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New York Rear-End Collisions

While there are a variety of ways that car accidents occur such as a head-on collision, a side collision, or a sideswipe collision, a rear-end accident is one of the most common. Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle hits another vehicle from behind. Rear-end collisions may be caused by a variety of reasons including the malfunctioning of the vehicle or poor road conditions. They are also common to multi-vehicle accidents. However, most rear-end collisions are caused by driver negligence. Even in minor rear-end accidents where the collision involves one car reportedly merely "tapping" another car, there can be injuries. Such injuries can lead to medical treatment and missing work. Medical bills coupled with loss of income can send a family's finances into disarray. However, if you were in a car accident caused by a driver negligently rear-ending your car, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other losses you suffered. However, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced New York Rear-End Collisions Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and explain to you the process of pursuing damages from the person responsible for your injuries.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions

In many cases rear-end collisions result from following a vehicle too closely, also referred to as tailgating. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1129, drivers are prohibited from following another vehicle "more closely than is reasonable and prudent." If a driver follows another car too closely and it unexpectedly decelerates, there is a good possibility that the following driver will hit the other car in the rear-end. If a driver hits the car in front of him or her, the presumption will be that the following driver was at fault.

In Colon v. Vermouth Taxi Inc., 2015 NY Slip Op 31903(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2015), plaintiff Guillermo Colon was stopped at a red light at the intersection of 7th Avenue and West 43rd Street. According to Colon, when the light turned green he did not immediately go because there were pedestrians crossing the street. When he started to move, his car was struck in the rear. Defendant Mathieu Nyamba testified that the accident occurred because Colon made a sudden stop while attempting to make a right turn. Because of the sudden stop Nyamba testified that he was unable to avoid hitting Colon's car. The Court sided with Colon, noting that regardless of whether Colon was making a right turn or proceeding straight immediately prior to the accident, Nyamba failed to provide a non-negligent explanation for hitting Colon's car and did not explain why he failed to maintain a safe distance from Colon's vehicle as required by New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1129.

In addition to following too closely, other common causes of rear-end collisions include distracted driving such as texting while driving, poor weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain or snow, and driving too fast. It is important to note that although rear-end collisions are presumptively the fault of the following car, there are instances in which the collision is the fault of the front car. For example, if the front car makes a sudden, unexpected stop, then even if the following care is driving at a safe distance, it may not be able to avoid hitting the rear of the front car.

Consequences of Rear-End Collisions

Common injuries sustained by those injured in a rear-end accident include injuries to the back, neck and spine. For example, Tyson v. Nikolis, 2015 NY Slip Op 32003(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2015) is a personal injury lawsuit based on an accident where Anatastasia Nikolis rear-ended the car driven by Jesse Tyson. Diane Tyson was a passenger. The Tysons were stopped at a red light when the accident occurred. As a result of the accident both Jesse and Diane Tyson suffered a number of spinal, back and shoulder injuries including disc herniations, disc bulges, cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, and adhesive capsulitis.

A car accident can leave you both physical injuries and financial stress. A personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident will not only hold that person accountable for his or her negligent acts but will also provide you and your family with needed financial relief. Through a personal injury action you can seek compensation to cover the past and future medical expenses related to you injury. You can also seek compensation for your lost earnings and loss of earning capacity. However, to ensure that your rights are protected it is important that you are represented by someone with experience representing victims of car accidents. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has extensive experience representing clients injured in head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, sideswipe accidents as well as other types of vehicle accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your car accident.

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