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Rear-End Collisions: Causes and Filing a Claim

Being in a rear-end collision can have devastating consequences, including significant damage to your vehicle and severe injuries. One key aspect to deal with after such a collision is determining who was at fault and can be held liable for all the losses you’ve suffered.

This article will break down the common causes of rear-end collisions so you understand why they happen. We’ll also walk through the steps for filing an insurance claim after a rear-end accident, from exchanging information to negotiating a settlement with the help of a Chicago car accident attorney.

What Causes Rear-End Collisions?

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. When drivers take their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel to text, change the music, grab something to eat or drink, or do their makeup, their reaction times suffer. By the time they look up and see traffic has stopped or slowed in front of them, it’s often too late to brake in time.

Following Too Closely

Tailgating is another major factor in rear-end accidents. When drivers follow the vehicle in front of them too closely, they don’t have enough time or distance to react if that vehicle slams on their brakes.

For every 10 miles per hour of speed, you need at least one car length of distance between you and the car in front of you. So if you’re traveling 60 mph, you need at least 6 car lengths of space.

Distracted by Passengers

Having unrestrained or loud passengers in the vehicle can also distract a driver and take their attention away from the road ahead. Children fighting or making a lot of noise in the backseat, for example, can divert a driver’s focus and slow their reaction times.

Impaired Driving

Driving while drowsy, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs also contributes to rear-end collisions. When a driver’s senses and judgment are impaired, they have trouble maintaining a safe speed and distance from other vehicles.

being rear-ended may result in painful injuries

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather like heavy rain, fog, or snow can reduce visibility for drivers and obscure vehicles that are slowing or stopping ahead. By the time a driver realizes traffic has slowed or stopped, it may be too late to prevent hitting the vehicle in front of them. Extra caution and slower speeds are required in poor weather to avoid rear-end accidents.

Determining Liability in a Rear-End Crash

So if  you’ve been rear-ended, the first step is to call 911 if anyone is injured or the vehicles are not drivable. Once the authorities have arrived, you need to start determining who is liable for the accident.

Who Hit Whom?

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to establish who collided with whom. The vehicle’s driver who hit the other from behind is typically considered at fault. However, there are exceptions, like if the front vehicle slammed on its brakes for no reason or backed into the other car.

Filing an Insurance Claim for a Rear-End Collision

Whether you’re at fault or not, a rear-end collision often means dealing with insurance claims. The process may seem complicated, but following these steps allows you to file a successful claim.

Call the police and report the accident. Get a police report with information from the other driver, like their name, address, license plate number, and insurance details. This report will be important for filing your claim.

Next, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Give them the details of the accident, including the police report. They will walk you through the claims process and may have you get repair estimates for your vehicle.

Reach Out to an Experienced Chicago Car Crash Attorney

Rear-end collisions often cause severe injuries and damage, so you may need to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. An experienced Chicago auto accident lawyer can advise you on your options and help build a strong case.

Don’t go through this process alone. Let our firm’s compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys guide you towards the best possible outcome. Call 312-757-8640 today for a free consultation.

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