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While there are many types of car accidents, including sideswipe and speeding accidents, rear-end collisions in which one vehicle strikes another from behind are among the more common types of crashes. Unfortunately, they can lead to serious injuries depending on the size and momentum of the vehicles involved. When a negligent or inattentive driver causes a crash, you may be entitled to damages for resulting harm. At Gelb & Gelb, dedicated Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer Roger Gelb has personally handled thousands of claims on behalf of injured individuals, particularly vehicle collision victims. Unlike other law firms where paralegals and office staff intercept your efforts to speak with an attorney, clients maintain direct contact with Mr. Gelb throughout the course of their representation. Attorney Gelb’s experience and legal knowledge have earned him top recognition in the region, and led to the successful recovery of over one hundred million dollars for clients. We are proud to continue to be a leading personal injury firm with multi-million dollar recoveries on behalf of people throughout the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.Understand Your Legal Rights Following a Rear-End Collision
Proving fault for a rear-end collision is the first step in a personal injury claim for damages. Legal responsibility, known as liability, may not always be easy to assess, but in a rear-end collision, the following driver that strikes a vehicle in front is often responsible for causing the accident. Some states, including Maryland, hold a presumption of negligence for the driver of the following vehicle when a vehicle is stopped and then struck from behind by another vehicle. This presumption may be rebutted by a driver who has been rear-ended another vehicle if they present evidence that they were not negligent. For example, if the front driver intentionally slammed on their brakes, or backed up into the front of the car, then the motorist in the vehicle that struck the car from behind may not be liable.
Throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, all drivers are required by law to maintain a reasonable and safe following distance, to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them, and to provide space should they need to suddenly slow down. Failing to exercise this level of care may be deemed negligent, or a breach of the duty of care expected of a reasonable person. If this conduct leads to a collision and resulting injuries to another, the victim is entitled to recover damages from the at-fault driver.
Contributory negligence may affect the success of a victim’s legal claim for damages within the District of Columbia. Contributory negligence prevents recovery when a plaintiff was partly at fault for causing the accident that led to their harm. The defendant may assert this doctrine, and even if the plaintiff is minimally at fault, they will be prevented from securing any damages. An experienced injury lawyer such as Roger Gelb can help you seek to counter the potentially harsh effects of this rule on your case.Damages
Once the defendant’s legal fault has been established, the victim of a rear-end collision may be entitled to compensatory damages. These damages are intended to place the victim in the position they would be in had the accident not occurred. While physical harm and property damage following a rear-end crash may not be as dire as in head-on collisions, the speed of impact can affect the severity of injuries such that they can in fact be catastrophic.
Rear-end collision victims are entitled to recover lost wages, costs for property damage, and medical expenses stemming from the accident. Additionally, a skilled attorney such as Roger Gelb can help clients assess their pain and suffering associated with the accident so that they can make a whole recovery. Though these may be a less quantitative form of damages, they can be equally significant for the victim and their family.Dedicated Car Accident Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Attorney Roger Gelb and his firm assist those hurt by careless, negligent drivers. Insurance companies cannot be trusted to provide timely or appropriate payments to those injured in an accident caused by their insureds. By relying on Mr. Gelb’s skilled advocacy, over 10,000 clients have recovered compensatory damages for their injuries and losses following a car accident. Gelb & Gelb works as a dedicated team on your behalf, and it is our utmost goal to provide compassionate, personal attention to our clients. Attorney Gelb is available to discuss your options. If you would like to learn more about your case, please contact Gelb & Gelb, P.C by phone at (202) 331-7227 or online. We assist individuals throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.