Rear-end accidents happen too frequently here in the Metro Atlanta region, and anyone could be seriously injured in one of these collisions.
Are you and your family at risk? How badly can you be injured in a rear-end collision? And if you are injured by a negligent driver in a rear-end collision, what is your recourse?
WHAT INJURIES ARE COMMON IN REAR-END ACCIDENTS?
Across the U.S., the most frequently-reported injuries sustained in rear-end vehicle accidents are:
1. multiple broken ribs and bones
2. physical disfigurement
3. partial or complete paralysis
5. spinal cord injury
6. traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other injuries to the head
WHAT ABOUT FENDER-BENDERS AND OTHER COLLISIONS AT LOW SPEEDS?
Some rear-end collision victims and their families are now compelled to spend millions of dollars every year for long-term medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy.
That’s because even at low speeds, rear-end crashes can cause devastating and permanently disabling injuries.
For instance, in rear-end accidents where the vehicles are moving at only five miles per hour, about ten percent of the drivers and passengers in these accidents will suffer whiplash.
In these kinds of low-speed, rear-end accidents, the statistics and the risks are real. Low-speed, rear-end accidents can also cause more severe injuries including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), injuries requiring amputation, and more.
WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD INJURIES?
Even in low-speed, rear-end collisions, the head can be tossed violently forward and back, causing the brain to bounce – literally – into the skull. TBI is a likely result. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can include seizures, blackouts, disorientation, and memory loss.
A spinal cord injury can incapacitate a victim temporarily for days, weeks, or months – and sometimes permanently. When a brain or spinal cord injury isn’t identified or detected at once, and when symptoms manifest days or weeks later, by that time, the condition can be critical.
In the Metro Atlanta region or anywhere in the state of Georgia, if you suffer a personal injury in a rear-end crash caused by another driver, let a personal injury attorney fight to obtain the compensation you will need and the justice you’ll deserve.
WHY IS SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION IMPERATIVE AFTER ANY CRASH?
As mentioned previously, injuries that are not treated immediately can become quite serious medical conditions, so rear-end collision victims must seek medical attention promptly, even after a low-speed crash.
If you are involved in any traffic accident, summon medical help at once if anyone appears to be injured. But even if you’ve never felt better, have a healthcare professional examine you within twenty-four hours of the collision.
A medical exam not only protects your health, but it also serves to support your injury claim if you determine later that you need to seek legal compensation.
After you’ve been examined, then get the legal help that you are very much going to need. If a negligent motorist injures you in Georgia, you must take action at once – before the evidence deteriorates and before the witnesses start forgetting what happened.
WHAT DO THE COURTS PRESUME REGARDING REAR-END ACCIDENTS?
It’s not difficult to get into a traffic crash in Georgia. More than 385,000 traffic accidents were reported in this state in 2015, so every Georgia motorist needs to understand the presumptions that are made in vehicular injury cases arising from rear-end collisions.
For instance, when a motorist rolls or crashes into another vehicle, and that other vehicle is parked legally or has stopped legally at a stop sign or at a traffic light, the motorist in the vehicle that was moving will – with almost no exceptions – be deemed negligent.
HOW DO SOME INSURANCE COMPANIES HANDLE “MINOR” ACCIDENTS?
When someone is hurt in a low-speed, rear-end traffic crash that seems like a minor accident, an auto insurance company might reject an injury claim by saying that so minor an accident could not cause so serious an injury.
In some cases, that is exactly what an automobile insurance company does. Most auto insurance companies in Georgia are ethical, and they’re staffed by professionals who will treat you right. Unfortunately, however, some auto insurance companies operate somewhat less ethically.
WHY IS AN ATTORNEY’S HELP SO IMPORTANT IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?
That’s another reason why, if you are injured in a rear-end traffic collision in Georgia, it is imperative to place your case in the trustworthy hands of a skilled personal injury attorney – someone who can deal effectively with the insurance company on your behalf.
In the Metro Atlanta area and throughout this state, if a negligent motorist injures you, don’t sign any insurance papers, don’t accept any settlement offers, and don’t even speak to an insurance company adjuster or representative. Simply refer those calls and questions to your attorney.
Particularly after a low-speed accident, an auto insurance company may offer an injury victim a settlement amount that is substantially below the actual value of the victim’s injury claim.
Injured accident victims need to be represented by an attorney who is an experienced negotiator – someone who will not settle for a dollar less than a victim’s claim is worth.
After an injury caused by a negligent driver in a rear-end accident or any kind of traffic accident, the wise move is to put a skilled negotiator – your personal injury lawyer – to work on your behalf – while you concentrate on regaining your health.
WILL YOUR CASE GO TO TRIAL?
A good injury attorney will immediately launch an investigation and examine every detail of the accident prior to entering negotiations. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court.
However, when an auto insurance company continues to reject an injury claim – or offers only an unacceptably low settlement offer – a personal injury lawyer will take the case to court and fight aggressively there for the full compensation amount that an accident victim needs.
Is there any way to prevent injuries in rear-end accidents? Of course, the standard safety advice always applies: wear your safety belt, maintain your vehicle, and keep your eyes and attention on the road.
Headrests – according to the researchers – are the best protection against spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries in rear-end accidents. But if the headrest is set too low, it could stretch or hyperextend someone’s neck.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER ABOUT REAR-END ACCIDENTS?
What are the most important things to remember about rear-end accidents in Georgia?
1. Summon medical help to the scene, or have a medical exam within twenty-four hours.
2. If you’ve been injured, speak with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in Georgia, you are legally entitled to compensation.
Most Georgia injury attorneys offer a free first consultation and charge no fees until and unless they win a settlement or verdict on a client’s behalf, so if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, it will cost you nothing to learn more about your rights and to take legal action.