Being hit from behind is one of the most common automobile collisions. Whether you experienced a small fender bender or a significant rear impact collision, you may suffer significant injuries from a rear-end collision. These can include:
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Disk herniation
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Vision impairment
You may not experience pain or other symptoms immediately following an accident. In the days or weeks following a collision, however, you may start to experience symptoms of injury. Seek help immediately if you begin to have pain, nausea, dizziness, or any other unusual or uncomfortable symptoms.
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end auto accident, you should be compensated. The experienced auto accident and personal injury attorneys of the Patrick Yancey Law Firm have handled many rear-end accident injury cases and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Louisiana’s “Following Driver” Presumption
The state of Louisiana has a “fault-based system” that courts apply to automobile accident cases. This means that the finder of fact will decide who was legally at fault in the event of a car crash and hold that driver (and/or his or her insurance company) accountable for damages. You must prove another party was liable for a collision before you are entitled to recover compensation for your injuries or any other damages.
In Louisiana, when a rear-end accident occurs, the motorist who is in the rear (the “following motorist”) is presumed to have violated the law that prohibits drivers from following too close to react to traffic and highway conditions. The following motorist is presumed to be negligent under the law and thus “at fault” for the accident unless he or she presents evidence to rebut that presumption.
One way the following motorist may be able to successfully overcome the presumption of fault is if he or she shows that you (or another driver) are partially at fault for causing the collision (for example, if you cut into traffic suddenly, in violation of the right-of-way laws, or if you stopped suddenly while distracted by a text). This legal doctrine is called “comparative negligence” and if the court determines you are partially responsible for causing the collision, it can reduce the amount of your compensation. If a court determines you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, for example, the amount of any damages you are awarded by a judge or jury would be reduced by 30 percent.
Damages in Rear End Cases
Under Louisiana’s civil code system, you can recover damages to compensate you for your injuries and “make you whole” following an accident. One component of available compensation is called “special” damages, which includes things like direct reimbursement for medical bills, wage loss, and other related expenses. The other category, “general” damages, is intended to compensate you for your loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and other broad losses. An experienced attorney can help you identify and quantify these categories of special and general damages as you pursue your claim.
Hire an Experienced Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced attorney will evaluate the facts of your case and advise you of the best course of action to help you recover the most compensation possible. This may include recovering costs for past and future medical care, wage loss, pain and suffering, and, in certain limited circumstances, punitive damages.
The Patrick Yancey Law Firm understands the issues involved in auto collisions generally, and the legal presumptions in rear-end collisions particularly. Our approachable, understanding attorneys will be your partner every step of the way. We’ll help you resolve your issues in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible, so you can quickly recover the compensation you deserve with a minimum of stress and hassle. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.