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Legal Options if Injured in a Rear-End Collision in Ohio

Unlike a head-on collision or a collision with a solid, stationary object, a rear-end collision between two vehicles involves significant dissipation of the impact’s force. The dissipation of force means that many rear-end collision victims do not suffer serious injuries at the scene, but develop medical issues in the days and weeks after the accident. If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision, you need a skilled Ohio car accident lawyer on your side.

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Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of automobile accident. According to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey, around 30% of accidents involve rear-end collisions. Fortunately, most rear-end collisions do not involve fatalities or serious injury—but many of these accidents do create long-term health complications for their victims.

What Kinds of Injuries Result From Rear-End Collisions?

Even rear-end collisions that occur at low speeds—say 10 mph—may result in severe injuries to the accident victim’s spine, neck, skull, brain, or knees. One common injury is known as “whiplash.” When the body accelerates forward upon impact from the rear, the neck experiences hyperextension, which may cause the following symptoms to develop over time:

  • Stiff and painful neck
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Headaches and blurry vision
  • Trouble moving
  • Sensations of tingling, burning, or dizziness

You will need to pay for medical care to treat these symptoms. Additionally, you may not be able to work or enjoy your usual quality of life because of your whiplash. A skilled Ohio personal injury lawyer can help you file your insurance claim to ensure that you are compensated for the whole range of damages you may face after an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, it’s essential that you visit a doctor—even if you feel fine. It may take time for your symptoms to develop, and it’s important that your medical visits and diagnosis be as well-documented as possible for your insurance claim to succeed.

Who Is Liable in a Rear-End Collision?

In the vast majority of cases, the person driving the car to the rear is responsible for the rear-end collision. Common causes for such rear-end collisions include:

  • Following too closely
  • Not paying attention
  • Driving too fast
  • Having worn-out brakes or tires

Generally, insurance companies will assume that the rear driver is responsible for the accident, unless there is evidence that the front driver:

  • Reversed suddenly
  • Abruptly stopped to make a turn and failing to complete the turn
  • Did not have working brake lights
  • Was broken down and failed to pull over and engage the warning lights
  • Was impaired by alcohol

In Ohio, someone can only recover for an accident for which they were not primarily responsible. In other words, compensation—whether determined by insurance companies or a court ruling—is available only to people who were less than 50% responsible for the accident. Accordingly, a person’s compensation is reduced in proportion to his or her fault.

For example, if you rear-end a car that did not have working brake lights, but your skid marks show that you were also speeding at the time of the accident, an insurance adjuster might determine that you were 60% responsible for the accident. In this case, you would not be able to get compensation, but you (or your insurance company) would only be responsible for paying 40% of the other driver’s damages.

Why It’s Important to Work with Skilled Ohio Car Accident Lawyers

Hiring the right Ohio car accident lawyer to help with your insurance claim has several benefits, such as:

Increasing the likelihood that your insurance claim will succeed

Your lawyer can organize the evidence needed to substantiate your claim and present it in a way that shows that you were not responsible for the accident.

Improving your chances when negotiating with claims adjusters

Lawyers are trained in negotiation tactics that can help you get the biggest settlement the insurance company is willing to pay.

Allowing you to focus on healing

Sifting through piles of medical bills and arguing on the phone with claims adjusters is stressful and may increase the length of your recovery.

Pursuing your claim in court

When negotiations break down with the insurance company, your personal injury lawyer may need to file suit in court to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, the Ohio car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help. Our personal injury attorneys know how the insurance claims process works and how to maximize your settlement amount. Our lawyers have obtained countless favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of thousands of our satisfied clients. Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW for your free consultation.

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