Rear-end accidents are among the most dangerous and unavoidable accidents in which victims can be involved. Often, they occur without any warning: you are sitting in traffic or at a stoplight, and suddenly a vehicle slams into you from the rear, potentially causing serious injury and tremendous damage to your vehicle. Thankfully, under Minnesota law, people who are hurt in rear-end accidents are often able to recover significant compensation for their losses they sustain. Here are some of the more common causes of rear-end accidents.
Distracted driving is a serious problem in throughout the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) indicates that there were approximately 431,000 people injured in car accidents involving distracted driving during 2014. Examples of activities that could distract a driver include texting, looking in the mirror, reading, searching for items in their vehicle, or talking to passengers. Distracted drivers often do not see what is directly ahead of them, often leading them to slam into vehicles that are stopped or moving more slowly.
Drunk or drugged driving is another reason that rear-end accidents occur. People who are under the influence often have impaired reaction time and judgment, making it much more likely that they will not react in time when approaching a stopped or slower-moving vehicle or simply be unaware of obstacles that lie ahead.
Functional brakes are what allows a vehicle to slow down and stop. If they are defective or have been improperly maintained, it can lead to a situation in which a driver who is trying to stop cannot, which in turn can easily lead to a rear-end accident. In cases involving faulty brakes, it is important to determine why the brakes failed, as it will dictate the party who can be held liable. For example, if a brake failure was the result of improper manufacture, it may be possible to hold the vehicle manufacturer liable. On the other hand, if the owner of the vehicle knew or should have known that his or her brake pads were worn, it may be possible to hold the driver liable.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. To learn more about how we can help you, call McEwen & Kestner, PLLC today at 800-732-3070 or contact us online.