Car accidents are common on Minnesota’s roads and highways, and rear-end collisions are among the most frequent. Despite being one of the most preventable types of car accidents, these collisions can still result in serious injuries, property damage, and other losses.
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in Minnesota, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Here you can learn about some key factors involved in rear-end collisions in Minnesota, including common causes, types of injuries, and legal options for those injured.
Whether you are a driver or, passenger involved in a rear-end collision, understanding your legal rights and options can be critical in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
We also encourage you to contact our Minnesota rear-end car accident lawyers at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, immediately after an accident so we can work to protect your rights.
Rear-End Accident Statistics for Minnesota
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, rear-end collisions are one of the state’s most common types of motor vehicle accidents. Here are some statistics related to rear-end accidents in Minnesota:
- In 2020, there were 18,324 rear-end crashes reported in Minnesota, accounting for 22.4% of all crashes.
- In 2020, rear-end accidents caused 6,914 injuries in Minnesota, accounting for 30.6% of all injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
- Drivers aged 16-25 are the most likely to be involved in rear-end accidents in Minnesota, followed by drivers aged 26-35 and 36-45.
- Distracted driving, speeding, and following too closely are the most common factors contributing to rear-end accidents in Minnesota.
- According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, rear-end accidents can be reduced by leaving adequate following distance, reducing speed, and avoiding distractions while driving.
These statistics highlight the prevalence and impact of rear-end accidents in Minnesota.
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Minnesota
Rear-end accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents in Minnesota include the following:
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of rear-end accidents in Minnesota, and it can take many forms, such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio.
- Tailgating: When drivers follow too closely behind the vehicle in front of them, they are at a higher risk of rear-ending that vehicle.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces the time a driver has to react to changes in traffic, increasing the risk of rear-end accidents.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers and newly licensed drivers, may lack the skills and experience to anticipate and avoid rear-end accidents.
- Intoxicated or Impaired Driving: Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to cause rear-end accidents due to impaired judgment and reaction time.
- Road Conditions: Poor road conditions, such as wet or icy roads, can increase the risk of rear-end accidents due to reduced traction and longer stopping distances.
Understanding the common causes of rear-end accidents can help drivers take preventative measures to avoid them.
Common Injuries Seen in Rear-End Accidents
Several types of injuries can occur in rear-end accidents. The types of injuries sustained depend on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the position of the occupants in the vehicles, and the use of seat belts and airbags.
Some common injuries seen in rear-end accidents include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end accidents that occurs when the head and neck are suddenly forced forward and then backward, causing damage to the soft tissue in the neck.
- Back and Spinal Injuries: Rear-end accidents can also result in back and spinal injuries, including herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and fractures.
- Head Injuries: Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, can occur from sudden acceleration/deceleration, or when the head strikes an object, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or window.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones can occur in rear-end accidents due to the force of the impact or from striking a body part on something.
- Internal Injuries: Internal injuries, such as organ damage and internal bleeding, can occur when the body is subjected to extreme forces or from the seatbelt.
- Psychological Injuries: Rear-end accidents can also cause psychological injuries, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a rear-end accident, even if you do not immediately feel pain or symptoms. Many injuries may not become apparent until hours or days after the accident.
How to Prove Liability in a Minnesota Rear-End Accident
Minnesota drivers must maintain a safe distance between vehicles and operate them in a manner that allows them to stop or avoid collisions with other vehicles safely. When a rear-end accident occurs, the driver who strikes the vehicle in front of them is typically presumed to be at fault for the accident. They had a duty to maintain a safe following distance, keep a proper look out, and avoid colliding with the vehicle in front of them.
However, there may be circumstances where the vehicle’s rear-ended driver may be partially or fully at fault for the accident. For example, if the driver suddenly slammed on their brakes for no reason or their brake lights malfunctioned, they may be found partially or fully at fault for the accident.
To prove liability in a Minnesota rear-end accident, the following steps can be taken:
Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and the location of the vehicles after the accident. Collect the contact information of any witnesses.
Call the Police or Law Enforcement
Call the police at the accident scene and have them file a report. The police report will contain important information about the accident, including the names and contact information of the drivers involve and, any witnesses, the location of the accident, a description of the accident, and what factors caused or contributed to the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident, even if they seem minor. This will create a paper trail of your injuries, and also allow you to get the appropriate medical treatment.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
After a rear-end accident, you need to stay calm and take steps to protect yourself and your right to recover compensation. You can do this by consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence, navigate the legal process, and negotiate with insurance companies to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in Your Rear-End Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a rear-end accident in Minnesota, you may be entitled to recover various types of damages from the at-fault driver. These damages can include the following:
- Medical Expenses: You may be entitled to recover the cost of medical treatment for your injuries, including emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, and medication.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to recover lost wages for the time you were unable to work. This can include both past and future lost wages.
- Property Damage: You may be entitled to recover the cost of repairing your vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle if it has been totaled. You can also recover the fair market value of any other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental suffering caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Loss of Consortium: If the accident has injured your marital relationship with your spouse, your spouse may be entitled to recover damages for loss of companionship, support, and services.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. These punish the at-fault driver for their reckless actions, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
To recover damages in a rear-end accident claim, working with our Minnesota rear-end car accident lawyers is important. We can help you build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.
Let Our Minnesota Rear End Car Accident Lawyers Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, our attorneys are committed to helping clients recover the compensation they deserve after a rear-end accident.
Our attorneys understand the complexities of Minnesota’s personal injury laws and can help you navigate the legal process to ensure that your rights are protected. We will work tirelessly to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have about the legal process. If we take on your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Don’t let a rear-end car accident disrupt your life. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our helpful personal injury attorneys.