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New York Rear End Accident Lawyer

With approximately 29% of the crashes being rear-ended car accidents, there are a considerable number of injuries and fatalities each year. With over 25 years of experience, our rear-end accident lawyers at The Ward Law Group are qualified to represent you to get the fairest compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a rear-end car accident, seek the highest level representation at The Ward Law Group. In the following article, you will get to know everything related to this type of accident, what exactly is, and all the potential risks, difficulties, and outcomes, keep reading.

What is a Rear End Accident?

Rear-end collisions are the type of accidents where the lead vehicle is stopped or moving very slowly, more common places are at a stop sign, red traffic light, or entering a principal road. Following the lead car comes the second vehicle involved that hit its front, the behind part of the lead car.

Most of the time, people think that in this type of accident, the lead car that receives the impact on its behind wins the case. Still, it is not always like that. Sometimes, both drivers can share responsibility due to the pure comparative negligence rule that the New York state abides by.

The Comparative Negligence rule may apply to rear-end car accidents because not always, the driver who hits the behind-lead car is fully at fault. Sometimes, drivers fail to repair the broken lights of their cars, which will affect them negatively and most likely cause an accident.

Another scenario that may occur in which the car that receives the impact can provoke the rear-end accident is when they suddenly change from one lane to another, making a driver who goes in the next lane impact the behind of the first one.

How to Determine Fault in Rear-End Crashes

Determining fault in a rear-end accident may be complicated and require an expert to prove with evidence in a trial. The defendant may apply smart tactics to disallow the plaintiff's arguments.

Every driver must proceed with a basic duty of care for others on the road. This includes avoiding tailgating, which is basically having enough distance between one car and another. A good rule of thumb for avoiding tailgating is that the back tires of the car in front of you must be visible to you as a driver.

There are also other reasons why these accidents may occur; we will discuss those below. But first, we need to know the comparative negligence rule.

Comparative Negligence in New York

The comparative negligence rule can be applied in personal injury claims in multiple areas, and of course, the rear-end accident is one of them. Here, I will show you the elements of comparative negligence.

Owed a Duty of Care

In this element, the objective is to determine if a duty was owed to foreseeable victims. Both drivers involved in the accident had a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws. This duty includes maintaining a safe distance, being attentive, and driving reasonably.

We want to see how the individual provided a level of care under comparable circumstances that aligns with what a reasonably prudent person would do.

Breach of Duty

If the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle was distracted and that was the main factor for the accident they may have breached their duty of care by not paying attention and failing to stop in time to avoid the collision.


Following the example, if it can be established that the driver's distraction and failure to stop in time were the primary causes of the accident, there is a clear link between their negligence and the resulting harm.

There are 2 types of causation:

  • The actual cause in which the negligent behavior directly causes the car accident and injuries associated with it.
  • The proximate cause is when, later on, the victims need therapy to help with traumatic stress.


The last element of comparative negligence is the damages. The court or relevant authority would assign percentages of fault to each driver based on their respective contributions to the accident. For example, if the rear-ending driver is found 70% at fault and the other driver 30% at fault, damages would be apportioned accordingly.

Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents

We have previously discussed some of the causes of rear-end accidents, and here we will dive into it.


This is a form of reckless driving. Not keeping a safe distance from the car in front of you is dangerous since it is proven that a regular person's time reaction if they have their eyes on the road it is on average 1 second, and if on top of that, you add a high speed, it becomes even more dangerous.

Distracted Driving

Multiple ways of being distracted while driving exist, some of them are texting, talking on the phone, eating, arguing with a passenger, and searching for objects in the back seat, these distractions can lead to diminishing time reactions and failure to notice slowing or stopped traffic ahead.


Driving above the speed limit or too fast when the road conditions are adverse will make it harder for a driver to stop if an unexpected event occurs.


Fatigue happens and has provoked over 2 thousand fatalities in recent years. Also, diving into thoughts while driving can make the driver lose focus on what is in front of them.

Sudden Stops

A variety of reasons why people suddenly stop on a highway or road like an animal crossing the street, a little child without supervision, a dangerous object coming, or even another car driving in the wrong direction may be valid reasons, that is why every driver must pay full attention to the road.

Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions make the roads a bit dangerous due to the water or ice over the pavement which makes it lose friction between the road and the tire, that is why is recommended to slow down when there are bad weather conditions.

Faulty Brake Lights

We have talked about the hypothetical scenario in which the car that was hit was in part liable for the accident because there were broken lights on it.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive behaviors like frequent lane changes or weaving through traffic can increase the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

Common Injuries from Rear-End Accidents

The most common injuries from rear-end accidents are:

Spinal-Cord Injuries

They can be either complete or incomplete spinal cord injuries, both of them are very delicate injuries though. Due to the sudden back-and-forth movement provoked by the impact, the spinal cord may suffer.

The symptoms of spinal cord injuries can be

  • Difficulty breathing or coughing.
  • Spinal pain or pressure.
  • Tingling or numbness.
  • Muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes.
  • Loss of sensation or motor function below the injury site.
  • Paralysis or weakness in limbs


Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. It happens when the head and neck are forcefully jerked backward and then forward, causing strain and damage to the soft tissue of the neck.

When a person suffers from a whiplash injury, they may experience neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.

It is valid to mention that there are cars without headrests on their seats, and that makes them even more dangerous for passengers and drivers when they get into a rear-end collision.

Head and Brain Injuries

This type of injury will depend on how severe the crash was; it can go from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). It may result in cognitive impairment, memory loss, headaches, and other neurological symptoms.

Facial Injuries

If the crash is hard enough to impulse the driver to hit their face on the steering wheel, they can sustain facial injuries, too.

Chest and Rib Injuries

Even though the seat belt can save your life, it is also the reason why drivers and passengers may sustain chest contusions, fractured ribs, and internal injuries to organs such as the lungs or heart due to the force of the impact.

Psychological Trauma

As in many other accidents, rear-end accidents are prone to generate psychological trauma to the victims, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression.  

How Common Are Rear-End Accidents in NYC?

As we mentioned before, rear-end accidents account for an estimated 29% of all crashes per year. That is a significant number of accidents, and more victims are added to those numbers.

The most recent statistics as of May 2023 for accidents occurring in New York State due to the causes related to rear-end accidents are:

  • Tailgating
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Inattentiveness
  • Sudden stops
  • Weather conditions
  • Faulty brake lights
  • Aggressive driving

Shows the total number of 4,410 accidents, demonstrating a rise in these accidents.

New York Rear-End Accident Attorney

To recover the expenses of your loss due to a car accident in New York, you must count on an experienced rear-end accident attorney to represent you and get the fairest rear-ended car accident settlement.

The Ward Law Group has a compromise of servicing the community because we know how difficult it is to deal with severe injuries and not to be able to seek what you are entitled to. Call us now at 855-DOLOR-55, and one of our lawyers will answer your questions without receiving any payment or commitment from your side; we want to help you get back on your feet. Contact us now for a free case consultation!