Dallas Attorney for Car Accidents Caused by Tailgating
Car accidents can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you are faced with potentially serious injuries, lost income when you’re unable to return to work immediately, property damage, and an enormous amount of paperwork that must be filled out and filed.
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s tailgating, you might be entitled to compensation. The Dallas car accident attorneys of The Benton Law Firm recognize that no amount of money can make up for your physical and emotional injuries after a traumatic event.
However, compensation can help pay your medical expenses and make up for lost wages. This can make your recovery just a little bit easier. Our legal team wants you to know that you are not in this alone. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators.
We fight hard for your right to compensation. Call our office today at (214) 777-7777 or contact us online for your free initial consultation and case evaluation. You will speak with one of our experienced lawyers, who will listen to the details of your case and answer your questions.
What Is Tailgating?
Drivers who tailgate follow the car in front of them too closely. The distance between two cars should be enough for the car in the rear to safely stop without hitting the car in front should the front car stop or veer unexpectedly.
Texas Transportation Code Section 545.062 regulates tailgating. Texas also has regulations in the transportation code about using audible warning devices; that is, the car horn. Operators can only use their horns to provide a warning and not for any other purpose.
Many times, a person will tailgate when they’re trying to make the driver in front drive faster or when they’re not paying attention to traffic. Tailgating is a nuisance and a danger. In some situations, a driver may tailgate because of road rage.
In all cases, it is best to avoid drivers who insist on tailgating to get their way. A reckless driver can make your life worse. Dealing with tailgaters can be scary. The first thing you should do is to stay calm and not let someone else’s annoying habits of honking their horn or flashing their lights get the best of you.
Keep your distance from people who are tailgating you by staying alert to the drivers behind you. Look for a way to avoid people who are tailgating by moving to the next lane and getting out of their way. If you’re on the highway, avoid using the emergency lane or the shoulder. This can create a hazardous condition for others in traffic.
When you’re on city streets, look for a parking lot or take the next available turn. Avoid brake checking the person behind you. This is when the driver in front slams on their brakes to surprise the car in the rear. This is an illegal move and can cause a rear-end collision. It is also considered a type of road rage, and people who brake check can be held accountable for their actions.
How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
After a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. However, insurance companies do not make the process of getting money from them easy. Instead, they often send an insurance adjuster to ask you questions.
These skilled negotiators may represent themselves as your friend. However, their job is to gather evidence that disproves your claim. You are within your rights to refuse to answer an adjuster’s questions until you have an attorney present.
An insurance adjuster may also make an initial settlement offer. These offers are probably not fair compensation for your injury. The adjuster may tell you that it is the first and only offer you will receive.
When insurance companies recognize that you are not working with an experienced personal injury attorney, they may try to take advantage of your inexperience. A low-ball settlement offer is one of the ways they may try to reduce their costs at your expense.
An experienced car accident attorney can investigate the car crash. They can also offer you an experienced estimate of how much your claim may be worth. Insurance companies have experienced attorneys working for them to protect their financial interests. You should have an accomplished and skilled attorney working for you, too.
Time Limit to File a Lawsuit
Every state has a limitation on the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time limit is outlined by the statute of limitations, and it varies from state to state. In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court. If you wait longer than two years, you may relinquish your right to seek justice and recover damages in court.
Common Injuries After a Tailgating Accident
Tailgating is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. If the front car suddenly stops, swerves, or runs over falling debris, the rear car does not have enough time to react. The result can be a severe accident, depending on the speed of the vehicle.
Even at low speeds, a rear-end collision can cause lifelong disability. Some of the common injuries that occur during a tailgating accident include:
Whiplash: During a rear-end collision, passengers in the vehicle can be thrown rapidly forward and backward. This movement of the head and neck can cause damage to the joints, tendons, muscles, and discs in the neck and upper back.
Even at low speed, a whiplash injury can be serious. In some cases, symptoms of whiplash may not show up for several hours or a day after the accident. Common symptoms include neck pain, reduced range of motion in the neck, headache, shoulders or upper back pain, and radiating weakness or numbness in the upper arms, shoulders, and hands.
Traumatic brain injury: A traumatic brain injury can occur if your head hits the steering wheel or any other solid object within the car. If your head is suddenly thrown forward and backward, it can also cause a brain shear injury, even if your head does not make contact. This occurs because the brain moves violently within the skull.
Lower leg and hip injuries: When you anticipate an accident, you may lock your knees and hips to brace against impact. This can cause ligament and tendon damage.
Upper extremity injury: Your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are susceptible to strains and fractures during impact or when the airbag deploys.
Catastrophic injury or death: A rear-end collision on the highway may cause the forward car to flip.
Types of Compensation Available
After a car accident that was not your fault, you may have questions about the type of compensation available. During negotiations with the insurance company, you may receive economic and non-economic damages in the settlement.
Economic damages are compensation for verifiable and objective costs. This could include medical expenses, lost wages, or future lost earnings. Non-economic damages are compensation for subjective costs such as disfigurement, pain and suffering, or a loss of enjoyment of life.
If negotiations with the insurance company are not successful, you may choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. If the court finds in your favor, you may be awarded economic and non-economic damages. In rare cases, the judge may also award punitive damages. This is not compensation for you but rather a punishment for the defendant for intentionally malicious behavior.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help Today
You want an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney at your side if you are involved in a tailgating car accident that was not your fault. You deserve aggressive legal counsel and representation to protect your right to fair compensation.
Contact our office today at (214) 777-7777 or contact us online to set up a free consultation and case evaluation. The legal team at The Benton Law Firm will fight hard to recover the compensation you deserve.