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You never saw it coming. That’s what victims of rear-end collisions often say. They are paused at an intersection, and suddenly the car behind them smashes into the rear end. Damage to the car can be substantial, but even worse is the injury done to you. Car accident rear-end collisions are famous for causing whiplash injuries. They can also cause some of these car accident injuries:

  • Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash. The body is built to tolerate jolts and bumps, but a vehicle striking from the rear at 20 miles per hour causes more trauma than what the human body can handle. Spinal trauma often qualifies as a soft tissue injury. Whiplash is a form of flexion/extension injuries. Soft tissue injuries include any kind of strain, sprain and stress to the body that does not result in fracture.
  • Severe head injuries. When the passenger is not belted in and the car is rear-ended, the head may strike the dash or car frame, with extremely negative results. Open head wounds and closed head wounds can occur.
  • Spinal cord injury. Rear-end collisions often cause disks to herniate, which are extremely painful. Broken vertebrae are also common. The worst outcome is probably paralysis, which varies in severity according to the location of the wound to the spinal cord.
  • Traumatic brain injury. Shoulder-strap seat belts can help prevent the head from pitching forward and striking another object. Closed head wounds include concussion and coma. Traumatic brain injury can alter an individual’s personality and require lifelong personal assistance.

Determining Fault In Rear End Car Accidents

In North Carolina, the concept of contributory negligence is crucial in assigning fault for a rear-end collision. If a driver is found to share any degree of fault for the accident, they may be ineligible for compensation. This makes establishing clear liability essential.

Following Too Closely: One key aspect of rear-end collision laws in Raleigh is the “following too closely” statute. Drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, allowing sufficient time to react to sudden stops. Violating this statute may result in a citation and impact liability.

Presumed Liability: Raleigh operates under a presumed liability approach for rear-end collisions. This means that the driver of the rear vehicle is presumed to be at fault unless evidence suggests otherwise. Proving the lead driver’s negligence, such as sudden and unexpected stops, can help shift liability.

Comparative Negligence: North Carolina follows a contributory negligence system, which bars recovery if the plaintiff is even 1% at fault. Understanding how this impacts rear-end collision cases is crucial for those seeking compensation. Effective legal representation is essential in proving the other party’s sole responsibility.

Comparative Negligence in Rear End Accidents

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that plays a significant role in personal injury cases, including those in Raleigh, North Carolina. Understanding how this doctrine operates is crucial for individuals involved in accidents where shared fault may be a factor.

North Carolina follows a contributory negligence system, and Raleigh adheres to this legal framework. In a contributory negligence state, a plaintiff can be barred from recovering any damages if they are found even 1% at fault for the accident. This strict standard places a significant burden on injured parties seeking compensation.

However, there is a key exception in North Carolina: pure contributory negligence. This approach allows an injured party to pursue damages even if they share fault, as long as their percentage of responsibility is less than the other party’s. It’s a more lenient version of contributory negligence compared to the traditional form.

In Raleigh, when a rear end collision accident occurs, determining the degree of negligence on each party is critical. If both the plaintiff and the defendant are found to have contributed to the incident, their respective percentages of fault are assessed. If the plaintiff’s fault is less than that of the defendant, they may still recover damages, albeit reduced by their percentage of negligence.

For instance, if a rear end collision car accident occurs and the injured party is deemed 20% at fault while the other driver is 80% at fault, the injured party can seek damages, but the final award will be reduced by their 20% share of fault.

Navigating comparative negligence laws in Raleigh requires an experienced car accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help build a strong case, gather evidence, and advocate for a fair distribution of fault to maximize the injured party’s chances of obtaining just compensation. Being aware of these laws is essential for anyone navigating the complexities of a personal injury claim in Raleigh.

If you have been injured in a rear-end accident, compensation may be available to you. Give O’Malley Tunstall, PC a call and describe your situation to our Raleigh, North Carolina, injury attorneys. You may also get in touch with us through this online form

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