Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident

South Carolina Rear-End Accident Lawyer

Were you recently hurt in a South Carolina rear-end accident? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, they’re the most common type of accident. In one recent year, rear-end accidents accounted for 29 percent of all collisions. Many rear-end crash victims suffer serious injuries that require costly medical care and time away from work.

If you’re struggling after a rear-end accident, the experienced car accident lawyers at Stewart Law Offices can help. We can file an accident claim on your behalf and demand the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to explore your legal options.

Who Is at Fault for a Rear-End Accident?

Determining fault in a rear-end accident involves reviewing the circumstances of the crash and the actions of both drivers. Generally, the driver who crashes into the back of another vehicle is at fault in most rear-end accidents. This is because all drivers must follow at a safe distance that allows them enough time and space to stop without hitting the car in front of them.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, the driver of the vehicle that got hit might share some of the blame. Here are a few scenarios where the front driver could be partly or wholly at fault:

  • Sudden Stops – Sometimes, drivers must stop suddenly due to traffic flow or road conditions, such as pedestrian crossings or unexpected obstacles. In these cases, stopping suddenly is justified. However, stopping abruptly without a clear reason, like picking up a dropped item from the floor of the car, may be negligent and unnecessary. If an accident occurs because of this kind of stop, the driver who stopped might be partially at fault for creating a road hazard.
  • Malfunctioning Brake Lights – Functioning brake lights are essential for safe driving as they signal to drivers behind when a vehicle is slowing down or stopping. If the front car’s brake lights are out, the rear driver might not realize the vehicle is stopping. If this leads to a collision, the front driver could be liable for neglecting to maintain their vehicle’s brake lights.
  • Illegal Maneuvers – Illegal and unpredictable maneuvers can easily lead to rear end wrecks. For example, if the driver of the leading vehicle suddenly changes lanes without signaling or aggressively cuts into traffic, it can leave the trailing driver with no time to react, leading to a rear-end collision. In such instances, the front driver’s disregard for traffic laws could leave them liable for the accident.
  • Reversing – In rare situations, a leading driver might reverse into traffic without checking behind them first. For instance, this might happen if the front driver realizes they missed a turn or is trying to enter a parking space. This unexpected movement can catch approaching drivers off guard and result in collisions. In these scenarios, the fault would likely fall on the driver who was reversing because they failed to ensure it was safe to do so before moving backward.

Many rear end accidents occur in situations in which liability is not clear. Both drivers may share fault for the accident. In such cases, South Carolina’s comparative negligence law applies, which apportions fault between the drivers and reduces the potential compensation an accident victim can recover.

What Factors Contribute to Rear-End Accidents?

Rear-end collisions happen due to various factors that affect how drivers operate. Here are some examples of common factors that contribute to rear-end crashes:

  • Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is a leading cause of rear-end accidents. When drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their phones, adjust the radio, or talk to passengers, they lose focus on driving safely. This distraction can prevent them from noticing when traffic slows or stops ahead, reducing their stopping time and leading to collisions.
  • Speeding – Driving over the speed limit reduces a driver’s ability to stop quickly if the traffic flow changes unexpectedly. The faster a vehicle is moving, the longer the distance it takes to come to a complete stop. Speeding drivers might not have enough time to brake safely when the car in front of them stops suddenly, which can easily result in rear-end collisions.
  • Tailgating – Following too closely, or tailgating, is another significant factor in many rear-end collisions. Safe driving guidelines suggest keeping at least a three-second gap between vehicles, which should increase in bad weather or heavy traffic. Drivers who do not leave enough space between their cars and those ahead of them have less time to react if leading cars suddenly brake.
  • Poor Road Conditions – Bad weather conditions such as rain, snow, or ice can make South Carolina roads slippery and reduce tire traction, making it harder for drivers to brake effectively. Drivers should adjust their speed and following distance according to traffic conditions to maintain control of their vehicles. If they fail to do so, they can be responsible for rear-end car accidents.

If you were injured in a rear end collision in South Carolina, reach out to Stewart Law Offices for help for a free case evaluation.

Recovering Damages Through a South Carolina Car Accident Lawsuit

To recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages after a rear-end accident, you must file a personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. You have three years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim in South Carolina. You will be unable to recover any compensation if you miss this deadline, which is why it is important to discuss your case with our South Carolina rear-end accident lawyers as soon as possible after the car crash.

Should someone suffer fatal injuries because of a rear-end accident, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate has the exclusive right to bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. They will have three years from the date of the victim’s passing to initiate the legal process.

When we represent you in a rear-end accident claim, we will fight to secure full and fair compensation for all losses, including:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

How a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Can Help After a Crash

An experienced lawyer can assist you in numerous ways to pursue the compensation you deserve after a rear-end accident in South Carolina. Here’s how an attorney could help with your claim:

  • Investigating the details of the rear-end accident to determine the at-fault driver
  • Gathering evidence like photos and traffic camera footage
  • Consulting medical professionals to assess the severity of your injuries
  • Calculating the total cost of your losses
  • Preparing and filing all claim documents in a timely manner
  • Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Protecting you from insurance tactics that might undermine your claim
  • Representing you in court, if necessary

Working with a car accident attorney after a rear-end collision can provide much-needed peace of mind by allowing you to focus on healing.

What to Do After a Rear-End Accident

When a rear-end accident occurs at a low speed and it does not appear that anyone was seriously hurt, you may be tempted to shrug the incident off. The other driver may try to convince you to avoid calling the police or involving the insurance companies. Do not underestimate the injuries even a low-speed rear-end accident can cause. Do not give in to the temptation to skip the crucial steps you should take after any vehicular collision. After a rear-end accident, you should:

  • Call 9-1-1. If you or the other driver sustained any injuries, you are legally required to report the accident to the police. Do not be swayed by any claims from the other driver that summoning the police is not necessary. Ask an officer to come to the scene and wait for them to arrive. They will create an official accident report that will become an important component of your claim.
  • Exchange contact information. You will need the other driver’s name, phone number, address, insurance information, and license information. If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information, too.
  • Document the scene. Take photos of your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and road conditions.
  • Seek medical attention. Even if you feel largely okay after a rear-end collision, it is imperative that you see a doctor as soon as you can. Rear-end accidents can cause brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and other adverse health consequences that may be difficult to initially detect. You need to get prompt medical treatment for these injuries and establish a link between the injuries and the accident.
  • Contact Stewart Law Offices. You should speak to a qualified legal professional before talking to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurer or attorney. We can manage these communications to ensure you do not say anything that could weaken your claim. Our team will then work on building your case and seeking compensation.

Contact Stewart Law Offices for Help with Your Rear End Car Accident Claim

If you’ve been involved in a rear end collision in South Carolina, you don’t have to handle the aftermath alone. Reach out to Stewart Law Offices today for a free initial consultation. Our team is available to assess your situation and provide the guidance you need to move forward with your life. Contact us now, and let us help you seek compensation and justice.