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What will happen in a lawsuit if I am rear ended?

A rear-end accident has much in common with other car accidents. After being rear ended, you should take the same steps that you would after any other accident, including getting checked out medically as early as possible and anytime your symptoms change, avoiding making statements at the scene, getting contact information from any witnesses, requesting the assistance of a police officer, and writing down notes of what you observe at the scene of the accident shortly after it occurs. A rear end accident is unique in that liability of the following driver is generally less likely to be disputed by his or her insurance company than in other types of accidents. This is because of what’s called the following car doctrine, which is a legal rule stating that a following car is presumptively at fault if it hits the vehicle in front of it. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, it is often the case that Insurance companies are easier to deal with when the victim was rear-ended by the at fault driver.

Another unique thing about rear-end accident is the frequency with which injuries occur. The biomechanics of a rear-end collision so often cause spinal injuries that the phrase “whiplash” came about to describe this anatomical scenario. Injuries anywhere in the spine after a rear-end accident are extremely common, and in particular the neck is very vulnerable to whiplash injury. Of all of the levels in the cervical spine, the neck is especially susceptible to injury in a rear end accident at levels C2 to C3 and C5 to C6.


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