According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident in the United States, accounting for approximately 40% of all crashes in the U.S. each year. Across the country, a rear-end collision happens every 8 seconds.
In Pennsylvania, rear-end collisions are also far too common, occurring once every 19 minutes. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports that in 2017, 27,762 rear-end accidents happened in the state. This represents 22.5% of all motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania, and puts rear-end collisions as the third most-common type of crash in the state.
In a rear-end collision, the drivers and occupants of both vehicles may be injured. However, the passengers in the front car usually don’t have time to brace for the impact, and so they usually sustain more serious injuries. These injuries may include whiplash, head injuries, face injuries and other spinal cord and neck injuries.
The seasoned legal professionals of Mattiacci Law have over seventeen years of experience representing victims of rear-end collisions. Whether the accident was caused by slippery road conditions, sun glare, traveling too fast for conditions, or simply distracted driving, if you have been injured due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Attorney John Mattiacci understands the challenges facing victims of rear-end collisions. He has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of his clients and will work hard to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve for your losses. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Philadelphia rear-end collision lawyer, contact our firm today at 855-295-3902 (Philadelphia office) or 855-659-6976 (New Jersey office), or contact us online anytime.
Who Is Liable in a Rear-End Collision?
A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle hits another from behind. As a general rule, drivers are responsible for being aware of when the cars in front of them slow down or stop and must respond accordingly. When they fail to do so, they are usually liable for a rear-end accident.
In Pennsylvania, you can still recover even if you share some responsibility for an accident. Under the rule of comparative negligence, as long as the other driver is found to be more at fault than you are, you can still be compensated for your losses.
If a case involves an issue of comparative negligence, a jury will assign fault for damages among the parties in a lawsuit. Each party will be assigned a percentage of the fault. As long as your fault was less than the other driver’s, you will be able to recover damages. However, your total recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault.
An example of this is that a driver’s car is hit by a truck. A jury finds that the truck is 70% responsible for the accident and the injured driver is 30% responsible for the collision. The jury awards damages of $100,000. The injured driver can recovery $70,000, because his recovery is reduced by the 30% of fault attributed to him by the jury.
How Pennsylvania Law Impacts Rear-End Collision Cases
While they may seem simple, rear-end collision cases can be complicated. A number of laws may affect these cases. Your attorney should understand these statutes and regulations and how they apply to your case.
The “Assured Clear Distance Rule” is a legal rule in Pennsylvania. The rule generally means that a driver should drive at a speed that will allow the driver to stop his car before striking a car or object in front of that driver. In other words, if a driver is following a car in traffic, the driver should drive at a speed that will allow him or her to stop in time before hitting a vehicle or object in front of them.
Pennsylvania also has rules relating to signaling turns. While most of us probably do not remember the specifics of these rules from Driver’s Ed classes, they may be important in a rear-end collision case. Generally, all drivers must use appropriate signals when switching traffic lanes, entering traffic streams and turning.
More specifically, when drivers are traveling at rates of less than 35 miles per hour, a turn signal must be put on continuously at least 100 feet before making a turn. If a driver is going 35 miles an hour or greater, then the turn signal must be continuously on for at least 300 feet before making a turn.
These rules can help to prove that a driver was at fault in a rear-end collision. For example, if a car is following too closely behind you, an experienced attorney can use the driver’s violation of the Assured Clear Distance Rule to demonstrate that he or she was negligent. This can help prove your case — and get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Work with a Philadelphia Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Even at relatively low speeds, rear-end collisions have the potential to cause significant damage. Whiplash and other injuries to the head, neck and spinal cord can have lasting effects, requiring months or even years of treatment. If you have been in a rear-end accident in the Philadelphia area, you will need a tough, experienced lawyer to help you recover for your losses.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers to defend against claims. These attorneys will do everything they can to limit or deny your claims to protect their employer’s bottom line. To level the playing field, you need someone to be your champion — a person who knows how to handle rear-end collision cases, and who has successfully handled these types of cases for many years.
Attorney John Mattiacci has more than 17 years of experience handling rear-end collision cases. The team at Mattiacci Law has handled rear-end collision cases involving passenger cars, commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Together, we have recovered millions of dollars for victims of rear-end collisions.
We believe that every victim of a rear-end collision or other type of accident deserves the best possible representation. That is why we offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for our clients. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Philadelphia rear-end collision lawyer, contact our firm today at 855-295-3902 (Philadelphia office) or reach out online anytime.