Seeking Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Rear Ender
Rear-end collisions are
The most common of all Accidents is the rear-ender. It accounts for almost a third of all accidents in the US according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. Our experience in handling auto accident cases over the last 30 years here in Marin County is no different.
almost always the fault of the rear driver. This is because California Vehicle Code Section 21703 makes it illegal to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable. The assumption made by most juries who decide these cases in Marin and elsewhere is that if a rear end collision occurs it is because the second car was following too closely.
Mechanism of Injury
Therefore, the main issue in such cases becomes the nature and extent of the damages. Most commonly, the injury is to the first car occupant’s neck. The reason for this is fairly simple. The force of the impact drives the first car forward. The injured person’s head remains in place, causing a whipping motion.
Even if there is a headrest, the force of the impact drives the front car forward. The the headrest hits the back of the occupant’s head thrusting it forward flexing the neck in the process. The mechanism of injury to the low back is the same.
Many assume that if they have had a neck or low back injury in the past, they cannot recover compensation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Juries are instructed that if the injured party had a preexisting condition that was made worse by the accident, they must award damages to compensate for the effect of that condition. CACI 3927. Often times, the fact that a seemingly minor accident has caused an injury is explained by the fact that a preexisting condition has made the injured person more susceptible to injury. As a result we have been successful in recovering substantial money damages after impacts far less severe than the one which produced the damage in the photo.
Knee to Dash Injuries
Even where the first car occupant is belted, knee to dash injuries are also common. The mechanism of injury is similar. The collision moves the car and the occupant’s body forward. When the car stops, the body keeps moving forward and the knee hits the dash or steering column.
Where the impact is severe, mild traumatic brain injuries can occur. The brain is made up of a gelatinous material. The inside of the skull is hard. As the neck flexes in an impact, the brain can bounce off of the inside of the skull causing microscopic damage to the synapses which connect the neurons in the brain. While this damage does not show up on an MRI, a neuropsychologist can testify to its existence based on your symptoms which may include headache, memory loss, cognitive or other problems. Previous mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions may make you more susceptible to such an injury, even where the impact is less serious.
How We at the Freitas Law Firm Can Help You
We have helped numerous victims of rear end collisions. We have successfully obtained millions in compensation for our clients. Learn more on our personal injury page or call Tom Keating at 415-456-7505 for a free consultation over the phone.