Rear-End Car Accidents
Rear-end car accidents happen when two cars are moving in the same direction, and the vehicle that is following rams into the vehicle that is in front. This is a common type of accident in stop and go traffic, but it can also happen on the highway at high speeds. Often, the rear car is at fault for driving too closely or not paying attention. Sometimes a rear-end accident results in a chain reaction collision involving multiple vehicles. If you have been hurt in a car accident in Knoxville or the surrounding communities, attorney Mark Hartsoe may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for compensation.Holding a Careless Driver Accountable after a Rear-End Accident
A critical component of personal injury cases in Tennessee is determining fault. In some cases, fault is straightforward because one driver admits that he or she ran a red light, or there may be multiple witnesses to the running of the red light. In other cases, proving fault can be more challenging, and it may be helpful to have a police report.
In most cases, rear-end collisions are considered the fault of the rear driver who is following, even if the front driver brakes suddenly. Generally, it is imperative for a driver following another car to leave a reasonable distance between cars so that the following car can stop without rear-ending the front car. Under Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-8-124, it is illegal to follow another car more closely than is reasonable based on road conditions and the speed of traffic.
However, there are exceptions to the general understanding that the rear driver is at fault. For example, if the front driver's brake lights are out in rain or at night, he or she may be partly or fully responsible for the accident. Similarly, if a driver in front of you merges into your lane, cutting you off, he or she may be responsible for the crash. In some cases, both drivers (or even a third party like a mechanic) may share the fault for an accident. As a plaintiff, it can help to have a police report to establish fault for a rear-end collision, particularly if the police cite a traffic violation.
Tennessee follows the doctrine of modified comparative fault. This means that the jury can evaluate the victim’s damages and allocate fault to all parties whose negligence may have caused or contributed to the harm. The injured person may only recover compensation if the jury allocates 49% or less of the fault to him or her. The damages award then would be reduced in proportion to the victim’s degree of responsibility.
Sometimes the injuries in a collision can take some time, even up to a year, to fully manifest. For example, soft tissue damage and L4-L5 disc injuries are very common in rear-end accidents. Other common injuries include rotator cuff tears, neck pain, and whiplash. In Tennessee, you can potentially recover a wide range of compensatory damages for a rear-end accident. These may include both economic and noneconomic damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.Discuss Your Car Crash Case with a Knoxville Attorney
Motor vehicle collision lawyer Mark Hartsoe is committed to assisting Knoxville residents and other accident victims throughout Tennessee in seeking compensation for their harm. Sometimes insurers try to persuade injured individuals to take less than what their case is worth. It may be crucial to have an ally who understands the law and can negotiate with insurers on your behalf, or take your case to trial. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.