Rear End Collisions

There are generally two (2) requirements necessary in order to prevail for monetary damages in a pain and suffering accident case.

Firstly, someone else must be at fault. A good example of an accident where someone else is at fault is when one vehicle rear ends a second vehicle. Typical scenarios are when one vehicle is stopped in traffic, or for a red light, and an inattentive driver collides with a vehicle just ahead. Other typical situations where someone else is at fault is when a driver proceeds through a red light or stop sign and collides with another vehicle which has the right of way.

The second requirement necessary to prevail in a pain and suffering accident case are injuries that are causally related to the accident. Most times injuries can be easily determined on the scene by emergency first responders, and then in the emergency room and subsequently with treating physicians.

If someone else is at fault, or negligent, and the negligence is the cause of the injuries, then in most instances the injured person is entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering.

The determination as to who is at fault, or liability, is many times contested. Accidents at uncontrolled intersections, without traffic lights or stop signs, or conflicting eyewitness testimony as to how the accident occurred, can result in a contested case. In these situations, a determination must be made as to who is at fault, or liability, by a fact finder such as an arbitrator or jury.

In certain instances, injuries may be contested as not caused by the accident, or pre-existing. Pre-existing injuries may, however, be aggravated by an accident, and as such, are compensable.

A recent case which illustrates the above recently occurred in Monmouth County wherein a fifty eight (58) year old driver was struck in the rear when stopped in traffic on Route 36. This particular driver had a long prior history of pre-existing neck pain. The driver had prior chiropractic care up until the time of the accident, however the trauma to the prior neck injuries resulted in neck herniations.

Liability was clear in that the driver was hit from behind. The injuries were new and consisted of aggravation of pre-existing conditions with herniations and the driver was able to receive a $300,000.00 policy limit recovery from the at fault driver who rear ended the injured person.

Liability and injuries are usually the two (2) prime considerations in determining monetary compensation for pain and suffering accidents.