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April 07, 2022

Does Accident ‘Type’ Affect One’s Ability to File a Legal Claim?

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When it comes to personal injury claims, details matter. Whether you’re negotiating with an insurance provider or filing a lawsuit, the circumstances that contextualize the accident will be what ultimately determines the outcome of the insurance or legal claim. For example, say that a driver files a claim after running into a pole. Initially, the insurance provider says, “You suffered a single-vehicle accident, you may have been distracted, it was probably your fault, we’re not covering your claim.” Then, you clarify that you only ran into a pole because a drunk driver had caused a multi-car pileup and your only choices were to run into the pole at a low speed or slam into three other cars that were on fire. Suddenly, your claim is covered to the fullest extent possible and you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver for the whiplash you suffered as a result of the accident.

You may not fully know all the circumstances that led to your motor vehicle collision, and that’s okay. Here at Jeff Murphy Law, we believe that it is the job of our experienced Florida legal team to investigate and clarify our clients’ legal situations so that they can make informed decisions about how they want to proceed.

Looking for Clues Before Making Conclusions

Oftentimes, the ways in which a collision unfolds provides clues as to who is at-fault. For example, in the majority of rear-end scenarios, the driver of the vehicle that slams into another driving ahead is usually – at least partially – at fault. Why? Because if the driver coming up from the rear had been spacing properly, they would have been able (in theory) to stop effectively before crashing. However, as in the example noted above, details matter. Therefore, it’s certainly possible to have a rear-end crash scenario in which the driver in front – or another entity entirely – is responsible for the harm suffered by accident victims.

Does Accident ‘Type’ Affect One’s Ability to File a Legal Claim?

Generally speaking, no. Although it’s important not to make assumptions about your case before speaking with an experienced Tampa, FL car accident injury attorney, the type of accident that has occurred is rarely the major issue in a legal or insurance matter. Most of the time, the primary issue will be liability. Insurers will want to know who is at-fault for a collision (and in what proportion). From a personal injury standpoint, what matters is whether those at-fault owed the accident victim in question a duty of care, breached that duty, and that breach resulted in the victim’s injuries. If a drunk driver hits your car, it doesn’t usually matter whether you were hit from the side, behind, etc. What matters is that you wouldn’t have suffered your injuries had the drunk driver been obeying the law and treating your safety with proper consideration.

Rear-End Collisions

In the case of rear-end collisions, an experienced car accident Injury lawyer in Tampa, FL understands that even minor accidents can cause significant injuries. Situations that appear to be merely insignificant “fender benders” can result in accident-related harm. Occupants of the car that is hit from behind often suffer more substantial injuries than those in the vehicle that rear-ends it. Whiplash is a common injury that happens during rear-end collisions.

Other damages can result from rear-end smash-ups, and if the accident you were involved in was someone else’s fault, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. Speak to car accident Injury lawyer in Tampa, an accomplished personal injury lawyer, for more information about receiving a financial payout from the negligent or careless party.

Whiplash and Other Injuries 

Injuries can happen when vehicles stop short at red light camera intersections, in an effort to ensure any traffic violations won’t be recorded on camera. This stopping short regularly contributes to rear-end collisions. Whiplash and upper spinal injuries may result from these rear-end impacts. The human spine is not prepared for the sudden jolt and cannot stabilize to protect itself.

Because the head is whipped forward and then back again when hit from behind, the neck, spinal bones, and surrounding structures can be impacted adversely. Injuries to these areas may not be noticeable immediately after the accident. Sometimes, they take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest fully. That’s why prompt medical attention and getting help from a Tampa, FL car accident Injury lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law is crucial after a rear-end accident.

A car accident lawyer Tampa, FL accident victims can trust may be able to help you with a claim that involves the following common injuries that occur after rear-end collisions:

  •       Back injuries
  •       Traumatic brain injuries
  •       Spinal cord injuries 
  •       Broken bones 
  •       Cuts, lacerations, and bruises

Determining Fault and Negligence in Rear-End Accidents 

As your FL car accident Injury lawyer in Tampa can explain, the driver who ran into the back end of another vehicle in a rear-end accident is often, but not always, the negligent party. In order to have a case against the other driver, negligence must be proven. That means showing evidence that another driver’s actions were not those that any other reasonable person would have taken to keep others on the road safe.

So, if the other driver was speeding, following too closely, driving too fast for conditions, unable to control their car, or was not paying adequate attention, you can prove that the driver was negligent. If you can prove that a driver who struck you from behind was driving carelessly or unlawfully, or driving distracted, then they can be found at fault in the accident.

In the event of a chain reaction, where three or more vehicles contribute to multiple rear-end crashes, motor vehicle operators at the back of the chain reaction may not be found at fault. Also, if the vehicle struck from behind has faulty tail or brake lights, the other driver may be cleared of blame.

If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident where there was a red light or rear-end collision, or if a loved one has sustained fatal injuries in such an accident, you are well-advised to discuss your situation with our team. Contact a car accident injury lawyer in Tampa, Florida from Jeff Murphy Law today to schedule a consultation. 

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