Is a Fender Bender Rear-End Collision a Common Type of Accident?
Did you know that rear-end car crashes are America’s most common type of car accident? It’s true. In fact, rear-end accidents make up about 28% of all accidents. When you consider that Maryland averages approximately 100,000 car accidents a year, that means a large number of those accidents are rear-end accidents. They are so common that, if you’ve been driving all your life, chances are you’ve been in a rear-ender at some point. But experience isn’t everything. Young drivers are among those most likely to be in a car accident, after all.
Rear end collisions are so common that they’re often dismissed as something so minor that they require little attention. A ‘fender bender,’ as it is sometimes called, is itself a dismissive sort of term. And yes, sometimes these accidents result in very minimal damage to the motor vehicles or the passengers within the cars. But that is not always the case. In fact, some rear-end car accidents result in very serious injuries.
Is Maryland a No-Fault State?
No, Maryland is an at-fault state. This means that if another driver was responsible for an injury or property damage, you have the right to pursue financial compensation via economic and non-economic damages. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you with filing a lawsuit and seeking damages.
Who is Held Liable for Rear-End Car Crashes?
In most rear-end car accidents, the driver in the rear is held accountable for damages. However, this is only sometimes the case. Sometimes, the lead driver might have caused the accident, such as if they slammed on the brakes for seemingly no reason. And Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that both parties could potentially be held liable for damages if it’s determined that they each played a part in causing the collision.
Let’s say that the accident was 70% the fault of the driver at the rear but 30% the fault of the driver in front. In such a case, neither driver would be awarded damages. Additionally, each driver would be on the hook for their own property damage.
That’s the unfortunate thing about Maryland’s car accident laws. Contributory negligence makes it so that even if a driver is only 1% responsible for an accident, they will receive no compensation at all. Many other states have comparative negligence laws, wherein they compare the liability of the parties and, if they were both at fault, the damages to the victim are reduced according to the percentage of fault. Only five jurisdictions follow the outdated contributory negligence rules: Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
If, however, the accident was solely the fault of the other party, then the injured victim may recover compensation. Again, while the rear driver is most commonly at fault for fender-bender type accidents, they are not automatically held responsible for damages. An investigation will need to take place in order to establish fault.
What Are Common Causes for a Rear-End Car Accident?
Rear-end accidents can have a variety of causes, including:
- A child was in the car, distracting the driver.
- Abruptly stopping.
- Brake checking.
- Changing the radio station.
- Confusing traffic signals.
- Distracted driving is, by far, the most common cause.
- Driver fatigue.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Eating or drinking.
- Malfunctioning brake lights.
- Personal grooming.
- Reading GPS directions.
- Sudden lane changes.
- Texting while driving.
What Are Common Injuries Seen in Rear-End Collisions?
Common injuries seen in rear-ender car accidents include the following:
- Back injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Facial injuries, including dental injuries and facial disfigurement.
- Head trauma.
- Knee and leg injuries.
- Loss of limbs.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries and neck injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, Maryland’s statute of limitations is three years. After those three years, you will not be able to make a personal injury claim. Following an accident, speak with lawyers as soon as you are able.
What Type of Damages Could a Car Accident Victim Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
If you were the victim of a car accident, you might be able to pursue financial compensation with the help of a local car accident attorney. These damages may come in the form of economic and non-economic damages. In especially egregious cases, you may also be able to recover compensation for punitive damages.
Economic damages may include lost wages, property damage, medical bills, future medical expenses, and lost earning ability.
Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, pre-impact fright, inconvenience, loss of spousal companionship, mental anguish, and wrongful death.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
The first thing you should do after you’re in a car accident is to check for injuries. If you’re okay, check all other passengers or other motorists for injuries, too. Never say ‘sorry’ or admit fault. If you have any aches or pains, seek medical attention. If you are in pain, contact the Law Office of Alex Poberesky to speak with our legal team about your car accident case.
It’s important to remember that while the rear driver of a rear-end collision might be assumed to be at fault, that is not always the case. Our law firm will conduct an investigation into the facts in an effort to help your case and assist you in reaching the most optimal outcome.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact our law offices at (410) 484-0400.