Tailgating by motorists is a major cause of traffic accidents. The operator of any type of vehicle can be guilty of tailgating, whether it is a passenger vehicle, big truck, motorcycle rider or others. Tailgating occurs when a vehicle comes too closely behind the one in front of it. It is a common cause of rear-end collisions, with about one-third contributed to tailgating. Even at low-speed collisions such as a rear-end crash at an intersection, serious injuries can occur.
For immediate help after an accident with a large truck or commercial vehicle, call (800) 991-5292.
David Azizi – Los Angeles Tailgating Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
Tailgating can end in traumatic injuries. With California’s crowded highways, tailgating is a common sight. Over the past 22 years, semi-truck accident attorney David Azizi has helped numerous clients obtain the compensation they deserve in hit-from-behind crashes. Los Angeles residents know that David will use the latest in investigative techniques to determine how the accident occurred, interview witnesses and obtain CCTV camera footage. He uses this data to build a strong case against the negligent party. Call David to set up a free case review. He will examine the case to provide you with your options going forward. You can also reach him online if this is easier for you.
Reasons Tailgating Occurs
Tailgating often happens unconsciously because the driver doing it does not realize that it is a dangerous practice. Some of those people believe they are safe drivers and obey other traffic laws. Aggressive drivers and those exhibiting road rage may do it consciously as a means of intimidating other motorists. Others may not realize that it is a traffic infraction. Under California Vehicle Code Section § 21703, a motorist must exhibit prudent and reasonable behavior behind the wheel of a vehicle. A ticket in California for following too closely can cost a driver more than $200 and cause a large increase in insurance rates.
Tailgating by Big Rigs and Pedestrian Vehicles
A tailgating accident with a big rig often causes severe injuries and fatalities. Because a big rig can weigh up to 80,000 and is much larger and higher, the incidence of underride and override accidents increases. An underride accident happens when a big rig such as a tractor-trailer stops suddenly, and the vehicle behind it passes underneath. An override accident happens when a motor vehicle stops short and the big rig passes over it. In either instance, the smaller vehicle may be crushed, which often results in fatalities of its occupants.
Passenger vehicles may be much smaller, but a rear-end collision with one can still cause serious injuries, including the following:
- Whiplash: Cervical strain or sprain is the most common type of injury caused by a rear-end collision. Although intersections are where most injuries of these types occur, they can also happen anywhere, especially when highway traffic suddenly slows and the driver behind doesn’t realize it. Although many cases of whiplash resolve within several months, others may turn into a chronic condition that lasts for years.
- Injuries Caused by the Airbag or Seat Belt: These devices, which are meant to protect the vehicle’s occupants, can themselves cause injuries. Broken bones, facial lacerations and other types of injuries are common. If the seat belt or airbag is defective, it can malfunction, which causes even more severe injuries.
- Brain and Head Injuries: Head injuries after a rear-end collision may be minor to life-changing or end up causing a fatality. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year. Initial symptoms may appear right away or be delayed and include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Behavioral changes
- Problems speaking
- Chronic fatigue
- Vision problems
- Spinal Cord Trauma: Back injuries of many types can result from a rear-end collision. They may include damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons. The most serious involve trauma to the spinal cord. The degree of injury depends on the affected area and severity of the trauma. Partial or complete paralysis may ensue following some rear-end collisions.
- Chest Trauma: The seat belt can cause broken ribs, bruising to the heart and puncture to a lung as a result of a rear-end collision. Damage may be worse if the occupant of the vehicle is not wearing a seat restraint. Chest trauma is particularly serious and can result in loss of life.
- Broken Bones: Any bones in the body can be broken in a traffic collision. They may range from simple breaks to compound fractures. Although a simple break will heal in about six weeks, more complex fractures may require surgical repair. More serious injuries such as a fractured hip, joint or spine may result in life-long disability and require multiple surgeries to repair as well as an extended recovery period.
- Abdominal Trauma: Abdominal trauma may be life-threatening. Pain and distention may be the first symptoms; however, those symptoms may be delayed and build over time. Internal bleeding may occur as well as organ damage. The spleen is often affected, as well as the intestines. Emergency surgery may be necessary to discover where internal bleeding is coming from and to make repairs to injured organs.
Seeing a Physician Right Away
The importance of seeing a physician right away after being involved in a rear-end accident cannot be stressed enough. Adrenalin floods the body when an accident occurs, and this can mask or delay any injury symptoms. By going to the emergency room or seeing the family physician right away, it helps to document your involvement in an accident. In addition, the physician is trained to detect injuries that you or your loved one may miss. Having documentation can help if you or a family member turns out to be injured and places a claim for compensation from the negligent party.
How a Los Angeles Truck Tailgating Accident Law Firm Can Help
A lawyer with experience in handling rear-end collisions can be of great help when it comes to proving that negligence caused your collision injuries. The lawyer begins by examining existing evidence in the case from checking for inaccuracies in the police report to interviewing witnesses. Then the lawyer conducts their own investigation. This can include going to the accident site and conducting reconstruction of the collision.
Reconstruction involves looking for road marks such as potholes, upheavals and other problems such as foliage or non-working traffic lights that may have contributed to the accident. In many cases, video cameras at street corners or nearby businesses may have captured the collision on film. After gathering all the available evidence, the lawyer can negotiate for you with the insurance company. If the insurance company is unwilling to pay what you need and deserve, he or she can prepare a strong case to present in civil court.
Free Case Review with The Law Offices of David Azizi
David wins 98 percent of his cases with a mix of investigative skills, legal acumen and diligence. The legal ranking firm Super Lawyers has called David one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles year after year. His clients agree. Call him as soon as possible after an accident, so he can review your case. You’ll be able to hear an estimate of what your case is worth. The case review is free. Once you retain David, you won’t pay a thing until he wins your case.
Call (800) 991-5292 to get started.