Rear-end collisions are sime of the most common types of automobile accidents Fort Worth. Here, we explain more about who's typically at fault in a rear-end wreck, exceptions to the rule and what to do next.
Who's At-Fault in a Rear End Car Accident in Texas?
All drivers have something called a legal duty of care, which means drivers have to follow the law, keep their car working properly and avoid driving recklessly.
When a driver fails this and causes an accident, they’re usually the one at fault. In rear-end collisions, the at-fault driver might have been following the car in front of them too closely, not paying attention to the road, or speeding and unable to apply their brakes. These are all negligent actions, and would make the rear-end driver at fault.
Is the Driver Who Rear-Ended Another Car Always At-Fault in Texas?
There's a common belief that if you rear-end someone in Texas, you're at fault for the wreck. However, juries don't make this same assumption. A jury may find that the front vehicle was at fault, they may distribute fault between the two drivers, or they could even decide that the accident wasn't the fault of either driver.
(You can read our story about how we helped Mark after his rear end accident).
Some people are surprised to learn that multiple drivers - including the victim - can be found negligent in an accident. However, this isn't uncommon. The amount of money you can recover will depend on how much you contributed to your own accident. For instance, if a car cut in front of you and slammed on their brakes, causing you to hit them, they would be at fault. But let's say you were also texting while driving and didn't see them right away - then you, too, would have a hand in the accident.
If a jury decides you're "more" responsible for the accident (51% of the fault is on you), you can't recover anything from the other driver.
To Call Another Driver "At Fault," You Have to Prove Negligence
Texas is a "comparative negligence state," meaning that in order to win a claim against another driver, you have to prove that they were negligent. In a nutshell, this means proving that they did something reckless or careless, and that mistake led to the car wreck. This is often why the "tailing vehicle" is at fault in a rear-end collision - they were acting reckless by tailgating the car in front of them, leaving no room to stop if needed.
In addition to proving the other driver was at-fault for your rear-end accident, you’ll need to show that you weren’t at-fault (meaning you didn’t contribute to the accident).
When Can the Front Car Be At Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
The following are examples of collisions that are the fault of the front car (the one that is hit in the rear end):
1. When the front car pulls out of a parking lot. If a car pulls out of a parking lot without looking to make sure the way is clear, or if they speed out and misjudge the distance between oncoming traffic, it's that driver's fault. Cars pulling out of lots must yield to the right of way.
2.The front car changes lanes unsafely. If a car changes lanes and hits their brakes, and is rear-ended as a result, it's their fault. Unfortunately, these instances are tough to prove, and there are still arguments against the rear-end driver. If the second car did not leave enough room for the first car to merge, it might still be the rear-ender's fault.
3. The front car slams on the brakes for no reason. In a normal situation, a car must keep a safe distance from the other car in order to come to a complete stop. However, there are certain situations where the front car stops for no reason at all. These situations are rare, but any resulting accident is the front car's fault.
Who Needs to Hire a Rear End Accident Lawyer?
If you've never hired a lawyer before, you might be wondering, "What will an attorney do for me? Do I even need one?" You will benefit from hiring a lawyer if you:
- Were rear-ended by another driver and hurt as a result
- Another driver cut you off, causing you to rear end them, but you don't know how to prove it
- Don't have health insurance after a wreck and can't afford to get treatment
- Have never handled a claim before and feel confused about what to do next
- Tried handling the claim on your own but encountered trouble with the insurance adjuster
- Received an unfair settlement offer from the insurance company
- Want a professional to ensure you win everything you deserve to cover the cost of your accident
If you were in an accident that wasn't your fault and suffered injuries as a result, you will benefit from having a personal injury attorney handling your case. The reason is simple. After a wreck, you're going to have to convince the other driver's insurance company to pay you the money you deserve for your medical bills, damaged car, and pain and suffering. However, insurance adjusters are trained to pay you as little money as possible. It's how insurance companies make money.
Having a lawyer on your side evens the playing field. Here at the Anderson Law Firm, we have over 25 years of experience winning money for hurt accident victims in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We know exactly how to set up your case, and we handle everything for you.
What Our Personal Injury Firm Can Do For You
When accident victims come to us, it's often out of frustration with the insurance company. No one ever tells you how hard making a claim can be, especially when insurance adjusters refuse to call you back or create unfair excuses to deny your claim.
We Fight the Insurance Company So You Don't Have To
Insurance adjusters might find it easy to brush you off, but they won't be able to ignore us. Sometimes simply having a lawyer on your side forces the insurance company to stop messing around - they know we won't let them get away with undervaluing your claim or playing around with your case.
We Prove the Other Driver Was At Fault
This is a sticking point for many car accident victims. You might know that the other driver caused your accident, but how can you prove it? We have over 40 years combined experience building cases and proving negligence. We know exactly what to look for, who to call and how to handle your case in the right way.
We Immediately Investigate Your Accident
If we're going to convince the insurance company to pay you full compensation, words alone are not enough - we'll need to prove that someone else caused your car accident, and that your car accident caused your injuries. For this reason, quick and thorough car accident investigations are crucial, which is why we make yours a priority. Since evidence like skid marks, debris, vehicle damage, video camera recordings and injuries tend to diminish and disappear fairly quickly, we understand the importance of fast action.
We Fight to Win You the Compensation You Deserve
If you've been in a car accident that wasn't your fault, you shouldn't have to pay the price. Under Texas law, you're entitled to compensation for your medical bills, missed work days, pain and suffering. The Anderson Law Firm can help you get it.
How Does It Work?
Schedule Your Free Consultation
First, you'll schedule your free consultation with our firm. When you come to our office, we'll listen to your story and get all the facts of the case, then form a plan to get you the medical care you need. From there, we'll gather evidence to build your case against the other driver and start our battle to win you everything you deserve to cover the cost of the accident.
You Pay Zero Upfront Costs
If you choose to hire our firm, there are no costs upfront. Instead, we work on a contingency basis, meaning we take a percentage of the money we win for you once you're satisfied with the results and your case is complete.
We Set You Up with Doctors
Even if you don't have health insurance, you shouldn't be left to suffer. We work with a network of doctors we trust who can get you the care you need now, and defer payment until later (after we've won your case and the money needed to pay these bills).
We Handle Everything, Giving You Updates Along the Way
You'll be assigned a case manager who is there to answer questions every step of the way. As your case progresses, we'll keep you updated on its status and check in with you to see how you're healing, but we handle all the paperwork, evidence-gathering and negotiations. Your only job is to get better.
Once You're Healed, We Fight the Insurance Company
After you're fully recovered from the accident, we'll gather all your medical bills, photo documentation, police reports and other evidence and bring it to the insurance company to demand a fair settlement. Attorney Mark Anderson has over 25 years of experience negotiating with insurance adjusters, and he won't let an adjuster lowball us. If at the end of negotiations we still don't believe the insurance company is offering you fair compensation, we'll file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
In addition to our attorneys, we have a full litigation team trained to bring your case to court. We've won millions of dollars for our clients over the years, and we are confidant in our ability to bring justice to hurt accident victims.
Why Trust the Anderson Law Firm?
The Anderson Law Firm's founder Mark Anderson is one of the most recognized attorneys in our area. Most notably, Mark was named a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine, and recognized as a 2016 Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters. He is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and is ranked in the top one percent of practicing attorneys in the United States, according to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
The Settlement Amount is Different Among Different Injuries
At the Anderson Law Firm, rear-ended car accidents are one of the most common types of accidents that our attorney and legal team face. Rear-ended accidents can bring an array of injuries to the victim, including head, neck, and back pain. Even though our firm handles many rear-ended injuries, one thing is certain: all rear-ended accidents are different. These accidents occur at different times, to different occupants (drivers or passengers), at different angles of the vehicle, and so on. Most importantly, rear-ended accidents involve different injuries. This is caused by different factors in the weather, road conditions, and speed that the at-fault driver was on in the time of the accident. As a result, there is a spectrum of the amount of settlement that an injured driver or passenger can receive. An injured victim that only required spinal injections will have a different settlement amount from an injured victim that required back surgery. This is to show that the seriousness of the injury can reflect a low settlement amount, like in the victim who received spinal injections, to a higher settlement amount, such as the victim who required back surgery. Also, there are other things to consider, such as whether or not the victim requires future medical treatment or rehabilitative support, which would cause a settlement offer to increase.
From Our Victories: $180,000 Settlement for Rear-End Wreck Victims in Grapevine, Texas
Rear-end accidents are one of the most common kinds of auto wrecks we see at the Anderson Law Firm, so when Janice and Paul came to us after they'd been rear-ended on the highway, we knew we could help.
Rear-End Wreck on Highway 121
The pair had been driving on Highway 121 when Paul eased on the brakes. The driver behind him - clearly speeding - crashed into the back of their car, forcing Paul to hit the car in front of him. When police came to the scene, they placed the speeding driver at-fault for "failure to control speed."
Janice and Paul were taken to a local emergency room. Paul was diagnosed with cervical sprain - an injury that continued to cause him neck and back pain in the coming months. Janice was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and lumbar facet pain. She was given steroid injections to lower her pain, but when the pair came to us, neither was fully recovered.
Our Injury Lawyers Handle Rear-End Cases
Our firm worked with the medical providers to make sure the injuries were properly connected to the accident. If doctors don't make the right notes in a patient’s medical records (or don't make any notes at all), that can seriously hurt the patient as they're trying to make a claim because it makes it very hard to connect the accident to the injuries. We never let this happen to our clients.
Additionally, some insurance adjusters don't see rear-end accident's as being "that bad." Because getting rear ended is common and does not always result in serious injuries, some adjusters like to argue that the victim's medical treatment is unnecessary or overblown. By carefully documenting each piece of our client's cases, we ensured that they were given full and fair compensation for their damages and injuries.
Based on the negligence of the at-fault driver, and the extreme nature of the injuries suffered by our clients, we were able to successfully resolve the claim. Janice and Paul were very happy with the final settlement of $180,000.
Net settlement to client after expenses: $117,457.92
More Car Accident Results
Mark Anderson and his team have a record of success.
We have offices located in Fort Worth, Dallas, Keller and Arlington. If you are unable to drive, we will also gladly come to you.
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