Rear-End Automobile Collisions
The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is busy with traffic. At least five major roadways serve as vehicle connections in the area. The high congestion leads to numerous “rear-end” auto collisions everyday. A faulty driver who hit another vehicle from behind should be liable for any injuries suffered by the not at fault driver. What may seem a simple factual case will often require a skilled and effective car wreck attorney such as Patrick R. Kelly to prosecute the claim on behalf of the injured parties.
Texas’ statutes require that drivers maintain a safe following distance from the vehicles in front of them. The driver must keep a clear and manageable distance from the lead car so that the driver in the back can slow down or stop in time without swerving into another lane, car, or object to avoid a collision. This requirement mandated under the Texas Transportation Code is recognized as a codification of a long-standing tort common law. As long as vehicles have existed, so to has the duty for drivers to follow at a safe distance from other drivers to avoid collisions.
Texas case law holds that a defendant who rear-ended another driver is NOT as a matter of law liable. In other words, a jury will still have to determine whether or not the driver who ran into the back of another car acted negligently or unreasonably in order to find liability. Practically speaking, most of these cases are straightforward and the faulty driver’s insurance will accept liability. That is because even though the faulty driver is not liable as a matter of law, the likelihood is great that jurors would render a verdict against the driver because the driver had ran into the back of the Plaintiff. Insurance companies will not want to fight over liability when they know that common sense leads to the conclusion that rear-end wrecks are normally due to the unsafe driving of the driver hitting the other driver from behind. But the game does not end there.
Liability carriers for drivers will often dispute the types and amount of injuries caused from a rear-end car wreck. In fact, approximately 90% of disputes with insurance companies in back-end collisions are solely focused on whether the rear-end impact caused the injuries suffered. The most common types of injuries for rear-end collisions are whiplash, disk herniation, neck sprain and strain, and shoulder bruising and sprains.
Biomechanical experts have established that bodily injuries can occur when a driver is sitting idle in his or her car and is struck from behind by another vehicle traveling at a speed as little as 5 miles per hour. Insurance adjusters routinely ignore this science and have hired an insurance company backed team of scientists to state a contrarian opinion. Insurance adjusters also limit personal injury claims by taking pictures of and inspecting the bumper and tail end of the victim’s vehicle to demonstrate that the property damage “just wasn’t that bad.” The argument follows that since the property damage is so low, then there is no way the victim could have sustained injuries from the collision. This is where a skilled personal injury attorney can strongly advance a person’s claim following a rear-end automobile accident. A keen eye of medical records and terminology can be used to obtain the settlement the injured victim deserves.
There is no reason a person who is the victim of a rear-end collision in the Dallas, Texas area should become a victim again when dealing with the faulty driver’s insurance. If this is you or someone you know, call our law office today for a free consultation in our Dallas or Fort Worth office.