Rear-End Accident Lawyer
Rear-end crashes account for a significant chunk of the car accidents that regularly take place. Therefore, do not underestimate these types of crashes. Although many of them only cause property damage and minor injuries, they may still lead to serious harm and even fatalities.
Hire a rear-end accident lawyer immediately if you were recently involved in that type of crash to ensure that the right party is held accountable for what happened. Find out more about rear-end collisions and Maryland laws relevant to them by continuing with the rest of this article.
Common Ways Rear-End Accidents Happen
Rear-end accidents are common sights for drivers driving through Towson and other parts of Baltimore County. They occur when a trailing vehicle hits the car in front of it from behind. Those crashes typically occur due to the reasons detailed below.
Drivers Engaging in Tailgating – A lot of drivers have developed the habit of tailgating. Many drivers tailgate because they are impatient, while others engage in that behavior to express their frustration. It is worth noting that tailgating is illegal in the state of Maryland. If you cause an accident while tailgating, you could find yourself in a world of trouble. Conversely, you should immediately partner with a rear-end accident attorney if you know that a tailgating driver caused your crash.
Driving while Intoxicated – You are more likely to rear-end another driver if you have no idea where you are currently. That kind of thing often happens to intoxicated drivers. Stay home if you are intoxicated to avoid being served by a car crash lawyer.
Giving in to Distractions – Rear-end accidents also frequently occur due to distracted driving. The driver who is not paying attention to the road may fail to notice the vehicle in front of them. By the time they see the vehicle, it may already be too late for them to avoid the collision.
Dealing with Poor Driving Conditions – Drivers who want to avoid rear-end crashes should also be more careful whenever it is snowing or raining outside. Slick roads may keep vehicles in motion longer than expected. Even if you tried to stop in time, the other party and their car wreck lawyer may still blame you for what happened.
How often Do Rear-End Car Accidents Happen?
Nearly two million rear-end car accidents happen every year in the United States. They are common accidents but being common does not diminish their threat. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 2,428 fatal rear-end crashes recorded in 2020. They are considerably less deadly than T-bone and head-on collisions, but they remain deadly all the same. You will see that those accidents still accounted for 6.8% of the fatal crashes in 2020.
We need to take the threat presented by rear-end car accidents seriously. If you or someone you know was involved in that type of crash, you must get an auto accident lawyer from a local injury law firm on the case as soon as possible.
I Was Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident. Whose Fault Was It?
While stopped at an intersection in Baltimore City, another vehicle may have hit you from behind and caused noticeable damage as a result. Who is responsible for that accident, and what actions can you take to hold them accountable?
The driver who rear-ended the car is usually the driver who is at fault because this type of crash typically indicates that the rear driver was not practicing safe driving. According to the law, the driver of the vehicle that is behind is expected to maintain a safe distance at all times and be in control of their vehicle. If they fail to do so, then they are responsible for the accident and any resulting damages.
In some cases, the rear driver may be able to prove that the driver in front was at fault. This can be done by providing evidence that the front driver was driving recklessly or not paying attention to the road. It can also be done by providing evidence that the front driver was driving too fast or making sudden stops. However, it is usually the rear driver who is found to be at fault because they are considered to have been negligent in their driving.
To determine fault in a situation like that, the police officers will investigate the accident and see which actions directly led to the collision. They will also note if any of the parties involved violated any laws because that can factor heavily into the distribution of blame.
Remember, Maryland is an at-fault state, so you can sue the other driver for hitting your car. However, the doctrine of contributory negligence could prevent you from recovering the damages if the court decides that you share even 1% of the blame for the incident. Reach out to an auto accident attorney so they can protect you from being incorrectly blamed.
What to Do if You Are in a Rear-End Car Accident
Victims of rear-end car accidents can make critical mistakes that could deprive them of the right to claim compensation. However, you can avoid making those mistakes by following the steps laid out below.
- Check Yourself for Injuries – If you are involved in a car accident, your priority should always be to check yourself for injuries. Confirm your current condition before you proceed to the next steps.
- Dial 911 – Once you finish checking yourself for injuries, you can call 911 and ask for emergency medical assistance if you need it. Of course, you should still call 911 to request police assistance even if you are not badly injured.
- Talk to the Other Driver – Can you move around after the accident? If so, you should approach the other driver and ask for their information. You will need their name, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle info.
- Collect Evidence at the Accident Site – Next, you should try to collect whatever evidence is available at the accident scene. Take pictures of the accident site and the surrounding area to have ample documentation. You should also use this opportunity to speak to witnesses and gather any statements they are willing to provide.
- Speak to the Police Officers – You should speak to the police officers as soon as they get to the scene of the accident. Tell them about what happened from your perspective and hand over the evidence you have collected. Do not forget to ask for their names and contact details so you and your car accident injury attorney can obtain their report later.
Consult with a Doctor – Do not assume that you are completely fine in the wake of your accident. Consult with a doctor soon after your accident so you can gain a better grasp of your true condition
- Hire a Rear-End Accident Lawyer – If you do not have a car injury lawyer yet, now is the time to hire one. Then, prepare properly for the upcoming legal battle by getting an expert on your side.
- Notify Your Insurer – Lastly, you should tell your insurer about the accident so they can get it on the record. If your insurer asks additional questions about the accident, you can shut them down or refer them to your car injury attorney.
Important Things to Know about Maryland Car Accident Laws
Specific Maryland laws can significantly affect the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit. Let’s discuss those laws in greater detail in this section of the article.
The Statute of Limitations in Maryland
Plaintiffs in Maryland personal injury cases have three years to file their lawsuits. More specifically, they have three years from the date of the accident to file their lawsuit with the court. A plaintiff who submits their lawsuit beyond that three-year time limit will likely see their claim dismissed by the court. Avoid that potential outcome by quickly contacting a rear-end accident lawyer.
Parties Eligible to File Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Rear-end car accidents can lead to fatalities. If your loved one was involved in a fatal accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Maryland law allows the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents to file that wrongful death claim. However, if none of them file the claim, anyone related to the decedent by blood or marriage can also take legal action if they depend on the victim.
Insurance Requirements for Maryland Drivers
All Maryland drivers are required to carry auto insurance. At a minimum, they must have $30,000 in bodily injury coverage, $60,000 available for two or more victims, and $15,000 set aside for potential property damage.
I Was Rear-Ended by an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver. What Do I Do?
For one reason or another, some motorists in Maryland do not carry adequate auto insurance or may not carry insurance at all. What should you do if you are involved in an accident with one of those drivers? In that scenario, you still have the option of suing the uninsured/underinsured driver. Force them to pay for your accident out of pocket so you do not suffer any significant losses.
Of course, some drivers may not pay even if you sue them. In that case, your best option involves filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurer. Send the pieces of evidence to your insurer so they honor your claim.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of a rear-end accident case will not be easy, but a good lawyer can make that task more manageable. Contact us at Leppler Injury Law, and we will help you make the strongest case possible.