Rear end collisions are one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents, yet they are almost always avoidable. A whopping 87% of rear end accidents occur because the driver wasn’t paying attention to the traffic ahead. Others drive too closely, and some aren’t careful enough when the roads are slippery with water or ice. Due to these forms of negligence, countless drivers and passengers become injured due to rear end collisions. When a rear end accident strikes, there’s no substitute for speaking to a personal injury attorney. However, learning the rear end accident essentials can help you decide what questions to ask.
Common Injuries from Rear End Accidents
A reported 85% of neck injuries caused by car accidents occurred during a rear end collision. These types of accidents place enormous stress on the neck and back. One of the more common types of neck injuries that occur in a rear end collision is whiplash. When your head is thrust forward then back, whiplash can develop. This abrupt movement damages soft tissue in the neck. Even relatively minor rear end accidents can cause whiplash. Because of the nature of the collision, there’s no heads up to prepare yourself for the impact.
Seat belts prevent close to 15,000 deaths a year. And they stop innumerable injuries from developing as well. However, seat belts do have their limitations. They’re very effective in securing the lower half of your body. Your upper body, on the other hand, gets less protection in a rear end crash. This can lead to a variety of back and spinal injuries during the impact from a rear-end collision.
The discs in your spine can be pushed out of place or even fractured during the impact. These herniated or damaged discs can press on nerves can either cause excruciating pain or numbness.
Sprains and strains to the ligaments in the back are also common. When the ligaments are stretched beyond normal, it can cause swelling and bruising. It’s incredibly painful. This also limits your mobility. Bending simply to pick up around the house or exercise can become challenging and painful.
And finally, head injuries are also common in rear end collision, for people who are wearing their seatbelt and for those who are not.
When someone is wearing their seatbelt, they can still sustain brain injuries because of the force involved in a collision. The sudden jerking of the head can cause the brain to slam forward and backward in the skull causing what is known as a coup contrecoup injury.
If a person is not wearing a seatbelt, they obviously have the potential to hit their head on the steering wheel or dashboard which can obviously cause serious brain injuries and long-term repercussions.
If you suffered an injury due to a rear end collision, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages. An experienced Minnesota rear end accident attorney can help you to sort through the details of your case and to establish what compensation you are owed. Contact Sand Law for a free no obligation consultation.
Can You Sue for a Rear End Accident?
It is possible to sue for a rear end accident. However, since Minnesota is a no-fault state, the injuries included in your claim have to be considerable. After an accident, drivers must turn to their own insurance companies first. You can only go after expenses that your at-fault coverage doesn’t take care of. For a lawsuit to be viable, your medical expenses must go beyond $4,000.
Another qualifier is if the injuries debilitate you for at least 60 days. Permanent scarring or disfigurement are also reasons to sue. If an injury is fatal, a surviving loved one can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
And of course, you can sue for property damage, since no-fault policies do not cover the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
If you were injured in a rear end accident, it is best to speak to a qualified attorney to understand whether you have a viable case. The laws surrounding personal injury are complex and required experience to thoroughly understand. Do not be tricked by a quick offer from the insurance company. Speak to an attorney first.
How to Prepare for a Lawsuit
The process begins at the scene of the accident. Collect as much evidence as you’re physically able to. This includes photos of the damage on all vehicles involved, witness statements and information, and a copy of the police report. Getting medical attention as soon as possible will prevent your injuries from getting worse and will document the accident with a medical professional. This will establish the medical records you will need to strengthen your lawsuit.
File a no-fault claim with your insurance company within six months of your accident. If you fail to file within the time limit, you won’t likely be able to include the amount you would have received in your lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company at all cost. Their main goal is to protect their own pockets. Any statements you make could be twisted in their favor. Allow your attorney to manage these phone calls and potential negotiations.
As soon as the accident happens, insurance companies will have skilled professionals working on their side. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible will level the playing field..
Minnesota Statute of Limitations
Under most circumstances, Minnesotans have two years from the date of an accident to take legal action. If you’re a minor when the rear end accident occurs, the time period can be extended. If your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident, you have three years after a death to begin pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Rear End Accident Compensation
If you’ve been rear ended, you can collect compensation for your injury-related expenses. This includes hospital fees, doctors’ bills, physical therapy, and other costs of treatment. You can also receive compensation for replacement services. For example, if you unexpectedly had to pay for childcare because of your injuries, you can include that expense in your case. If the other driver behaved especially recklessly, that driver may be held liable for punitive damages. For example, you will have a strong argument for punitive damages if an intoxicated driver rear ends you. Keep in mind however, that punitive damages are rare and most cases revolve around economic and non-economic damages.
You may also be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering. The amount will depend on the severity of your injuries, similar past cases, and prognosis.
An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your medical records and other documentation to ensure that you get all of the types of compensation that are available to you.
Contact an Experienced Minnesota Rear End Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a rear end car accident due to someone else’s negligence, a car accident attorney can help you through this stressful time. The attorneys of Sand Law will work diligently to secure maximum compensation on your behalf so that you can focus on healing. For a free consultation, contact us online, by using the chat feature below, or at 651-291-7263.