What Should I Do After a Rear-End Accident in Phoenix?

April 23, 2024 | David Abels
What Should I Do After a Rear-End Accident in Phoenix?

If you drive around Phoenix, Arizona, you know there is a lot of traffic. Between interstate highways, rural roadways, and downtown traffic intersections, rear-end car crashes in and around Phoenix are relatively common. The sheer volume of traffic on Interstates 40, 410, 510, and 710 increases the possibility of a rear-end collision—especially when traffic backs up quickly and a driver fails to stop in time.

Rear-end accidents can also occur at traffic intersections in the Downtown Phoenix area. These intersection collisions are especially common when a driver is overzealous or fails to slow down in time to avoid impacting another vehicle. Since there's a good chance you'll be in a collision around Phoenix, it's important to know what to do if you get rear-ended.

How Common are Rear-End Collisions?

The possibility of rear-end motor vehicle crashes doesn’t only apply to the Phoenix area. In fact, 29 percent of car crashes that occur nationwide are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

One of the most common causes of rear-end car accidents in Phoenix is driver negligence and failure to pay attention to the road. In fact, in almost all instances, the rear driver is at fault for a rear-end accident, regardless of how it occurs.

Rear-end collisions can involve one impact, or they may involve several impacts in a chain-reaction-type collision. In any case, the collision—or series of collisions—can lead to numerous injuries that may leave you incapacitated for a long time.

If you have suffered serious injuries in a rear-end car accident, you need to work with a knowledgeable attorney who will advocate and fight for your legal rights. Insurance companies will not do you any favors since their goal is to pay as little as possible. Before you deal with the insurance companies, partner with a skilled lawyer who can negotiate for you and pursue the compensation you deserve.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to offer you full and fair compensation for your injuries, a Phoenix car accident attorney near you can file a lawsuit in the civil court system to help recover the maximum compensation possible.

How Do Phoenix Rear-end Collisions Occur?

Rear-end car collisions in the greater Phoenix area typically happen because of driver recklessness, carelessness, and negligence. In fact, the law assumes that in a rear-impact collision, the rear driver is at fault. Some of the most common causes of rear-end car accidents that happen in and around Phoenix include the following:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs when a motor vehicle operator fails to give sufficient care and attention to the road. When drivers use their vehicles while making phone calls, sending text messages, or responding to emails, they place everyone else on the road at risk.

Even when a driver turns their attention away from the road for a second or two, that can be enough time for a rear-end accident to happen. Other distractions in the vehicle can include conversing with passengers, adjusting music or the infotainment system in the car, or small children who may be arguing in the back seat.

Negligent Driving

Phoenix drivers must operate their vehicles reasonably at all times and follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations. When drivers speed, fail to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate times, or disobey traffic signs and signals, they can cause serious collisions, including rear-end accidents. This is especially true on Phoenix highways and at Downtown Phoenix intersections, where there are a lot of cars.

Intoxicated Driving - DUI

When a Phoenix driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, the driver is per se intoxicated. This means the law assumes they are intoxicated for purposes of a DUI charge. However, drivers with a BAC below 0.08 may still be impaired.

Alcohol can slow down central nervous system (CNS) functioning, delay a driver’s reaction time, and impair a driver’s senses—so much so that the driver might not be physically capable of stopping in time to avoid a collision. When a driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated or impaired, the driver significantly increases the chances that they will cause an accident, such as a rear-end collision.

If you have been in a rear-end collision that occurred under one of these circumstances, a Phoenix rear-end accident lawyer can assist. A skilled attorney can investigate the cause and circumstances behind your accident and assist you with filing a claim for monetary compensation.

Which Common Injuries Do People Suffer in a Rear-end Car Collision?

Phoenix rear-end car collisions often result in serious and debilitating personal injuries and other damages. When the front end of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle, the accident victim’s head and neck can move forward and backward in a very abrupt manner, bringing about whiplash or soft-tissue injuries.

Also, the force of the impact might cause a part of the accident victim’s body to strike something in the vehicle, such as the windshield or window (driver or passenger’s side), door, steering wheel, headrest, console, or dashboard, depending upon where the person is sitting in the vehicle. Since the force of the impact is coming from behind, many injuries that accident victims suffer in rear-end collisions involve the head, neck, back, and shoulders.

Some of the most common rear-end crash injuries include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries (including headaches and concussions)
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries (including strains and sprains to various muscles or muscle groups)
  • Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and abrasions (from striking something in the vehicle or because of airbag deployment)
  • Internal bleeding and other internal injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries (especially to the upper back area)

Victims of these types of injuries will often need to undergo significant medical treatment at great financial expense. For example, after a rear-end collision, the accident victim might need to visit an urgent care center, hospital emergency room, or primary care doctor for initial medical treatment and testing that might include MRIs and x-rays of the affected body parts.

The accident victim might then need to follow up with a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor or chiropractor, undergo a medical procedure, such as surgery, receive injections to affected body areas, and participate in physical therapy. Given the significant costs associated with these treatments, medical bills can pile up very quickly.

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, reach out to a Phoenix rear-end collision lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can investigate your accident and create a demand package to begin the claims process. While you focus on your recovery, trust a dedicated personal injury lawyer to promptly and efficiently pursue the compensation you need for the injuries you suffered in your accident.

Pursuing Compensation for Injuries Suffered in a Phoenix Rear-end Accident

When pursuing monetary compensation for injuries suffered in a rear-end car collision, the accident victim has the burden of proof. The at-fault driver—and the driver’s insurance company—do not need to prove anything in the case. Rather, they will attempt to “poke holes” in the accident victim’s case and try to show that they were not seriously injured.

To successfully recover monetary compensation in a rear-end car accident claim, the injured person must prove the legal elements of their personal injury case. First, they must demonstrate that the at-fault driver breached their duty to drive reasonably and carefully under the circumstances. Likewise, the injury victim must show that they suffered at least one injury in the collision and that the injury resulted from the collision.

In some rear-end car collision cases, the other driver’s insurance company might stipulate (or agree) that their insured was at fault for the accident. However, the injured claimant will still need to prove they were injured and the injury happened because of the accident.

Filing an Insurance Claim For a Rear-End Accident

The first step towards pursuing and recovering monetary compensation for injuries suffered in a rear-end collision is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. When you or your attorney file this claim, the insurance company must review the matter and determine whether to accept liability for the accident.

When making this decision, the insurance company adjuster assigned to your case will typically review your medical records and bills, photographs of the accident scene, photographs of your injuries, any lost wage documentation, any police reports, witness statements, and a victim impact statement.

Why You Shouldn't Accept the Insurance Company's First Offer

If the insurance company accepts liability for the accident, the adjuster might make an initial monetary offer to resolve the case. However, in most instances, these offers need to be negotiated because they are extremely low. In other words, an insurance company’s first offer will not typically compensate you fully and fairly for the injuries you endured.

A Phoenix rear-end car collision attorney can negotiate on your behalf to convince the adjuster to increase their initial offer. Ultimately, you will have the final say about whether to accept a pending settlement offer, continue negotiating, or take your case to court.

When to Litigate Your Rear-End Car Accident

If the insurance company refuses to fully and fairly compensate you for your rear-end collision injuries, you can decide to litigate your case in the court system. This means that your attorney will file a civil complaint against the at-fault driver (and indirectly against his/her insurance company) in the state court system. Although the case can still be settled at any point during the litigation process, it will now move toward trial or alternative dispute resolution.

If your rear-end accident case ultimately goes to trial, a jury will decide the damages you are entitled to receive for your injuries. Before trial, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like mediation and arbitration, might also be available depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. During mediation, a mediator selected by the parties or appointed by the court will try to facilitate a reasonable settlement. If the case goes to arbitration, a neutral, third-party arbitrator will evaluate the case and decide what, if any, damages to award the accident victim.

Types of Damages You Can Recover in Your Rear-Ended Accident Case

Assuming that you can prove all of the legal elements of your rear-end car accident claim, you can pursue various forms of compensation and damages for your injuries. The amounts and types of compensation you may receive will depend upon how seriously you were injured, the types of injuries you sustained in the collision, and whether any of your injuries are permanent.

A person suffers a permanent injury in an accident when a healthcare provider determines that the accident victim will suffer from the injury or condition for the remainder of their life. The doctor must reach this conclusion using the legal standard of a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

Potential monetary compensation available to Phoenix rear-end car collision victims may include economic damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Repair or replacement of personal property and
  • Other out-of-pocket costs

Car accident victims may also pursue non-economic compensation for:

  • Inconvenience
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Loss of family support or spousal companionship, among other losses

An experienced Phoenix rear-end collision attorney can explain your eligibility for these different types of damages and pursue the compensation you need.

Call a Knowledgeable Phoenix Car Collision Lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. to Learn More

Phoenix Auto Injury Lawyer Dave Abels
Dave Abels, Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about what to do when you get rear-ended and suffer an injury in or around Phoenix, you need to act quickly. Having the right personal injury lawyer by your side can make all the difference when it comes to recovering both fair and full compensation for your injuries.

A knowledgeable Phoenix personal injury attorney can aggressively negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. If a favorable settlement offer is not forthcoming, your lawyer can argue for a favorable verdict in the court system—or through alternative dispute resolution.

Call the dedicated injury attorneys at Abels & Annes toll-free at (855) 749-5299 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Phoenix Office
714 E Rose Ln
#200
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Toll Free: (855) 749-5299
Local: (602) 819-5191
Fax: (602) 819-4841

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David Abels

Partner

David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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