If you have recently been involved in a rear-end collision in Oklahoma City, you could be entitled to monetary damages for any injuries or other damages you incurred. Compensation for medical bills, lost income, and your pain and suffering can help you get back to living your life.
At McGuire Law Firm, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers have decades of experience helping victims of car accidents across the state. We can help you fight for fair compensation. Call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case assessment to discuss your case and learn more.
How McGuire Law Firm Can Help After a Rear-End Crash in Oklahoma City
Rear-end accidents are not usually the most severe type of collision, but they can still cause significant damage to both your vehicle and your body. Between repairs to your vehicle, medical bills, and lost wages, the cost can be substantial.
McGuire Law Firm can help determine if you are eligible for compensation from an insurance company, the driver of the other vehicle, or even another negligent third-party who may have contributed to the accident.
Our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys have over fifty years of combined experience in advocating on behalf of car accident victims. We know the impact a rear-end collision can have on your life, and our primary goal is to get you the money that you need to get back on your feet.
In navigating your injury claim, our legal team will:
- Gather all relevant evidence, including video footage from dash cams or surveillance cameras of nearby businesses
- Assimilate photos that were taken at the scene, pictures of your vehicle, and your injuries, if available
- Perform a thorough investigation of all the circumstances relevant to the accident
- Gather police reports, witness statements, and copies of your medical records
- Determine the cause of the accident
- Once the cause is determined, we establish who has liability in the accident and seek compensation from every party that contributed fault to the accident
- Handle negotiations with the at-fault parties and insurance companies on your behalf
We’ll work hard to settle your claim swiftly and for a substantial amount of money. However, as we pursue a settlement, we will also be preparing to move forward to a trial. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we are ready, willing, and able to take your case before a jury to get the award you deserve.
How Common are Rear-End Collisions in Oklahoma City
Rear-end collisions, as the name implies, occur when one vehicle is struck from behind by another. Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident in the United States. At least 1.7 million rear-end crashes happen each year on America’s roads and highways.
Twenty-nine percent of all car accidents are classified as rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Rear-end collisions happen everyday in Oklahoma City. Some are minor fender-benders, but others occur at speeds that can lead to significant damage to vehicles and injuries to those in the vehicles.
What Causes Lead to Most Rear-End Collisions?
Given the frequency of rear-end accidents, it is no surprise that there are a significant number of factors that lead to such accidents. The most common contributors include:
Road construction, poor lighting, and hazardous weather can all contribute to rear-end collisions. Sleet, snow, and rain, which are not uncommon in Oklahoma City, can lead to a vehicle being unable to break in time to avoid a collision. City roads are always under construction, and construction on roadways can cause driver confusion and sudden slowdowns, both of which are risk factors for rear-end collisions.
Distracted driving is a dangerous phenomenon that only grows worse with the constant growth of technology. Drivers are commonly distracted by their phones, GPS, passengers, and music systems. Look around at the drivers of other cars the next time you are stopped in bumper to bumper traffic, and you will see an alarming number of people texting while driving or looking at their phones. It is not hard to understand how drivers who are on their phones are caught unaware when the traffic patterns around them change, leading to the potential of causing a rear-end collision.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is a proven risk factor for car accidents. Drugs and alcohol slow the reaction time of impaired drivers, and that delay in reacting is more than enough to cause a serious rear-end collision. Drunk drivers are prone to poor decision making when driving, or can even doze off behind the wheel.
According to the CDC, Oklahoma is far above the national average when it comes to the number of drunk drivers on our roadways. Over 2,000 people a year lose their lives each year in the state of Oklahoma as a result of drunk drivers.
Speed limits exist for a reason. The posted speed limits represent the fastest speed at which the roadway can be safely navigated. However, most drivers ignore the dangers of speeding at some point. Rear-end collisions are more common in cities because it is not uncommon for the flow of traffic to stop suddenly. When this happens, speeding makes it far more likely that a driver will be unable to safely stop their vehicle in time to avoid a rear-end collision.
Rear-end collisions caused by speeding are often among the most dangerous because they occur at a high rate of speed. Even if a speeding driver has slowed dramatically, there is still the potential for a lot of force to be transferred when they hit a stopped or slow-moving car.
Is the Rear Driver Always At Fault?
It is a common misconception that the rear driver is always responsible for a rear-end collision. While this is a pretty good rule-of-thumb, it is not always accurate. Anyone who contributes to the crash, including the driver who is struck from behind, can be at fault.
Multiple vehicles rear-end crashes, for example, are much more complicated to investigate and determine fault. These chain reaction crashes can cause a driver that is hit from behind to be pushed into another car. Slamming on your brakes without reasonable cause in a fast-moving flow of traffic can cause a rear-end collision. There, the person who braked too hard shares some of the blame.
Establishing fault in a rear-end collision requires a thorough investigation. If you are involved in a rear-end crash, there are essential steps you can take to ensure that you are not assigned blame unfairly. These include:
- Refrain from making apologies or other comments at the scene
- Do not provide a written or oral statement to an insurance company until you have consulted with an attorney
- Give only the necessary facts to law enforcement if they arrive to make an accident report
In short, be cautious with the information you provide about the accident as it can be used against you. Insurance companies, or other third-parties, can take things you say out of context and use it in an attempt to deny you the compensation you deserve.
We can also help if you were the driver of the rear vehicle. We will attempt to determine if the driver you hit was distracted, fatigued, intoxicated, or negligent in some way that contributed to the accident. We will look at any other possible factors that could have contributed to the accident.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Contributed to the Accident?
Oklahoma has a Comparative Negligence Statute 23 OK Stat § 23-13 (2014), which follows a “50 percent rule.” Negligence that results in personal injuries or damage to property does not bar you from being able to collect damages – unless you’re mostly to blame.
So, you can still recover compensation unless you are found to have been more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. In a rear-end collision, whether you were the person struck from behind or the rear driver, you may be entitled to financial recovery. The amount of money that you can recover will be reduced by the percentage that you contributed to the accident. So, if you’re 20 percent at fault, your damages will be reduced by 20 percent to reflect that.
Common Injuries Resulting From Rear-End Collisions
While a rear-end car accident can cause many different injuries, these are some we see most often:
Whiplash happens when the head is quickly accelerated back and forth or side to side, causing damage to your neck. Given the mechanism of a rear-end collision, it is easy to understand why whiplash is the most common injury received in a rear-end collision.
Whiplash injuries can range from mild discomfort to severe damage, some of which can lead to permanent impairment. To make matters more complicated, whiplash injuries might not fully manifest right away. It can take days or even weeks before you start to realize the full extent of your injuries.
Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Stiffness or pain in the neck
- Pain in the shoulders and arms
- Limited range of motion
- Dizziness and blurred vision
Often, mild to moderate cases of whiplash will heal on its own with time and rest. For more severe injuries, you might require extensive medical intervention and prolonged physical therapy. Whiplash can be extremely painful, and even mild whiplash can have a profound impact on your ability to work. Lost wages from whiplash can wreak devastation on your finances.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be caused by a blow to the head, such as against the steering wheel or the seat rest. It can also happen when the brain hits against the skull from the whipping motion that occurs in a rear-end collision.
A TBI can be mild enough that it heals entirely with time, or it can leave you with prolonged deficits. One frightening aspect of a traumatic brain injury is that it might not manifest right away. After all, it is reasonable to feel shaken and a bit foggy after the trauma of an accident.
The symptoms of a TBI can include:
- Feeling dazed, confused or disoriented
- A loss of consciousness, even if it is just for a few seconds
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in personality
- Cognitive difficulties
Because a brain injury can have such potentially devastating consequences, always seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. Adrenaline can mask any number of injuries, and only a thorough medical examination can determine if you are truly okay.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Oklahoma City Rear-End Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a rear-end car accident in Oklahoma, contact The McGuire Law Firm to discuss your legal options. We can determine if you are eligible for compensation, and we will help you maximize the damages to which you are entitled. To schedule your free initial case evaluation, call our car accident attorneys in Oklahoma City, OK today.