Getting rear-ended while stopped is a startling, and potentially life-changing, experience. This is the story of what happened to our client after getting rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light – and how we were able to help.
On February 28, 2014, our client brought his pickup truck to a legal stop at a stoplight in Burlington County. While waiting for the light to turn green, another vehicle rear-ended him. The other driver did not notice our client’s car and failed to stop his own vehicle in time. As a result, the collision totaled our client’s vehicle and caused severe physical trauma.
Our client did everything right. He saw the vehicles in front of his truck stop at the intersection when the light changed and came to a stop himself. He didn’t hear the other vehicle attempt to stop, but he felt the impact.
The other vehicle hit our client’s F150, causing our client to slam into his steering wheel and bend it. When he tried to turn around to see what happened, the severe pain in his neck prevented him from doing so. He had trouble moving at all and waited for the Medford EMS to arrive so that they could move him safely.
Only after the accident did he learn that the other driver hit his truck so hard that the at-fault driver’s vehicle was stuck under the truck bed.
Our client received treatment at the hospital, but he’ll have the injuries he sustained for the rest of his life. The injuries to his neck were so severe that he required surgery and years of therapy. Despite the best efforts of the doctors treating him, our client could not return to full-time work. With mounting medical bills, a totaled car, and an uncertain future, he reached out to Console & Associates P.C.
When he called our office, we reviewed his claim and knew that we could help. We understand New Jersey’s car accident liability laws, and we put that experience to work for him.
Making a car crash claim is about more than paying the medical bills. His injuries left our client with chronic pain and disability that limited his ability to work for the rest of his life. Console & Associates P.C. spoke with employment and medical experts to learn the true cost of our client’s injuries. When compiling the evidence on behalf of our client, we took all of this information into account. When we filed the lawsuit, we seek compensation for:
We filed the claim with the superior court of New Jersey in November of 2017. On January 29, 2018, we recovered $585,000 for our client.
Nothing can replace the career he lost or make up for his pain and suffering. But this settlement will help him rebuild his life and help make up for the income the accident cost him.
If you, too, were rear-ended while stopped, rest assured that you’re far from alone. Historically, rear-end accidents have been the most frequently occurring kind of crash in the United States, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A study by the NHTSA noted that 38 percent of rear-end collisions occurred when the vehicle in front was stopped, while 45 percent of these accidents occurred while the lead vehicle was slowing down.
After getting rear-ended while stopped, you probably have a lot of questions. Our attorneys are familiar with the challenges and injuries that are unique to rear-end auto accidents, and we’re happy to answer your questions and walk you through the legal process at no charge during a free, confidential consultation.
One thing victims should know about getting rear-ended while stopped is that, in the vast majority of rear-end collisions – there are exceptions, but they are rare – the person who gets hit is not the one at fault. The other driver is typically at fault for failing to maintain sufficient traveling distance to stop in time and for failing to control their vehicle.
After getting rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light or stop sign – or while stuck in traffic – it’s not unusual for you to face blame from the other driver. The motorist who hit you may argue that you “should have gone” before the light changed or during what they feel was enough of a break in traffic. They might try to diminish their own responsibility for the crash, saying things like, “I didn’t see you,” as though that’s somehow your fault instead of theirs.
Don’t fall for it. Except in unusual circumstances, such as if you backed up into the other car or you cut the other driver off by merging right in front of them without having enough space, the driver who rear-ends another car is the one who is legally at fault for the accident. The person who hit you is the one who will likely by cited with a traffic violation at the scene and whose insurance company will have to pay your rear-end auto accident claim.
Although rear-end accidents are sometimes referred to as “fender benders,” they actually can lead to serious, life-changing injuries, like the ones our client in the story above suffered.
When you get rear-ended while stopped, the impact is no longer limited to the force of one vehicle striking another one that was already moving in the same direction. Instead, you have the impact of a moving vehicle abruptly plowing into a vehicle that was at a complete stop. Even seemingly minor injuries should be evaluated by a doctor.
This impact and sudden, jolting acceleration forward can lead to injuries that can be serious, including:
Remember, the driver who struck your vehicle is probably the one to blame for this accident. They are responsible for the consequences, and you have the right to seek compensation from their insurance company.