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Rear End Accidents in California

“Rear enders” are the most common type of injury car accidents. Most rear end accidents involve one or both of three key factors: driver inattention by the driver behind, following too closely, or a rapid deceleration by the driver whose car is hit. Many times, rear end accidents occur when there was no quick stopping, and the driver who is hit had been stopped for several seconds or longer.

Who’s at Fault in Rear End Accidents?

Rear end accidents are almost always the fault of the driver behind. In many rear end accidents, the car that is hit is then pushed in to another car ahead, causing two impacts for the people in that car. In such an accident, the insurance company for the driver who caused the accident may try to claim that the person who was hit actually struck the car ahead first. This claim is usually resolved by asking the driver of the first car how many impacts he/she felt. In a multi-car “pileup,” your claim may have to be made against two or even more drivers from behind. In the multi-car situation, the claim can be greatly complicated by disputes about dividing up the percentage of fault.

Rear End Accidents & Injuries

The primary force upon the occupants of a car hit from behind are to the rear, but there is also a jerking forward which occurs immediately afterward, due to rebound. Neck and back injuries are common in rear enders, as are head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Injuries are often much worse in a rear end accident when the person in the car which is hit is turned to the left or right at the time of impact. The quality of the car’s seat can be a big factor in the extent of injuries in rear enders. Sometimes bucket seat backs will fail in a rearender, in which case it is very important to document this, as it can make for significantly greater injuries.

Rear End Accident Cases

As in other types of car accident injury cases, insurance companies always look at rear end accidents to see how much damage the car had. Many carriers wrongly assume that if it did not cost more than $1,000 – $2,000 to repair the car, then any injuries must be minimal. The carriers can get away with this in many cases, because they know that juries want to see significant damage to the car that was rear-ended. When the car that causes a rear ender, though was braking before the impact, this can cause “brake dive,” the tendency of a car’s front end to go down under heavy braking. This is turn can cause “submarining,” where the nose of the car behind partially goes under the bumper of the car it hits. This can cause the car that is rear ended to look as though it was not damaged very much, but often cars hit this way have more damage that is uncovered when the repair shop removes the bumper.

Contact an Attorney for Rear End Accidents

Contact one of the San Francisco injury lawyers at Callaway & Wolf for a free consultation about your car accident case. Callaway & Wolf have practiced together for nearly 20 years, and have handled many rear end accident injury cases in San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and around the San Francisco Bay Area. Call 415-541-0300, or click here to contact us online.

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