Proving Liability and Seeking Compensation in Rear-End Collisions in Greenville, SC

by | May 30, 2024 | Auto Accidents

man and woman in rear-end-collisionRear-end accidents are common in Greenville, South Carolina, so it’s important to know how to prove liability and get compensation after the fact. With the help of an experienced Greenville, SC car accident lawyer, you can use evidence found at the scene and obtained afterward to prove who is at fault. Then, that information can also be used to get the maximum compensation possible.

What Is a Rear-End Collision?

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Office of Highway Safety and Justice Traffic Collision Fact Book, Greenville County experiences more motor vehicle accidents and fatal car accidents than any other location in South Carolina. Many of those crashes are rear-end collisions.

A rear-end collision, also called a rear-ending or a shunt, is a type of traffic accident where a vehicle traveling forward crashes into the back of the vehicle in front of it. These are very common accidents, accounting for nearly a third of all crashes that cause serious injuries.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

2 cars involved in rear-end collisionThere are many reasons why rear-end collisions happen, but some of the most common causes include:

  • Distracted Driving: This can be anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, such as using a phone, eating, or talking to passengers.
  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle doesn’t give a rear driver enough time to react if the forward vehicle slows down suddenly.
  • Panic Stops: If the driver in front slams on their brakes unexpectedly, the rear driver may not have enough time to stop safely and end up rear-ending them.
  • Bad Weather: Rain, snow, and fog can make it more difficult to see and stop safely.

The severity of a rear-end collision can vary depending on the speed of the vehicles involved. Even a low-speed collision can cause injuries, such as whiplash, which is a neck injury caused by the sudden back-and-forth movement of the head.

Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Accident?

man-rubbing-neck-after-being-rear-endedProving liability in a rear-end accident is not usually as difficult as showing fault in other types of motor vehicle crashes. In most rear-end collisions, the driver behind is considered at fault. This is because drivers are legally required to maintain a safe following distance and be able to stop in time if the car in front brakes suddenly.

However, there are some exceptions where the driver in front might be partially or entirely at fault, including when:

  • The lead driver was intoxicated: Driving under the influence can impair judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of an accident.
  • There was a pile-up due to a chain reaction: If a rear vehicle hits another vehicle, causing that vehicle to hit the car in front of it, then the middle vehicle won’t likely be found to be liable for the chain reaction rear end.
  • The lead vehicle unexpectedly backed up: Backing up on a highway or in other situations where it’s unexpected could be considered negligence.
  • The lead driver brake-checked intentionally: This is a dangerous maneuver where a driver slams on their brakes deliberately to cause the car behind them to rear-end them.
  • The lead driver changed lanes without using a turn signal or checking their blind spot: If a lane change causes an accident, the driver who changed lanes could be at fault.
  • The lead vehicle had broken brake lights: If the tail lights or brake lights on the front car weren’t working, it could be difficult for the driver behind to know they were braking.

It’s important to note that determining fault in a car accident can be complex and depends on the specific details of the situation. If you’ve been in a rear-end accident, it’s always best to consult with an attorney to understand your rights and options.

Compensation in Rear-End Accidents in Greenville

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much compensation you might get in a rear-end accident. Several factors influence the settlement amount, and it can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to millions in severe cases.

There are two main categories of damages that you can get in a rear-end accident, including economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are the quantifiable financial losses you suffer due to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs.

Non-economic damages are harder to place a monetary value on, but they often make up the majority of your compensation. They represent the pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident.

Many factors can affect compensation in rear-end collisions, including:

  •       Severity of Injuries: More serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and lost wages will lead to a higher settlement.
  •       Insurance Coverage: The at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits play a role. If their coverage doesn’t cover the full amount of your damages, you might need to explore additional options like your own underinsured motorist coverage.
  •       Strength of Your Case: A strong case with clear evidence of the accident, the other driver’s fault, and the extent of your injuries will help you negotiate a better settlement. This evidence can include police reports, medical records, witness testimonies, and repair estimates.
  •       Legal Representation: Involving a Greenville personal injury lawyer experienced with car accidents can significantly improve your chances of getting fair compensation. They can handle the complexities of the case, gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary.

Contact Attorney Venus Poe After a Rear-End Accident

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in Greenville, SC or the surrounding area, contact attorney Venus Poe today. She will help you prove liability with solid evidence and develop a strategy to get you the maximum compensation possible.

Call Venus Poe, Attorney at Law at (864) 963-0310 for an initial consultation.




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