Our accident lawyers see more rear-end car crashes than any type of car accident in our law practice. Statistics bear this out. In Maryland, rear-end accidents are the most common type of automobile accident reported. In fact, incredibly, for every 100 miles traveled within the state of Maryland there are approximately 27 rear-end accidents reported. Most are harmless and do not cause any injury. But it is still an incredible statistic.
People, fortunately, even sometimes insurance adjusters, generally presume that in a rear-end car crash, the person who strikes another from behind is automatically deemed negligent and at fault for the accident. Though a rear-end accident does not produce a high amount of injury compared to front-end collisions, the human and property damage and losses cost residents in the state of Maryland millions of dollars in medical expenses, loss of production, time, and insurance claims. Nationally, the Department of Transportation estimates that over $5 billion dollars are spent each year on recovering from rear-end accidents – another mind-numbing statistic.
As stated earlier, to determine who is at-fault for a rear-end accident, it is typically assumed that the vehicle that strikes from the rear is at fault. The cause is usually that the rear vehicle is following the lead vehicle too closely. Therefore, when sudden braking or other actions are required, the driver operating the closely following rear vehicle cannot correct their actions and avoid the accident. Maryland law echoes that populist sentiment in Andrade v. Housein, in which the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that in rear-end collisions, the rebuttable presumption is that the rear-ending driver is at fault for the accident. This presumption can be rebutted, but the rear-ended car has a leg up in the battle for evidence.
Can it still be my fault if I was rear-ended in Maryland?
Almost invariably, the rear-ending vehicle is negligent in any rear-end crash because, no matter what, the driver should have kept sufficient space to be able to slow down to avoid a collision. But under Maryland law, the driver that was rear-ended can also be responsible. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if you are 1% responsible for the crash, you cannot recover. So there is a risk of being held partially responsible when you are rear-ended. But it is worth underscoring that my law firm has never lost a rear-end accident case in its 18-year history.
Should I Go to the Hospital After a Rear-End Accident?
With any traumatic injury, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So it is often advisable to go to the hospital to get checked out after a rear-end accident. Listen to what your body is telling you (and don’t make a decision based on potential car accident litigation).
What Is the Most Common Injury After a Rear-End Accident?
Most of the calls our injury lawyers get after a rear-end accident is neck and back pain. These are usually soft tissue/whiplash injuries. But a smaller number of victims have suffered a spinal injury, usually a herniated disc.
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