The Manchester injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that for a number of years, car crashes were declining due to several factors. This includes the manufacturing of automobiles with advanced safety devices such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and multiple airbags. Recently, however, the incidence of collisions on American roadways has increased sharply. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 37,461 people died on American roadways in 2016, a 5.6 percent hike over 2015.
Research has shown that one of the major factors in this rise is collisions caused by drivers who are distracted behind the wheel, primarily, though not exclusively, from the use of hand-held devices. Texting, phone calls, searching for music, and many other distractions have fueled the spike in crashes, many of which are collisions to the rear-end of vehicles that have come to a stop.
Rear-end collisions have always been one of the most common types of auto accidents, but in the past few years they have been occurring more frequently due to the increase in distracted driving. Most rear-end collisions occur when the stopped vehicle is waiting in traffic, waiting to turn left or right, or waiting for a light to change, and the driver is struck from behind by someone who is distracted and not focused on the road ahead.
Police Reports and Insurance Companies
The police report written following a crash will frequently place fault on the moving vehicle, usually for following too closely or for inattentiveness. The driver of the moving vehicle will often admit liability to the police officer, you, or other witnesses.
Insurers usually pay considerable attention to police reports. However, sometimes insurance carriers or their defense attorneys will claim no liability due to sudden and unexpected stopping, failure to signal when stopping to turn, not yielding before pulling into traffic, or brake defect.
Assessing Liability in Rear-End Collisions
The experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will want to learn about the following items when assessing the certainty of liability in your rear-end collision:
- Vehicle position. Was your car stopped in traffic, waiting for a light to change, turning left or right, slowing down for traffic, waiting to turn into a driveway, etc.?
- The other driver’s speed. What was the approximate speed of the vehicle that struck you?
- His or her following distance. Did you see how far away the colliding vehicle was before the crash?
- Your use of turn signals. If you were about to turn, did you have your turn signal on? If so, for how long?
- The vehicle damage. Is the damage to each car minimal, moderate, or severe? Do you have any pictures?
- Any driver statements. Did either you or the other driver say anything about fault at the scene?
- The existence of witnesses. Were there any impartial witnesses to the accident?
- Any alcohol use. Were either you or the other driver drinking prior to the accident?
- Any credible passengers. Did either car have other riders? How persuasive are their accounts of the accident?
- The driving conditions. Was the road slippery due to rain or snow? Was it sunny, dark, foggy, or stormy?
- The functioning of your lights. Were your signal and brake lights working?
- Any defenses. Is the insurer suggesting that brake defect, icy conditions, sun in the other driver’s eyes, or your failure to signal is to blame?
Contact the Manchester Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law Today
If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle collision, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. To contact the experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman for a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, complete a request for a consultation or chat with us on our website, or send us an email.
Experienced • Knowledgeable • Committed to Justice