Car accidents usually happen when you least expect them and for a wide variety of reasons. Rear-end accidents in particular are one of the most common types of crashes that occur here in Boston and across the country – when one vehicle collides with the rear of another, often resulting in serious injuries and property damage.
The attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck have decades of experience helping people injured in Boston car accidents, including rear-end collisions, and we can help you too. Just a few of our car accident successes include:
- $3,750,000 for a motorcyclist hit by a car
- $2,500,000 for a driver who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler
- $2,200,000 for a rear-end collision
- $1,800,000 for a car accident resulting in wrongful death
Rear-end collisions – the facts
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that rear-end collisions accounted for 2,428 fatal crashes in 2020. That’s 6.8% of all fatal accidents in the United States.
Rear-end accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- This is following the vehicle in front of you too closely. If a driver doesn’t leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them, they’re more likely to strike that vehicle if it comes to a sudden stop.
- Distracted driving. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in 2021. Distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.” It is illegal in Massachusetts to use your cell phone while driving.
- Speeding. Driving above the speed limit can also heighten the risk of a rear-end accident. Traveling at excessive speed increases the risk of losing control, as well as decreases reaction time to things like sudden stops or changes in traffic patterns.
- Weather conditions. Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice can make the road slippery and increase the risk of rear-end crashes. When driving in bad weather, drivers should reduce their speed appropriately and increase their following distance.
- Poor visibility. In low visibility, like fog, darkness, or rain, it may be difficult to see the vehicle in front of you, again increasing the risk of rear-end accidents. When visibility is poor, drive slowly, ensure your headlights are on, and increase your following distance.
Injuries from Boston rear-end collisions
A rear-end accident can result in severe injuries, including:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal injuries
These types of injuries can leave you hospitalized for days or weeks, and the aftermath of these injuries can prevent you from working or even performing daily household tasks and living your life as you did before.
Preventing rear-end collisions
Although some accidents are simply unpreventable, drivers can do a few things in order to avoid them, including:
- Concentrate! Driving requires your full concentration and awareness of road conditions and traffic around you.
- Avoid distracted driving. Refrain from using your phone, eating, or engaging in any activity that takes your mind off driving while behind the wheel.
- Leave enough space. By leaving enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, you can avoid a rear-end crash. The recommended following distance is at least three seconds between you and the car in front of you.
- Reduce your speed. When driving in adverse conditions or heavy traffic, slow down to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Bei aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the vehicles and conditions around you, as well as any sudden changes in traffic patterns.
- Maintain your vehicle. Keep your vehicle in good working order – including checking your brakes and tires – to prevent rear-end accidents.
If you’re involved in a Boston rear-end collision
If you’re in a rear-end accident, you should take the following step:
- First, check for injuries. Quickly check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately.
- Then, move to a safe location. If you can, move your vehicle to the shoulder or side of the road (or other safe location). Doing this can prevent additional accidents or injuries.
- Next, exchange information. Swap information with the other driver, including names, phone number, addresses, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Don’t forget to get contact information from any witnesses at the scene. Take pictures of license plates, registration information, and driver’s licenses.
- Document the accident as best you can. Use your smartphone to take photos of the scene, the position of the cars, the damage to each vehicle, and your injuries. These will come in handy when you file your claim with the insurance company.
- Get a copy of the police report. The responding officer will take a formal report at the scene of the accident. You can get this report later online.
- Seek medical attention. If you don’t receive medical attention at the scene of the accident, ensure you see a doctor as soon as possible – even if you don’t feel injured. Some injuries can take hours or even days to manifest, and it’s crucial you see a doctor immediately to have any injuries treated before they turn life-threatening.
- Notify your insurance company. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can to notify them of the accident. Remember, however, you are only required to provide them with the facts and do not need to tell them any details. Leave that to your attorney – you don’t want to accidentally damage your case by talking too much, even if you weren’t at fault.
- File your crash report. If there is significant damage to your car or serious personal injury, you are required to file a crash report with the local police and the Registry of Motor Vehicle.
Finally, you should consult with a Boston personal injury attorney. After a rear-end collision, your lawyer can help explain your legal rights, determine who was at fault, and the compensation to which you may be entitled. Any type of car accident can cause severe injuries, as well as legal headaches. Let us help.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston lawyers understand car accidents. We understand that you are injured, in pain, out of work, and you need help. That’s why we’re here – to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the harm they caused and work to secure financial compensation for your losses and damages. If you’re ready to set up a consultation with an experienced attorney, call our office or complete our contact form today.