The Roch Law Firm, P.C.

How Is A Rear-End Collision Different From Other Types Of Auto Accidents?


One of the primary differences between rear-end collisions and other types of auto accidents is the mechanism of injury. In Georgia, the person who is driving their vehicle into the rear-end of someone’s vehicle is almost certainly going to be the fault for causing the wreck. Certainly, there are some exceptions to that such as when a person in front must brake without warning or some other type of dangerous maneuver. Ironically, the person in front is more likely to be injured in a wreck than the person in behind who is driving the front end of their car into the rear-end of another vehicle. This will likely cause the airbags of the rear car to deploy which is going to cushion their body in a collision and can limit injury.

The forces in effect on the car that is being rear-ended, however, are much more complex. What happens to the person in the vehicle in front is that they first have a frontal acceleration which will push the body backwards into the car seat. At some point, the back of the head is going to flip backwards, and it may hit the headrest but not always. But at some point, the head is going to be stretched as far back as it can go and it’s going to then start snapping forward. This “whipping” motion is what gives this type of injury its name: Whiplash.

In a lot of rear-end collisions, the front car does not actually have the airbag deployed. The reason for this is that the computer in that front car takes measurements on the speed and force of the impact and can decide that the airbag deploying is not going to protect the passengers in that front car more than the risk of injury from the airbag itself. That’s because when an airbag deploys, it’s a dangerous, explosive event. This means that whenever an airbag deploys the car’s computer must decide whether the risk of an airbag deploying is outweighed by the benefit of the airbag. As a result, many times in a rear-end collision, the airbags don’t deploy in that front car.

As said above, this process of the head going backward and then forwards has a name that most people are familiar with called “Whiplash.” The mechanism of injury in going backwards and forwards is one of the many reasons why people get injured in car wrecks. One of the other things that makes someone more likely to be injured in a rear-end collision is if their head is turned and looking to the left or the right. The head is much more able to flex forwards and backwards when your head is straight when you are looking forward. When your head is looking to the left or right like when you are looking to turn, and you are rear-ended, you are much more likely to be injured due to the position of the head. In simple terms, your head is not made to bend forward while it is turned to the side.

What Happens In The Initial Investigation Of The Scene Of A Rear-End Collision?

Unless there is a catastrophic collision with serious injuries or possible death, investigators typically want to do a quick assignment of fault after a rear-end collision. They want to look and see very quickly who is more likely to be at fault for the wreck. They also want to determine whether alcohol plays a significant role in causing the wreck. Nowadays there may be a quick inquiry about texting. The police officers are also interested in making sure if there are any injuries caused by the wreck that require trauma care. If so, then there is generally an ambulance at the scene and the police officers are interested in getting out of their way as quickly as possible. Since the police are not there to do a full-blown investigation of every aspect regarding what happened, they generally do not interview every possible witness that might have been on scene to get to the bottom of what happened.

The primary goal of police at the scene is to conduct a quick assignment of all the witnesses that might have been there and to conduct a quick assignment of who is to blame for causing the wreck. The police are also there to check to see who needs what treatment and to get them that treatment as soon as possible.

How Can The Police Report Be Used To Help My Injury Claim In A Rear-End Collision?

The police report is really just the starting point for a personal injury claim. It’s helpful for identifying witnesses and in looking for an initial determination of fault. When a personal injury attorney looks at a police report, one of the first things they are looking for is to see if one of the drivers got a citation for causing the wreck. It is not the end all be all, however. The findings of the police report can be challenged and are sometimes wrong. In some instances, the witnesses that end up talking to the police on scene may be biased witnesses or they may be witnesses who came on the scene after the wreck occurred or they may be witnesses who didn’t have a good vantage point to see what happened. The witnesses that actually saw what had happened may have already left by the time the police got there and are only identified later usually through 911 calls or other information.

So, the police report is a good starting point but it isn’t the only thing that matters in deciding whether your claim has merit and it isn’t the only thing in deciding who is to blame in a wreck. I’ve seen cases where a potential claimant was cited for causing the wreck and ultimately we were able to establish that they were not at fault. I have also seen cases where the other driver was initially cited for the wreck but they were able to successfully challenge the fact that they caused the wreck and establish that it wasn’t really their fault.

For more information on Rear-End Collisions In Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 345-7624 today.

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