Rear-End Collisions: Causes and Filing a Claim

Rear-end collisions are on the rise, as the underlying traffic conditions leading to them – mainly heavy traffic and distracted driving – are getting worse all over the country. It takes just one moment of lack of attention from one driver, and you get hit from behind. If you were injured in a rear-end crash,  you should contact an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer as soon as possible to start preparing your claim for damages.

In this article, we will discuss why these crashes happen so often and how to maximize your chances of getting compensation.

Most Frequent Causes of Rear-End Accidents

A rear-end accident is caused by driver error in most of the cases. Poor visibility and inclement weather may also play an important role in this type of crash.

However, in most of the cases, a rear-end crash is caused by:

Not Keeping a Safe Distance from the Car in Front

According to experts, the safe distance between two vehicles in normal traffic conditions follows the 3-second rule. After the driver behind applies the brake, the car must be able to move for three more seconds without hitting the car in front. In poor weather conditions, the safe distance increases to 9 seconds.

However, many drivers do not follow this rule, even if they have no intention of tailgating the car in front of them. They believe that they can control their car no matter what. Unfortunately, that is not so, even if the driver has perfectly timed reflexes and the car is in top notch condition.


Speed limits exist because traffic specialists know how hard it is to control a vehicle at a very high speed. Even if the driver applies the brake on time, a speeding car needs a longer distance to reach a full stop than a car traveling at an average speed.

Unfortunately, speeding remains one of the main causes of traffic accidents of all kinds, including rear-end collisions.

Drunk Driving

DUI driving is another severe problem which traffic law enforcements are trying to curb. A driver under the influence of alcohol has their senses impaired. Their vision is not clear, their judgment of distances is reduced and their ability to react in case of danger is slowed down.

If you were hit from behind by a drunk driver, you should consult with a Columbus car accident lawyer about all your possibilities of recovering damages. In our state, you may qualify for punitive damages if you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

rear end collisions are among the most common types of accidents


We made a reference to tailgating above, when discussing safe distances between cars on the road. In this specific case, there is no error of judgment or honest mistake. Tailgating is a form of aggressive driving, attempting to intimidate the driver in front to make way for the car.

In this situation, you may also file for punitive damages, if your attorney believes that you have a good chance of collecting on the judgment.

Vehicle Malfunction

In some cases, a driver may follow all the defensive driving rules and still fail to avoid an accident. If a rear-end collision was caused by malfunctioning brakes or tires, then you have the right to seek damages from the vehicle producer, distributor or dealer.

Your lawyer will have to order technical expertise in order to prove the existence of the defect and to rule out that it was caused by wear and tear and the car owner’s negligence in keeping the vehicle roadworthy.

How to File a Claim for Damages after a Rear-End Accident

Many rear-end accident victims believe that the fault of the driver behind them cannot be questioned, so they file a claim without collecting evidence to support their case. Unfortunately, this means that an adjuster can easily deny it, leaving the person no other option than to file a lawsuit – where they have to produce evidence to support their demands for compensation.

You must never assume anything in a car accident claim. Instead, you must build an iron-clad case by following these steps:

  • Report the accident to the police and remain at the scene
  • Collect evidence from the crash scene: photos, videos, eyewitness testimonies
  • Go to the nearest hospital immediately after the crash for treatment
  • Get a copy of the accident report
  • Consult with a skilled lawyer

Bring Your Evidence to an Experienced Columbus Car Accident Lawyer!

When you are allowed to leave the hospital, schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Columbus car crash attorney at Joe Durham Jr., P.C.  The attorney will analyze your evidence and give you a reliable legal opinion.

Call us today to schedule a free case review at 229-210-6226!

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