Rear-End Collision

In 2015, the Washington Post reported that 1.7 million rear-end collisions occur in the United States each year. Of these car accidents, around 500,000 victims suffered from injuries and 1,700 people died. As one of the most common types of car accidents, most drivers will experience a rear-end collision at some point in their lives. Rear-end collisions can be very frustrating and stressful especially if it results in serious injuries. Recovering from rear-end accidents can take a long time depending on the circumstances of your accident and can be expensive if your injuries require physical therapy or surgery. If you suffered injuries in a rear-end car accident, you have the right to receive compensation for your damages resulting from the incident. Contact a car accident lawyer in St. Louis to learn more about how you can build your case and receive a substantial settlement.

Photo of Car Accident

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

Identifying the cause of your rear-end car accident is important. Once the cause is established, your car accident lawyer can identify the person responsible for the accident and work to build a strong case that holds them financially liable. 

Some of the most common reasons for rear-end collisions include:

  1. Texting while driving
  2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  3. Fatigued driving
  4. Speeding
  5. Road rage
  6. Mechanical failures
  7. Traffic congestion
  8. Changing lanes without using signals
  9. Brake checking, and
  10. Tailgating.

Oftentimes, the driver in the rear is found to be at-fault for the accident. Frequently, this is because they did not notice that the vehicle before them slowed down or stopped.

Avoid Tailgating To Stay Safe in St. Louis

To avoid tailgating, you should always leave a three-second distance between you and the car in front of you. The proper thing to do when you’re being tailgated is to tap the brake a few times to warn the driver behind you that you are slowing down. You do not have the right to tailgate behind another vehicle and you risk hitting them. Drivers are told to slow down when they see a tailgater, so if you feel the need to go faster, just change lanes and go around the driver. If the driver is going at the minimum speed, then they are driving legally, so carefully change lanes. You want to avoid any possibility of the other driver suggesting that you were aggressive or driving dangerously. A car accident lawyer in St. Louis is here to listen to you if your injuries were caused by a tailgater who recklessly chose to prioritize what they wanted to do behind the wheel over your safety and health. 

Common Injuries in Rear-End Car Accidents

The types of injuries you can suffer in a rear-end car accident range from minor cuts and bruises to spinal cord injuries and death. The severity of your injuries often depend on the circumstances of your accident like how fast the car behind you was going and whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt. 

Some of the most common injuries reported in rear-end collisions include:

  • Whiplash
  • Neck injuries
  • Back strains
  • Compression fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Internal bleeding
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Partial or total paralysis, and
  • Wrongful death

Minor injuries in rear-end collisions are usually from seat belt injuries. However, when passengers are not wearing their seatbelt, they are more likely to hit their head on the windshield and suffer from head injuries. Head trauma can be dangerous because symptoms are not always immediately apparent after a crash. 

Among the more severe injuries, whiplash is the most commonly reported injury from rear-end car accidents. Whiplash happens when the collision causes a rapid back and forth movement of the neck. This sudden jerking can lead to muscle strains, concussions, and even nerve damage. Often, people complain of chronic neck and back problems after an accident.

Photo of Two Broken Cars

Unfortunately, rear-end collisions can have long-term consequences on your health. In some cases, victims of rear-end car crashes spend years in physical therapy in order to recover from their injuries. If you’re involved in a rear-end collision in St. Louis, make sure to seek out medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. The sooner you see a doctor, the stronger your case will be when you need to link the injuries you sustained to your accident. Once you have received medical attention, contact a personal injury lawyer. They will help you fight for your right to receive compensation to help pay for the expenses of your recovery.

What Should I do After a Rear-End Car Accident in St. Louis?

If you were involved in a car crash in St. Louis, follow these guidelines for how to approach the scene and build your case:

  1. Call 911: Immediately following an accident, the most important thing you can do is pull your car over to the side of the road and call the police. Call the emergency line if anyone at the scene is severely injured. If no one needs immediate medical attention, call the non-emergency line so the police can come to the scene and take statements. Police reports are crucial to building any car accident personal injury case.
  2. Collect evidence of the crash: While you are at the scene of the accident, exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to write down their contact information, insurance details, and license plate numbers. If there are witnesses at the accident, try to get their information as well as their testimony can be useful to your case. Take pictures of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle with respect to the other car.
  3. Make a claim with their insurance company: Try to contact the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible to make a claim. However, whatever you do, do not give a recorded statement. They will try to use anything you say against you, so make sure you speak to your attorney first or have them speak on your behalf. 
  4. Keep records of your medical expenses: Seek out a doctor as soon as possible to remove any doubt on whether your injuries are related to the rear-end car accident you were involved in. For any and all medical procedures related to the crash, make sure to collect documentation on the expenses you incur. 
  5. Document other damages: Another form of compensation you can receive after a rear-end collision is for pain and suffering. These damages refer to an umbrella of circumstances and can range from mental anguish and emotional distress to lost wages and reduced earning capacity. Therefore it may be useful to write down how your daily life has been affected following the accident.
  6. Hire a lawyer: A St. Louis car accident attorney can help you to assess your damages and determine the full value of your claim. They will help you gather evidence and fight for your legal right to compensation after a rear-end collision. Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult which is why having an attorney can help you if you need to take your case to trial.

Following all of these steps will help to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve after your rear-end collision in St. Louis.

Proving Liability in Rear-End Accidents 

Determining who is at-fault for rear-end collisions is more complicated than you would expect. Not drivers at the back of a rear-end collision are considered the at-fault driver. Some notable exceptions include situations where:

  • The driver brake checks, which refers to situations where drivers slam on their brakes for no reasons as a way of antagonizing the tail-gating driver
  • The driver does not use hazard lights to indicate that they have a flat tire or another mechanical problem and need to slow down and/or pullover 
  • The driver has faulty or broken brake lights, or when
  • The driver in front reverses suddenly. 

If you are found at fault for doing any of these things, then you may be liable for the accident, but in most cases, the driver of the rear vehicle is usually found to be at fault.

Missouri’s Negligence Laws

Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. This means that for your rear-end collision, you can only recover compensation for however much of the accident you are not considered responsible for. If you are found to be 30% liable for the car crash, you will only recover 70% of the damages from the accident.

Unlike other car accident types, Missouri has special laws regarding rear-end crashes. These laws are known as the “rear-end collision doctrine,” and remove the need for the injured driver to prove how and why the rear colliding driver behaved negligently. Because of this law, the burden is removed from your shoulder and shifted onto the other driver where they will now have to prove that they were NOT driving negligently. 

The only things you will need to prove for your side of the case is:

  1. That you had a right to driving on the road you were on, 
  2. That you were struck from behind by another vehicle
  3. That you were not driving negligently

If you are able to show these three things, the driver who rear-ended you will be held liable for your injuries. Collecting evidence that proves the other driver behaved negligently may still be necessary in more complicated rear-end car accident cases.

Photo of Car Accident Involving Two Cars

How Much Is My Rear-End Car Accident Claim Worth?

The amount of compensation you receive for your car accident claim varies depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of the damage to your vehicle. Generally, there are two types of damages you can recover from a car accident case: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to compensation for financial losses resulting from the accident, for things such as:

  • Medical expenses like rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages 
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of employment altogether
  • Costs to repair or replace damaged vehicles, and
  • Any anticipated medical expenses for further treatment in the future.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for aspects of your case that are not necessarily tangible, out-of-pocket costs. This umbrella term covers damages related to:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish, and
  • Loss of consortium.

Another form of damages you may be eligible to receive are known as punitive damages. These damages typically only apply to cases where the at-fault driver is deemed to have exhibited behavior that shows wanton disregard for your safety. 

How Much Time do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Rear-End Collision in Missouri?

The statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is five years in the State of Missouri. It is very important that you submit your case in a timely manner and adhere to the deadlines for all aspects of the court proceedings. Failure to do so can jeopardize your legal rights to receiving compensation for your damages following a rear-end collision. 

How A Rear End Collision Lawyer Can Help You

If you were involved in a rear-end car crash in St. Louis, there’s a lot riding on your car accident injury claim. From expensive medical bills to costly vehicle repairs, getting into a rear-end collision can introduce a lot of stress into your life. Dealing with penny-pinching insurance companies and court deadlines can make matters even worse. Hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience in these matters can make handling your case a whole lot easier.

Here is what an experienced car accident attorney can do for you:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your rear-end car accident
  • Gather evidence and information that can help maximize your compensation
  • Rebuttal efforts from the insurance companies to weaken your case and shift blame
  • Negotiate favorable settlements
  • Present your case to a jury and litigate on your behalf
Photo of a Car Crash Scene

Why You Should Choose Hipskind & McAninch

For your personal injury case, you want an attorney who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Read more to learn about what our law firm can offer you:

Proven Success: A History of Winning Results

Success is the cornerstone of Hipskind & McAninch. Our law firm prides itself on the accomplishments and legal expertise of our attorneys. We are happy to claim many notable achievements including, but not limited to:

  • Over $10,000,000 recovered for our clients
  • 250+ five-star reviews on Google
  • A 99% success rate in our cases

People choose our law firm for their personal injury cases because we know how to win. We use robust legal strategies that get our clients the results they’re looking for. We have secured multi-million dollar settlements for our personal injury clients, and we pride ourselves on our abilities to maximize your compensation. When you partner with us, you’re choosing a law firm that has a proven track record of winning and achieving the results that you want. 

Recognized Excellence and Prestigious Awards

The exceptional legal services we provide our clients at Hipskind & McAninch have not gone unnoticed—we’ve received widespread recognition within the legal community. Our law firm has received numerous honorable recognitions and awards, including, but not limited to:

  • Three consecutive years on the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars List
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • Perfect five-star reviews on Avvo, the largest online lawyer listing service
  • National Premier Top Ten Personal Injury Attorney
  • TopLocals Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyers

We put a lot of effort into building the strongest cases for our clients, and these awards indicate the quality of work we produce. At Hipskind & McAninch, our work ethic is rooted in a genuine passion for the law and a genuine desire to make a positive impact in the lives of those we represent. We are certain we can provide you the best legal representation for your personal injury case and will do what it takes to get you the results you deserve.

Specialized Legal Expertise and Knowledge

At Hipskind and McAninch, our lawyers possess a deep understanding of the intricacies and nuances of personal injury law. We are committed to developing the strongest legal strategies for your case through ongoing and up-to-date research on the evolving regulations in Missouri. We stay ahead of the curve to anticipate challenges, identify opportunities, and provide you with a competitive edge in the courtroom. Often, personal injury cases are brought against insurance companies that tend to employ tactics that protect only their interests and wallets. 

Common tactics these companies use include blaming victims, disputing the accident, withholding information, misrepresenting coverage, and making lowball settlement offers. Ultimately, these malicious attempts work to reduce an injured person’s path to recovery. Our personal injury attorneys have firsthand experience working for the corporate side, and they know how to counter and leverage opponent strategies. With extensive knowledge and expertise, we are equipped to handle even the most challenging cases. By choosing us, you can trust that you are placing your legal matters in the hands of a firm that delivers exceptional results. 

Client-Centered Approach

A personal injury can be a very challenging time in someone’s life in terms of physical pain, emotional distress, and financial hardships. With this in mind, our law firm uses a client-centered approach that relies on clear communication and responsiveness. To build a successful case that meets your needs and interests, we listen to the unique circumstances of your case and tailor our legal strategies accordingly. 

Photo of a Damaged Car

We will make sure to take the time to explain legal concepts to you and answer any questions you have about your case. Our goal is to help you focus on your personal recovery, knowing that our attorneys will handle the legal complexities of your case, like paperwork and negotiations with insurance companies. We will offer you support and guidance and, above all else, reassurance that your case is in good hands. While we advocate vigorously for your right to just compensation, you can focus on what really matters after sustaining a personal injury: your health and well-being.

No Win, No Fee, No Worries

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you have enough things to worry about. Finding the money for legal representation should not be one of them. We firmly believe in serving the needs of everyone, regardless of their financial situation. Our personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we win your case. Our fee structure is designed to give you peace of mind knowing that we will do everything we can to win your case and that our payment is contingent upon winning your case. 

We also offer prospective clients a free consultation where you can discuss the details of your situation with us, and we can let you know what we can offer you. The initial consultation allows us to understand your case better and provide you with valuable legal advice. Contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers right away to move your case forward. 

If you have suffered from a personal injury in the St. Louis metropolitan area, we strongly suggest contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. In addition to car accidents, personal injury claims can be made for a wide range of situations, including slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, product liability negligence, dog bites, and accidents at the workplace. When injuries happen, there are legal avenues that allow you to seek compensation for, not only physical damages and financial costs, but also for pain and suffering. 

Many factors can affect the settlement you receive, but your attorney can sit down to crunch the numbers with you and lead you through the legal complexities of personal injury lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may decide to solve your personal injury dispute outside of the courtroom. Regarding outstanding legal representation, Hipskind & McAninch is here to help you with your personal injury case. Our expertise is widely acknowledged in the legal community, and we proudly boast a track record of victories in the courtroom. Our client-centered approach is designed to minimize your stress and maximize your compensation. In fact, our St. Louis personal injury law firm has many 5-star reviews. Let us handle the legal complexities while you focus on more important things like your health and recovery. Read our St. Louis personal injury lawyer bios to learn more about what we can do for you.