Have you been hurt in a rear-end collision? Are you fighting frustrating battles with insurance companies? Spending precious time in doctor’s appointments and missing work commitments? Reliving the trauma of the accident? Or, have you been involved in a rear-end collision that is threatening to cost you thousands of dollars and points on your driving record, when you were not ultimately at fault?
It’s possible that you may benefit from the advice and representation of a seasoned and reliable New Jersey car accident lawyer. For more than 25 years, Eisbrouch Marsh has been winning compensation for victims of rear end collisions in the counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Essex, Middlesex and throughout northern New Jersey.
Our team of lawyers, investigators and medical experts also services all five boroughs of New York City. We have the credibility and track record you can count on to deliver the best legal advice and representation you can find in the Tri-State area.
Victims of car accidents are entitled to compensation for their injuries, lost wages or lost earning potential, as well as for any pain and suffering or property damage (to a car, for instance). The key to winning the compensation you deserve is to be able to account for these costs, by keeping complete and detailed records and preserving evidence, and by consulting our law offices as early as possible.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. Common factors contributing to rear-end collisions include driver inattention or distraction, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to weather, bad tires or worn pavement.
In most cases, rear-end collisions result from careless driving, meaning that one (or more) drivers failed to adhere to basic rules of the road. One example would be when a rear driver runs a “STOP” sign and crashes into the car in front of him. Another might be following too closely. In such instances, it can easily be established that one driver is clearly to blame.
When in doubt, you can always consult the vehicle code for your state, which will contain comprehensive traffic rules pertaining to vehicles (including bicycles) and drivers and pedestrians.
In other cases, it is less clear whether one or another driver violated rules of traffic that they allegedly should have known by virtue of owning a driver’s license (and passing the requisite driving test). An example of this sort of rear collision might be when two cars merge into a single lane of traffic at the same time, maybe because they were in one another’s “blind spots.” Here a “law of negligence” is operative, so that a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist who is “negligent,” having behaved thoughtlessly or carelessly, will be held at least partially responsible for the accident.
A person is negligent by doing something that he or she should not have done (like speeding or running through a red light), or by not doing something he or she should have done (like yielding for a pedestrian crosswalk).
Rear-End Collision-Related Injuries
The most commonly occuring injury caused by rear-end collisions is whiplash, or, in clinical terms, “cervical acceleration-deceleration.” More than one million incidents of whiplash occur every year because of car accidents, with 5,000 such cases resulting in quadriplegia. Whiplash comprises pain and damage ranging in severity to the neck and spinal cord and comes about when the muscles, bones and nerves in the neck sustain the sharp, jarring motion of being hit from behind.
Symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to aches and pains in the neck, back, and shoulders, sensory disturbances (such as sensations of “pins and needles”) in the arms and legs, and headaches. Such symptoms may or may not happen immediately following a rear-end collision. With whiplash there can also be accompanying cognitive symptoms, such as a propensity towards being distracted easily or more quickly irritated.
Negligence Claims and Other Liability Issues
At least three requirements must be met to prove negligence in the state of New Jersey.The 3 requirements for proving negligence:
- The driver is legally required to be reasonably careful in the particular situation (this is really a given since drivers must exercise caution at all times). The law holds drivers accountable to a “duty of reasonable care” for anyone they encounter on the road, be they a passenger, person in another vehicle or a pedestrian.
- The driver (or pedestrian or cyclist) was not reasonably careful. “Reasonably careful” is a way of assessing to what degree the defendant’s behavior was prudent in the circumstances. Examples of “reasonable care” might be stopping at a red light or giving the vehicle in front a wide enough berth.
- The driver’s conduct caused actual injury or damage to someone. Here the onus is on the plaintiff who must show that the driver’s conduct directly contributed to their injuries.
Insofar as these three above requirements can be established, a driver can be held liable for causing a rear-end collision.
What to Do If You've Been Hit from Behind
If you or someone you love has been hit from behind in a rear-end collision in Bergen County or elsewhere in northern NJ, here are some measures you can take in the day or days following the accident:
- Return to the scene to recover any evidence of the crash and to photograph any conditions you believe caused or contributed to the accident. Take photographs of the scene of the accident and make note of the exact time of day and circumstances.
- Protect any physical evidence that might help you make your case.
- Document your injuries, by reporting all of them to a doctor or medical provider and photographing any visible evidence showing you’ve been hurt.
We serve residents in northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Newark, Bergen County, and Essex County from our offices in New Jersey and New York.