Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) after being rear-ended is, unfortunately, quite common. According to one article published by The Washington Post, roughly 1.7 million rear-end crashes in the U.S. each year result in approximately 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 passenger injuries.
One Virginia Case
In one Virginia case settled recently, plaintiff suffered a concussion and a TBI. Plaintiff was stopped in the left turn lane of a local highway. She was rear-ended by another driver.
Plaintiff believed at the time that there was no injury, although admitting feeling dazed and confused. Over the ensuing 48 hours, plaintiff developed continuing confusion, headaches, light sensitivity and pain in the neck, back and shoulders. Five days after the crash, plaintiff visited her primary care physician, and was diagnosed with a concussion. One month later, plaintiff was referred to a neurologist due to continuing confusion and headaches. Despite neurological treatment, plaintiff continued to experience cognitive symptoms, with only mild improvement for several years.
At the time of the rear-ender crash, plaintiff worked for an insurance company. As a result of the injury sustained in the crash, plaintiff was unable to work at all for a period of four months. At that time, plaintiff returned to work, only to discover that her abilities were limited by the injuries sustained. She was then forced to work from home.
The at-fault driver and attorneys presented findings of a neuropsychologist and psychiatrist, who argued that plaintiff had no cognitive deficits and that she did not suffer a concussion or a TBI. Plaintiff and attorneys presented both expert and factual witnesses. They all indicated that the cognitive injury sustained in the crash were obvious and ongoing. Treating physicians also testified that the symptoms were debilitating and resulted from the car crash.
The plaintiff and legal team were able to reach an agreement with the at-fault driver’s team, resolving the issue without a jury trial. The settlement of the case awarded the plaintiff $500,000.
Some Facts About Rear-End Collisions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end crashes are the most common type of auto accidents. They are the cause of roughly 29 percent of all car crashes in the U.S. Findings of a study for the NHTSA conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), include the following observations:
- Most rear-end auto accident occur when the leading vehicle is either moving at a very slow speed or at a complete stop. This accounts for approximately 81 percent of rear-end crashes. Further, in most of these crashes, the following vehicle was following too closely.
- Roughly half of these rear-enders were the result of a driver being distracted or just not paying attention. The study attributed 90 percent of rear-end crashes to driver distraction.
- In addition, 80 percent of all fatal or serious rear-end accidents could be prevented with crash avoidance systems in vehicles. Yet the vast majority of automobiles on the road today lack these systems.
The vast number of rear-end crashes and the lives lost or dramatically changed, could be reduced significantly by two simple elements of good driving: not following too closely and remaining focused on driving.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a rear-end crash, call the experienced and trusted attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C. Bettina and Terri are prepared to help you evaluate the crash and evaluate probably liability. If the crash resulted from the negligence or wrongdoing of the other driver, and through no fault of your own, you may decide to file legal action. If you desire, we will represent you or your loved one and fight aggressively for your rights and for the largest financial settlement possible under Virginia law.