Rear End Collision Attorneys

Serving Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs & Lee’s Summit

Rear End AccidentsRear-end accidents are the most common type of car crash. In fact, the Missouri State Highway Patrol says that “following too closely” contributed to nearly 22,000 auto accidents in 2011 on the state’s roads.

At The Horn Law Firm, P.C., we have found that many of these accidents are caused by driver error. Speeding, distracted driving or drowsy driving can all lead to a driver simply being unable to stop in time to avoid crashing into the car in front.

When you are harmed by a negligent driver in a rear-end crash, it is important to contact a lawyer who has experience in handling motor vehicle accident cases. At The Horn Law Firm, P.C., we dedicate a major portion of our practice to helping car accident victims.

An attorney from our firm can make a significant difference in establishing fault for your rear-end crash, the nature and extent of your injuries and the past, present and future economic and non-economic damages you have suffered.

Ultimately, we can thoroughly review all insurance policies and coverage involved in your case. We can handle negotiations with the insurance company while you focus on recovering. Within the past two years, we have recovered more than $3.1 million dollars in “out-of-court” policy limit settlements on behalf of clients in Kansas City and throughout Missouri.

To schedule a free consultation with The Horn Law Firm, P.C., call us today or contact us online.

Rear-End Crashes and Whiplash

Whiplash injuries are closely connected to rear-end accidents. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden severe jerking motion in which the body is pushed forward­ by the impact of a rear-end accident. The head and neck momentarily stretch backward before snapping back into place. Whiplash tears muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs in the neck. The injury can leave a victim with chronic pain.

People experience whiplash differently. It is possible that symptoms of whiplash will not show up until 24 hours or longer after your rear-end accident.

The symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm and/or hand pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Sleep disturbance / fatigue
  • Irritability

Whiplash injuries ordinarily do not show up on X-rays. They are typically found with computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Patients with severe whiplash may need prescription pain relievers or injections. They may wear foam cervical collars to support and stabilize the injured neck, and they may be referred for physical therapy. Some victims of severe whiplash experience neck pain that persists with little or no relief.

Insurance adjusters tend to be very skeptical of claimants who complain of a neck or back injury following a rear-end accident, including whiplash. While they seldom deny the claim on the basis of fault (or liability), they will frequently deny claims because they do not believe the force of impact was sufficient enough to cause the injury.

In these cases, representation from The Horn Law Firm, P.C., can be vital. One of the ways we deal with this situation is to have an independent radiologist evaluate the post-collision X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. While X-rays may  appear to be “normal” because no fracture is present, a specialized radiologist can determine from the vertebral position whether there has been recent trauma. This evidence can demonstrate that your complaint squares with the X-ray evidence.

Why Didn’t the Other Driver Stop?

In addition to proving the extent of your injuries, The Horn Law Firm, P.C., will research police reports, witness statements, photographs and other evidence from the accident scene to determine fault in your crash. As we have seen in recent years, obtaining cell phone records can also play a key role in determining liability in rear-end accidents.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says that “inattention” was the probable contributing circumstance in 39,209 car crashes in 2011 – by far the most in any category. Inattention behind the wheel is known as “distracted driving.”

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. However, and for good reason, cell phone use is a particular concern.

A study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that drivers talking on cell phones are nearly twice as likely to have rear-end collisions as other drivers who are involved in crashes. Drivers involved in auto accidents while talking on cell phones most commonly follow too closely (tailgating), fail to reduce speed, run red lights, speed and fail to yield, the study found.

Our Lawyers Help Rear-End Accident Victims

If you are a driver or passenger suffering from whiplash or other injuries from a rear-end crash, you will have medical bills that may include hospitalization, imaging (CT or MRI scan) charges, medication and/or physical therapy. You may also have significant property damage to your vehicle and could be out of work for a long period of time.

If your rear-end crash was caused by the careless acts of another driver, you should not have to deal with these expenses on your own. Contact The Horn Law Firm, P.C. We can seek an insurance settlement that is appropriate for your injuries and losses.

We work with experts who can reconstruct your accident to determine what happened and medical experts who can assess and properly explain the extent of your injuries. We also work to calculate not only your past and current bills but also the impact your injuries may have on future expenses and your ability to earn a living.

If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, our lawyers will be prepared to take a strong and persuasive case to court on your behalf.

Our initial consultations are always free. We can meet in our office, your home or the hospital. Arrange a meeting today by calling our toll-free number or using our online form.