Tampa Rear-end Accidents Lawyer
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates more than 30 percent of all traffic collisions in the United States each year are rear-end accidents, making them the most common type of motor vehicle accident. Although rear-end collisions are plentiful, they are also less likely to lead to death as other kinds of traffic crashes. Yet, when the following vehicle is traveling at a high speed, those in the lead vehicle are at risk for severe, sometimes fatal injuries. Rear-end accidents can occur when drivers get distracted, follow other cars too closely, or make other negligent choices when driving.
If you live in the Greater Tampa area and have sustained injuries in a rear-end car accident, Florida law entitles you to sue the at-fault driver for damages related to losses you’ve incurred from the accident and your injuries. The skilled car accident attorneys at Boohoff Law can help you hold the driver accountable who caused you harm. Contact us at (877) 999-999 for a free consultation to discuss the circumstance surrounding your rear-end accident and injuries and learn about the best course of action for your case.
About Boohoff Law, P.A.
The award-winning legal team at Boohoff Law, P.A. continues their tradition of professional excellence, client service, and client advocacy to get the compensation their clients deserve after a traffic collision. The firm’s passion for seeking justice for their clients had resulted in the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in settlements and court verdicts, helping to alleviate the financial burden that comes with a serious injury.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys have ample experience investigating accident cases, negotiating and settling with insurance companies, and litigating claims when settlement isn’t an option. We cannot guarantee a particular outcome for your rear-end accident case, but we will build the strongest case possible against the at-fault driver(s) who caused your injuries, so you have a better chance for a positive outcome.
Rear-end Accident Trends
Rear-end accidents occur so frequently that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made them a focal point for research to find out how they can prevent them from happening. Much of the NHTSA research focuses on driver attributes in rear-end collisions, as well as broad trends. Some factoids and statistics from the NHTSA research on rear-end traffic crashes include:
- Older drivers are less likely to cause a rear-end crash; as the age of the driver decreases, the chance he or she will cause a rear-end collision increases.
- Young males are far more likely to strike another vehicle in a rear-end accident than female drivers from any age group.
- Many assume rear-end collisions are a consequence of following another car too closely. This can lead to a rear-end collision, but the NHTSA reports that the second vehicle maintains a safe following distance in the majority of rear-end crashes.
- Most rear-end accidents occur when the front vehicle is stopped at a light or stopped in traffic.
- Although inclement weather can contribute to a rear-end collision, most crashes occur during clear weather conditions.
Serious Injuries From Rear-end Accidents
Fortunately, rear-end car crashes aren’t often fatal and many might not lead to any injuries. Yet, serious and severe injuries can occur, especially when the crash involved high speeds. Higher speed means a greater impact during the collision, causing more property damage, more severe damages, and sometimes death.
Backseat occupants are especially vulnerable to debilitating injuries during a rear-end accident. Fatalities are more likely in smaller passenger vehicles that don’t have the protection offered by an SUV or other larger vehicle.
Some of the most serious injuries an accident victim might suffer in a rear-end accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When a rear-end collision occurs, drivers and occupants heads may suffer a blow from the impact. This movement can result in a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) called a concussion, or much more serious moderate or severe TBI. In some cases, drivers might hit their heads against the steering wheel or windshield, and backseat passengers’ heads might hit the seat in front of them, making the injury even worse.
Left untreated, serious TBIs can lead to permanent brain damage. The long-term impact of a TBI can include residual headaches and migraines, difficulty remembering things, struggles with balance, challenges with communication, and much more. In the most severe cases, accident victims might be in a coma or a permanent vegetative state (PVS).
Whiplash most commonly occurs in car accidents, and are especially common in rear-end accidents when a person’s head whips back and forth upon impact. Whiplash injuries include strains, sprains, nerve damage, cracked vertebrae, and bulge discs. The most minor damage occurs to the soft tissue in the neck, and will heal quickly, but more severe damage can lead to residual headaches and pain. Some common whiplash symptoms include stiffness and pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, dizziness, numbness in the neck, and abnormal sleeping patterns.
A severe rear-end collision can cause painful back injuries that cause accident victims to suffer for life. Back injuries can vary, but include fractured vertebrae, bulged discs, and slipped discs. Back injury victims often need surgery to alleviate the pain they suffer. Surgery can help, but victims still might have to cope with lifelong discomfort, never finding relief. Back surgery might also include implanting a pain management device, and using screws, braces, and plates to reconstruct the spinal column, or at least make it stable. Victims can also expect to spend weeks, months, or more in physical therapy to help them recover as much as possible.
Proximate Causes of Rear-End Accidents
When you file a personal injury lawsuit as a consequence of sustaining injuries in a car accident, your attorney will need to prove the following driver caused the accident. An assumption, which is often true, exists that the second driver is always at fault, but your lawyer will strengthen your case by presenting proximate causes during settlement negotiations or litigation. A proximate cause is used to prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit and isn’t always a direct cause, but it is sufficient for determining liability.
Some proximate causes of rear-end accidents include the following driver behaviors:
Driving While Distracted
The NHTSA estimates 85 percent of rear-end collisions are a consequence of distracted driving. Most states have some sort of distracted driving laws, but they only address cell phone use, not the other distractions that might cause an accident. In 2019, Florida made texting and driving a primary offense, which means law enforcement can pull a driver over and give them a ticket if they see a driver texting. Before the new law, a driver must have violated some other traffic regulation for law enforcement to make a legal traffic stop.
This change will hopefully help curb this dangerous driving behavior in the years to come. Florida, however, does not require drivers to use their phones hands free unless they are in a school zone or construction zone.
Other distractions that might lead to a driver causing a rear-end accident include:
- Adjusting vehicle features such as radio, GPS, seats, and climate controls
- Tending to children or others in the back seat
- Reaching on the floor or in the backseat
- Focusing on an event outside of the vehicle
- Personal grooming such as brushing hair and putting on makeup
- Eating and drinking
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Avoiding a rear-end collision means having the capability to judge time and distance, especially when following another vehicle. When drivers use drugs or consume alcohol and get behind the wheel, their impairment prevents them from not only judging space and time, but from reacting to a sudden stop or other maneuver by the car in front of them.
Motorists have varied backgrounds, different jobs, different size families, and different responsibilities. When drivers don’t get enough sleep or regularly get little sleep because their plate is full, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk for accident, injury, and fatality. Some sleepy drivers try to drink caffeine, smoke cigarettes, roll down the window, and/or turn up the radio to stay awake while driving. Yet, these are only short term fixes and won’t protect from an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 18 hours without sleep has the same effect on the body as someone who has been drinking and has a 0.08 breath or blood alcohol level. When drivers nod off or fall asleep, they risk running into the vehicle that they are following. In heavy traffic, this might even mean starting a chain of rear-end accidents.
No-Fault Insurance in Tampa Rear-end Accidents
Florida is one of a handful of no-fault insurance states in the nation, which requires those who register a motor vehicle to purchase $10,000 of personal injury liability (PIP) coverage. This means that your first step after a rear-end accident is to file an insurance claim under your PIP policy, even though it’s likely the other driver is at fault. In minor rear-end accidents, your PIP insurance might cover your damages and no further action will be needed; however, when a rear-end accident is severe, you will likely exhaust your policy limits quickly.
Florida PIP insurance only covers 60 percent of lost wages related to the accident and injuries, and only 80 percent of medical expenses related to your injuries. It does not take into account the physical and emotional suffering you might be experiencing, other expenses related to your injuries, or other non-economic damages. In these cases, please contact a rear-end accident attorney at Boohoff Law who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Seeking Compensation After a Tampa Rear-end Accident
After you suffer injuries in a rear-end accident, Florida law permits you to take legal action against the at-fault driver to recover damages related to the accident and injury, as long as you do so within the four-year statute of limitations. If you come to a fair settlement or a Florida court rules in favor of the plaintiff, you might be compensated for some of the following losses you suffered as a result of your rear-end accident and injuries:
- Medical treatment costs not covered by your PIP insurance from ambulance and emergency response teams, emergency department treatment, diagnostic imaging, hospitalization, surgery, aftercare, and medication
- Future medical expenses when a rear-end accident leads to a severe or disabling injury requiring ongoing medical treatment for months or years
- Rehabilitation expenses including time with therapists who help accident victims cope with their injuries
- (e.g. physical therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist)
- Lost wages beyond what was covered by your PIP as a result of the accident, treatment, and recovery preventing an accident victim from working
- Lost future wages when rear-end accidents lead to catastrophic injuries that prevent an accident victim from working
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse when applicable
- Other non-economic costs that might apply
Get the Legal Help You Need After a Seattle Rear-end Accident
Being involved in a serious car accident carries not only physical pain, but emotional trauma, and economic stress. At Boohoff Law, we understand the difficulties you might face in the wake of a rear-end car accident and want to help you through this challenging time.
When someone else’s actions cause your injuries, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden. Our skilled auto accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing and recovery.
If you have suffered harm in a rear-end collision, contact Boohoff Law online or at (877) 999-9999 for a free consultation with one of our Tampa rear-end accident lawyers to learn about the best course of action for your situation. We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you need not worry about upfront payment of attorney fees. Instead, we deduct our fees from any compensation we secure for you in the form of a settlement or verdict in your favor.
3351 W. Bearss Avenue
Tampa, FL 33618
Phone: (877) 659-2417