits if the at-fault driver did not have sufficient coverage to compensate.
You should be careful about speaking to an insurance company without the help of your Boston rear-end collision attorney. Insurance companies may try to get you to admit partial fault for an accident, limiting your potential recovery in court and giving them grounds to deny a claim. Insurance companies may attempt to use underhanded tactics to deny you the compensation that you deserve if they know you don’t have representation. Our Boston rear-end collision lawyers can do the talking for you and make sure that you are being dealt with fairly.
If you are offered a settlement agreement to settle your claim, you are not obligated to take it. You are free to reject or negotiate the terms of the settlement at your discretion. Many victims will feel intimidated by the insurance company’s tactics and the medical bills piling up and jump at the chance to settle, leaving money on the table. Don’t take any action in your case without speaking to a Boston rear-end collision attorney first.
Reach Out to a Boston Rear-End Collision Attorney Today
If you need legal advice after your car accident, reach out to a Boston rear-end collision lawyer. A dedicated Boston personal injury attorney that specializes in rear-end accidents can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call (617) 295-7731 today to schedule a consultation.