Most drivers have experienced this common scenario: you’re driving down the street when you notice the vehicle behind you following you too closely. This situation can make you feel upset, stressed, and frustrated as you realize how easily tailgating can cause an accident – and in many cases, it does.
If you’ve been the victim of a tailgating accident, do not hesitate to speak to a car accident attorney. The lawyers at The Joel Bieber Firm are ready to speak with you.
What is Tailgating?
Tailgating is often a form of negligent or aggressive driving. When a driver tailgates you, they’re not leaving a sufficient distance between your vehicles.
In many states, following vehicles at an unsafe distance is actually against the law because tailgating increases the chances of an accident.
Tailgating is dangerous for multiple reasons, but it regularly causes collisions because the tailgating vehicle does not have enough room to stop in case the car in front makes a sudden and necessary stop.
While tailgating is a common occurrence on the road, it creates an unsafe environment for others sharing the road.
Why Do Drivers Tailgate?
Drivers frequently engage in tailgating for many reasons, some of the most common being:
- Traffic: Drivers often tailgate as a way to “beat” traffic, as they’ll weave in and out of lanes and follow cars closely to move along quicker
- Road Rage: Road rage produces aggressive driving behaviors, like following vehicles too closely
- Running Late: When an individual is running behind schedule, they’re more likely to drive irresponsibly in hopes of getting to their destination faster
- Distracted Driving: When a driver is distracted, they’re not paying sufficient attention to the road, which may result in tailgating
- Driving Under the Influence: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol usually results in unsafe driving maneuvers, like following vehicles closely
- Habit: Some drivers simply have no regard for other drivers on the road, making it a habit to partake in risky driving behaviors, like tailgating
No matter what, there is never a justified reason to tailgate. Not only do tailgating drivers put others at risk, but they also endanger themselves. Additionally, they open themselves up to civil liability and legal repercussions.
Accidents Resulting from Tailgating
Collisions can occur in several ways, but the most common type of crash resulting from tailgating is a rear-end accident.
Rear-end collisions occur when the driver in the back crashes into the rear part of the vehicle in front of them. These wrecks can cause extensive damage and significant injury to both parties. Additionally, rear-end accidents can result in multi-car collisions.
When a rear-end collision occurs, blame is almost always placed on the rear driver. This is because, in many cases, the rear driver’s unsafe driving is the cause of a rear-end accident.
While the finger is often pointed at the rear driver, you can likely expect pushback from the insurance company with the intention of placing the blame on you. For example, the rear driver could state you negligently pressed on your brakes, causing the rear-end collision.
Not only are rear-end collisions troubling, but you may also have to deal with a legal battle to prove the rear driver was at fault due to tailgating.
Proving Liability for Tailgating Accidents
To prove the rear driver is liable for your accident, you’ll need to have sufficient proof. Examples of strong evidence could include:
- Surveillance footage
- Traffic cam footage
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical records
Depending on your circumstances, evidence can be difficult to get. However, an experienced car accident attorney can take the necessary steps to obtain evidence to strengthen your case and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Damages for Tailgating Accidents
If you are a victim of tailgating accidents, you may be left to deal with property damage and significant injuries. When another person is at fault for your collision, it’s only fair to seek financial compensation to help cover costs and losses.
Car accident damages can compensate you for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are easily provable and directly related to your crash, including:
- Medical expenses
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, relate to intangible losses stemming from your accident. They can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
In some cases, punitive damages may be available. These damages are reserved for cases involving actions from the defendant that could be deemed intentional, reckless, or malicious.
Calculating your damages is critical to ensure you get full and fair compensation. A car accident attorney can examine the details of your case and important factors to determine how much your case is worth. Once you understand your case’s value, you can pursue the monetary recovery you’re owed.
Get Help from a Skilled Car Accident Attorney
Getting legal guidance from a qualified car accident lawyer is crucial for tailgating accidents. Because claims for tailgating collisions can be difficult to navigate, having an attorney on your side can give you the peace of mind you need while they take on your case.
A personal injury lawyer can handle the most vital parts of your collision claim, including:
- Thoroughly investigating your crash
- Gathering pertinent evidence and documentation
- Communicating with the insurance companies
- Filing your personal injury lawsuit
- Attempting to settle your case outside the courtroom
- Representing you until your case resolves
The legal team at The Joel Bieber Law Firm understands the intricacies of tailgating accident cases. In our many years of experience, we’ve handled countless car wreck cases and worked hard to get our clients the resolution they need. We want to help you pursue justice and compensation for the wrongs done unto you.
Contact our firm today to schedule your complimentary consultation.