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Can I Sue for a Rear-End Accident?


No matter how carefully you drive, car accidents can still happen. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car crash. Even when it is no fault of your own, you can unexpectedly be struck from behind by another vehicle. Rear-end car accidents can occur when you’re at a stop sign or red light, or in numerous other traffic conditions such as congestion.

Depending on the force of impact, these types of accidents can result in substantial physical and emotional injuries that have long-lasting, debilitating effects. If you were rear-ended due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

Liability for Rear-End Accidents

As a general rule in New York, if you were stopped and hit from behind by another vehicle, there is a rebuttable presumption of negligence. This means that the driver who hit you from behind will be held liable for your injuries – unless they can prove that the accident was caused by a reason other than their negligence.

Some examples of driver negligence include:

  • Inattention
  • Carelessness or recklessness
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to obey traffic signals
  • Following too closely or tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Cell phone use
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failure to maintain brakes

Sometimes, several vehicles can be involved in a rear-end accident. In a multi-car collision, establishing liability can be much more complex – more than one driver may have been negligent. In these cases, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries from each driver, in proportion with their share of fault.   

Rear-End Car Accident Injuries

There are many types of physical and emotional injuries that can arise as a result of a rear-end car accident. The force of hitting the dashboard, windshield, or airbag can cause disfigurement, lacerations, broken bones, fractures, concussions, neck injuries, spine damage, traumatic brain injury, burns, and abrasions. You may also experience posttraumatic stress disorder and associated symptoms.

Regardless of the impact, soft tissue injuries are extremely common in rear-end car accident victims. These types of injuries can be extremely painful and affect all aspects of your daily life. Sometimes, soft tissue injuries resulting from car accidents are not obvious at first – it can take a few days or weeks for whiplash, herniations, disc bulges, nerve damage, sprains, and strains to develop.

It is important to get medical assistance right away if you were rear-ended by another vehicle. Even if you don’t think you have any injuries, a doctor will examine you and run tests for internal damage and other injuries that may not be apparent.

Compensation for Rear-End Accident Cases

No-fault insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages as a result of a rear-end car accident, but only up to a certain amount. Rear-end accident injuries can require extensive medical treatment ranging from chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and diagnostic testing. This can be extremely costly and may require commencing a personal injury action to get the compensation you deserve.

If the accident was caused by another’s negligence, you may be able to recover for your unreimbursed and out-of-pocket medical expenses, future medical expenses, and time lost from work in a personal injury action. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may also be able to recover damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

Contact a New York Rear-End Accident Attorney

If you were rear-ended by another driver, it is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away – it is important to be aware that in any car accident or personal injury case, there are strict statutes of limitation that begin running from the date of the accident. An attorney who represents clients for rear-end car accident matters can advise you of your legal rights and remedies.

If you were injured in a rear-end car accident, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help obtain you the maximum compensation available for your injuries. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us for a consultation.