Alabama Rear-End Collisions
Summary: Rear-end collisions rarely result in fatal injuries but frequently result in serious, long-term injuries. Unlike some states, Alabama follows a "fault system" for determining liability in rear-end accidents. This article provides a general overview of Alabama rear-end collision law.
Roughly 2.5 million Americans are involved in rear-end car collisions each year. While rear-end accidents outnumber any other type of car accident, rear-end collisions are generally considered the least fatal type of automobile accident. Despite a lower fatality rate, rear-end accidents frequently result in serious, long-lasting injuries. Signs of whiplash and spinal injuries commonly associated with rear-end auto accidents may take days, months, or sometimes years to fully surface. Thus, individuals injured in such “minor” accidents sometimes face difficulty in proving the true extent of their damages.
To add to the difficulty that drivers face in identifying and recovering their damages, different states follow different systems for determining liability in rear-end collisions. Approximately 12 states follow a “no fault” system where, regardless of fault, each driver’s damages are paid by each driver’s own insurance policy. Most states, including Alabama, follow a fault system. These states hold the at-fault driver liable for the other driver’s damages. Under a fault system, the driver who collides into the rear of another vehicle is usually deemed negligent and liable to the other driver. However, each case is unique. Many factors exist that could change the outcome and result in the rear-ended driver being found negligent and liable for the rear driver’s damages.
Rear-end collisions may also uncover latent defects in an automobile’s safety features. Airbags may fail to deploy and/or seatbelts may fail to properly restrain a driver during a rear-end crash. Such safety defects may increase the severity of a driver’s injuries. If such safety failures occur, an injured driver may have a products liability claim against the automobile manufacturer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: G. Whit Drake of Drake Law Firm- Personal Injury Lawyers.
Whit Drake is a Birmingham personal injury attorney and the founding member of the Drake Law Firm, located in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Drake’s practice is primarily focused on personal injury and wrongful death. Mr. Drake frequently represents individuals injured in rear-end automobile accidents.
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