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Car Accidents Caused by Tailgating


Following too closely behind another vehicle on the road is dangerous — and a leading cause of rear-end collisions. While tailgating accidents can occur for many reasons, most happen due to another driver’s carelessness, recklessness, or distraction. These types of accidents can also arise as a result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or due to aggressive driving behaviors. If you were seriously injured due to someone else’s tailgating, you may be entitled to file a personal injury action.  

Common Tailgating Accident Injuries

When a driver follows too closely to the vehicle in front of them and fails to stop in time, the crash’s impact can cause a wide range of injuries. In a rear-end collision, the driver or passenger’s body in the front vehicle can be violently pushed forward while their head snaps backward. In addition to the airbag imploding, they may strike the dashboard or steering wheel. This can result in many injuries to the head, neck, spine, and other body parts. 

The injuries that can arise in a tailgating accident can include the following:      

  • Whiplash
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Crush injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Fatality

Generally, negligence must be demonstrated for a tailgating accident victim to prevail in a personal injury action. However, since it is a violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), tailgating constitutes “negligence per se.” This means that a victim would only need to show that a statutory violation occurred to establish the defendant’s negligence.  

If you were in a tailgating accident, seeking medical help is crucial. Even if you don’t think you were injured during the collision, some injuries do not appear until days or weeks later. By getting the prompt medical assistance you need, a doctor can rule out any internal injuries and prescribe a treatment plan to prevent any injuries from worsening. Obtaining medical care right away can also help to strengthen any personal injury claim you might later file.

Suing for a Tailgating Accident Injury

A tailgating car accident can result in severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time out of work. If you suffered what New York Insurance law defines as a serious injury in a car accident caused by another driver’s tailgating, you may be entitled to recover your damages in a personal injury action. Recoverable damages can include both the economic and non-economic losses you sustained in connection with the crash.

Economic damages are meant to cover the monetary losses you sustained in connection with your tailgating accident. These can include things like unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages relate to the non-pecuniary losses you experienced. This category of damages includes intangible damages like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, disfigurement, disability, and loss of consortium. 

If it can be established that the defendant’s conduct was intentional, malicious, or extremely reckless, punitive damages may be available. These damages are meant to punish a defendant for their wrongdoing and deter others from engaging in similar conduct rather than compensate a victim.                             

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered severe injuries in a tailgating car accident, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf and fight for the maximum monetary recovery you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented car accident victims for over three decades and provides reliable representation to secure the best possible results in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.