St. Louis Rear-End Car Accident Lawyers
Rear-end accidents are prevalent in St. Louis. In fact, in the United States, rear-end collisions are the most common among vehicle collisions. Rear-end accidents often cause injuries such as whiplash, which can lead to chronic neck and back problems.
If you suffered injuries in a rear-end car accident in St. Louis, you have the right to receive compensation for your damages (e.g., injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, etc.) resulting from the accident. Contact the St. Louis car accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today to receive a free consultation.
What should I do after a rear-end accident in St. Louis?
If you suffered injuries in a rear-end accident in St. Louis, you first need to assess your damages. If you can, pull your car over to the side of the road. Next, determine whether you need immediate medical attention and call 911 so that a police officer can come to the scene and write a police report.
Collect information from the other persons involved in the accident, including their driver’s license and license plate numbers, and insurance information. Notice whether there were any witnesses to the accident and obtain their contact information as well. Take photos of your injuries and the vehicles involved in the accident.
Finally, if the other driver left the accident scene, try to remember any details you can about their vehicle or the driver to help law enforcement find and identify them.
You should also contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you assess your damages and determine how much your claim may be worth. Our legal team helps car accident victims and injured parties obtain favorable outcomes after rear-end accidents.
How common are rear-end auto accidents in St. Louis?
As with the rest of the U.S., rear-end accidents are extremely common in St. Louis, with news stories reported almost every month. For example, on the morning of February 2021, the driver of a Hyundai Elantra rear-ended a Chevrolet Malibu as the driver of the Malibu was coming to a stop on Highway 141, just south of Romaine Creek Road. Paramedics transported the two women, both of whom were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, to local St. Louis hospitals with moderate injuries. The Malibu had extensive damages, and the accident left the Elantra totaled.
Although most injuries from rear-end crashes are minor to moderate, a few recent rear-end crashes in St. Louis have proven fatal. In another rear-end collision in St. Louis, at 12:20 a.m. on Monday, July 12, 2021, a 19-year-old woman was riding her bicycle in the northbound lanes of Interstate I-70 near the Forest Park Parkway when a Chevrolet Camaro rear-ended her. The driver of the Camaro fled before police arrived. The young woman died at the scene.
In another deadly crash in St. Charles County just outside of St. Louis in April 2021, a man died, and two others were seriously injured when a Dodge Ram swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the road. It rear-ended a Chevy Equinox stopped in the left lane because of an accident. The accident happened on Highway 364, just east of Harvester Road.
According to St. Louis traffic data, most of the accidents in St. Louis happen at the intersections of:
- Interstate 270 and Interstate 44 near the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
- Dougherty Ferry Road and Interstate 270 near St. Luke’s Des Peres Hospital
- Interstate 55 and Interstate 44 near St. Louis’s Gateway Arch
- Manchester Road and Interstate 270 near Des Peres Park
What are the most common injuries after a rear-end auto accident?
Injuries incurred in a rear-end car accident can vary in severity from minor cuts and bruises to internal bleeding and death. Many factors can influence the seriousness of your injuries following a rear-end auto accident, including the vehicle’s speed striking the car in front of it, whether you are wearing a seat belt, and various road conditions. However, the most common injuries experienced during a rear-end accident include:
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries or head trauma
- Bone fractures
- Facial scarring or disfigurement
Whiplash is by far the most common serious injury that occurs due to a rear-end collision. Whiplash, also known as neck strain, occurs when the head is thrown forward and then backward rapidly, resulting in moderate to severe injuries to the neck. Neck injuries from whiplash include muscle damage, stretching of tendons, spine injuries, concussions, and nerve damage.
In addition to whiplash, a common injury in rear-end collisions is head trauma, which usually happens when the force of the collision pushes the person’s head forward, causing it to slam into the steering wheel or airbag. As with whiplash, the injuries resulting from head trauma are not always immediately apparent after a crash.
Facial scarring and disfigurement often occur with rear-end crashes when broken glass or sharp objects cut a person’s face. Additionally, broken bones might occur, affecting a person’s fingers, feet, hands, necks, or backs. Some rear-end accidents result in partial or total paralysis due to injuries to the cervical spine. Lastly, some rear-end accidents are fatal.
Often, injuries that occur in a rear-end collision have long-lasting effects. Victims of rear-end crashes may have to spend months or even years in physical therapy to recover from injuries. These accident victims have the legal right to receive compensation to help pay for this burdensome recovery process. Injured persons can use compensation to cover and pay for medical treatments, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, lost wages due to missed work, and other damages stemming from the accident.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Many instances can lead up to a rear-end accident, but the most common causes of this particular type of crash include:
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Vehicle defects such as brake failures
- Sudden stops by the driver in front of the other vehicle, often to avoid an obstacle in the road
How can I prove the other driver is at fault in a rear-end accident?
When it comes to personal injury claims such as car accidents, Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning you can recover damages according to your degree of fault in the accident. However, the law regarding rear-end accidents is a little different from other accidents. Missouri law will almost always assign blame to the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle due to the so-called “rear-end collision doctrine.” Per this doctrine, Missouri law presumes that all drivers following behind must leave enough room to react and brake when the car in front brakes.
Under the doctrine, the rear-ended driver must show only that they had the right to be driving on the road, another vehicle rear-ended them, and the front driver was not negligent. If they can show these three things, the driver who rear-ended them is liable for resulting injuries.
For example, if the car in front has broken taillights, a court can still find the rear-end offender negligent due to “tailing” the front vehicle and not recognizing when it stopped. However, if the person with the broken taillights was aware of the problem and failed to fix it, this is a possible defense for the driver who rear-ended the vehicle.
If you were rear-ended in a car accident in St. Louis and sustained physical injuries or property damage to your vehicle, most Missouri insurance companies will quickly pay your claim, as the parties are usually going to agree that the other driver is liable under the rear-end collision doctrine. Regardless, you still need to gather evidence to prove the other driver is at fault.
Our attorneys at NST Law have years of experience handling rear-end auto accidents. We can walk you through the insurance and legal process to get you the compensation you deserve.
How much is my rear-end car accident case worth?
The value of your claim depends on the facts of the rear-end accident, including the extent of your physical injuries and any property damage. In a car accident case, you have the right to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages generally include all tangible, out-of-pocket costs incurred due to the accident, including:
- All medical expenses related to the accident
- Current and future loss of income
- Costs to fix or replace property damaged in the accident
- Rental car costs
- Future medical expenses (e.g., rehabilitation or additional surgery costs)
Non-economic damages, also known as damages for pain and suffering, stem from the trauma and emotional distress you endured due to the accident.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a rear-end car wreck in Missouri?
In the state of Missouri, the time limit for filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries stemming from a car accident or other personal injury is five years, based on Missouri’s statute of limitations. Our car accident lawyers at NST Law can ensure the timely filing of your case and help you meet all relevant deadlines for discovery and other court filings to protect your legal right to receive compensation for your damages.
How can NST Law help me?
Being injured in a rear-end collision can be devastating. You may have whiplash or other injuries that keep you out of work with mounting medical bills, and you may be worried about how you’re going to pay for everything. We provide you with the legal representation you need to hold the at-fault driver liable for your damages incurred in a rear-end accident and other types of car accidents.
At NST Law, we understand that the aftermath of a car crash is a highly stressful and challenging time. We have many years of experience handling car accident claims for our clients, and we can help guide you through the recovery process after your car accident, obtain fair compensation to pay for your damages, and get you back on your feet, metaphorically speaking, by lifting some of your financial burdens.
If you suffered injuries or other damages in a rear-end accident in St. Louis, contact us today for a free case evaluation to determine your legal options.