Why Do Rear-End Collisions Happen and Who’s to Blame?

Rear-end collisions range from inconvenient to devastating. In some scenarios, a driver is left with a minor dent in their bumper. Other times, painful and expensive injuries are the result.

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, you might have questions. Whether the accident was minor or severe, you might ask: How did this happen? Who is at fault? Do I deserve compensation?

In this post, we’ll discuss the important things you need to understand rear-end collisions and your legal options when they occur.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

It should come as no surprise that the most common cause of rear-end collisions is tailgating. An accident is nearly inevitable when one vehicle is nose-to-bumper with the car ahead of them. 

Other common causes of rear-end collisions include:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in and of itself. According to the CDC, around 3,000 people die in accidents caused by distracted driving every year. 

Distracted driving has three main causes, depending on what part of the body is distracted:

  • Visual (eyes)
  • Manual (hands)
  • Cognitive (mind) 

In any form, distraction is dangerous when you’re behind the wheel. 

Speeding

The consequences are much greater when a rear-end collision happen at excessive speeds. If a driver doesn’t have time to slow down before impact, occupants of both cars could suffer serious injuries.

Poor Weather Conditions

Rear-end collisions aren’t always the fault of a driver. If there is ice, fog, or heavy rain, driving becomes more hazardous and accidents become more likely.

Any one of these factors can cause a rear-end collision. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder how to prove fault and obtain compensation.

Who Was At Fault for Your Accident?

In Florida, the issue of fault is usually always relevant. That’s because the state has a no-fault policy for car accidents.

In the event of a collision, both parties must turn to their own insurance provider for compensation. Because of this law, all drivers in Florida are required to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) insurance from their car insurance provider.

Even with no-fault policies, there are special circumstances in which an injured person can file a lawsuit against the driver who is at fault for the accident. If the costs of the victim’s injuries surpass a certain threshold, they may be able to pursue compensation directly from the driver. 

What Does PIP Insurance Cover?

The primary purpose of PIP insurance is to cover unexpected medical costs that result from car accident injuries. These injuries may include anything from whiplash to head trauma, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and even paralysis. 

In addition to medical costs, PIP insurance will also cover lost wages. Additional expenses, like childcare and housekeeping, could be covered as well, depending upon the situation. 

PIP insurance doesn’t cover just you. If a passenger in your vehicle was injured, they could also be entitled to coverage from your PIP provider. 

What Should You Do After a Rear-End Collision?

After a car accident, it’s important to keep a level head. In addition to seeking medical treatment, you should obtain documentation, including the following:

  • Pictures of the scene and your injuries
  • The other driver’s information (name, insurance info, etc.
  • The license plate numbers of both vehicles
  • Copies of police reports

With these documents, you’ll be able to keep a record of the facts surrounding the accident. From there, you can call an experienced car accident attorney to further discuss your options.