Rear-end truck collisions can have devastating consequences, causing significant property damage or personal injury. Below, we have a short guide that will tell you what you need to do if you’re involved in a rear-end truck collision. We also outline how you can sue the at-fault party to get the compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes a Rear-End Truck Collision?
A rear-end truck collision is when the front of a truck crashes into the back of the vehicle ahead. Many factors can cause these collisions, including speeding, driving while distracted, driving fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or following the vehicle ahead too closely. Other factors include equipment malfunctions and poor weather conditions.
Based on the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents that cause fatalities, injuries, and property damage. Trucks are particularly prone to causing rear-end collisions, as they require a longer stopping distance.
Rear-end collisions involving trucks can cause significant property damage to the vehicle ahead and severe personal injuries to the vehicle’s occupants, including whiplash or other spinal damage, traumatic brain injuries, or, tragically, death.
Whiplash, which is the most common injury following rear-end accidents, can lead to ongoing medical conditions or chronic pain. Therefore, it’s very important that you undergo a medical examination immediately after a rear-end collision so that you don’t have to personally pay medical bills from crash-related symptoms that appear later.
The Personal Injury Center partners victims of rear-end truck collisions with an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure they receive adequate compensation. Head on to our website for a free case consultation and a possible referral to an experienced truck accident lawyer upon your request.
What Happens Legally After a Rear-End Collision?
A person who is injured in a rear-end truck collision can seek compensation against the at-fault party. They can do so by either filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or by filing a lawsuit to seek damages.
When the truck driver accepts fault for the accident, their insurance provider will likely offer the injured party a settlement. This isn’t always a fair sum, as insurance adjusters aim to minimize the figure the company has to pay. An experienced accident attorney knows whether the compensation offered is adequate.
A lawyer can fight your accident case in court when you can’t reach a settlement agreement or the truck driver doesn’t accept liability.
Below are steps you must follow after an accident to increase your chances of successfully suing the at-fault party in a rear-end collision:
1. Call an ambulance if you or another person need medical attention
If anyone involved in the collision has suffered injuries, whether apparent or not, call an ambulance so that the injured person receives crucial medical attention. Whiplash, which is indicated by pain that radiates to the arms and legs, headaches, numbness, nausea, or eyesight difficulties, should always receive immediate medical attention.
2. Report the accident to the police
Reporting the accident to the police helps strengthen your claim by providing reliable and thorough evidence of the scene and the potential causes and injuries. A police report can later be relied upon to support your claim and help establish liability.
3. Take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and any property damage
It’s helpful to collect your own evidence, including taking photos of the scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Identify and speak to any witnesses and make sure to get their contact details, as they can later provide crucial information to establish fault for the accident.
4. Exchange information with the other driver
It’s important to gather certain information about the driver, including their license plate number and the name of their trucking company. Moreover, make sure to get the driver’s name, contact details, and address. This is important because your lawyer will correspond with the at-fault party throughout the claim process.
When Can You Sue for a Rear-End Truck Collision?
Taking legal action after a rear-end collision involving a truck or semi-truck is more complicated than collisions involving passenger vehicles. Various factors that are specific to large vehicles can cause rear-end truck collisions, and several people may be liable.
Rear-end truck collisions are generally the truck driver’s fault. Where the driver’s negligence caused the crash, which resulted in injuries or wrongful death, they can be held liable. Moreover, if the truck was a commercial vehicle, the trucking company could also be responsible for their employee’s negligence. Examples of truck driver negligence include the following:
- Distracted driving (e.g., while using a cellphone or eating)
- Driving after having taken drugs or alcohol
- Failing to follow driving conditions (e.g., driving too fast in a rainstorm)
- Following too closely
- Driving a truck that the driver knows has safety issues
Suppose a faulty part or mechanical failure caused an accident. In that case, liability may extend to the manufacturer or distributor of the product. The trucking company could also be accountable for not properly maintaining its fleet.
Malpractice Center can refer you to an experienced truck accident attorney to help you sue the at-fault party and receive the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us to set up a free case evaluation.
Did you know?
The “limit of harmlessness” for stresses, such as whiplash, caused by rear-end collisions, depends on the velocity changes between 10 and 15 km/hr.
Statute of Limitations
Due to the statute of limitations of the state where the accident occurred, it’s very important that you act promptly if you wish to take legal action for a rear-end truck accident. The statute of limitations outlines the time frame by which a person must file a lawsuit for specific claims.
In the US, states may have different limitation periods, with time frames to file accident claims varying between 1 and 6 years from the date of the accident. These different time limits may also apply and vary depending on whether you claim compensation for personal injury or motor vehicle damage.
In many states, your injuries must satisfy a “serious injury” threshold to be eligible to claim compensation in a truck accident. “Serious injury” is defined differently across states. They can be “permanent loss of a significant body function,” “permanent injury,” “scarring or disfigurement that is significant and likely permanent,” or whether the crash resulted in fatalities.
Even if you’re filing a claim through liability insurance rather than the court process, a personal injury lawyer will ensure that this occurs promptly. Moreover, the lawyer will make sure that the statute of limitations doesn’t bar you from taking legal action if a settlement can’t be reached.
Know More About Your Case at The Personal Injury Center
Suppose you were injured, suffered property damage, or lost a loved one due to a rear-end truck collision. We at The Personal Injury Center can forward your case to an experienced truck accident lawyer. We will help you get a lawyer who will seek compensation from the at-fault driver or other liable parties for various losses, such as medical bills, lost income, accident injuries, and pain and suffering.
You can get compensation for personal injuries or property damage caused by a rear-end truck collision. Contact The Personal Injury Center today for a free case evaluation so we can partner you with a lawyer who can work your case.
Know More About Your Case at The Personal Injury Center
After a rear-end collision, getting the medical attention you require is crucial. You should also call the police to report the accident, take pictures of the scene, talk to witnesses, and get witnesses and the at-fault driver's contact details. Reach out to a lawyer immediately to get advice on the legal steps that are most appropriate.
Generally, whiplash is the most common injury caused by a rear-end collision. Whiplash can vary in severity from mild discomfort or pain to spinal damage or paralysis. Injuries to the back, spine, and brain are also common.
Several variables contribute to the compensation a person can receive. These include medical bills, lost income, and the extent of their pain and suffering, which makes ascertaining an “average” payout challenging. At the higher end, compensation for a severe rear-end collision may go up to $250,000.