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Virginia Rear-ender Crashes – The Most Common Wrecks in the State

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Virginia Rear-ender Crashes – The Most Common Wrecks in the State

Virginia rear-ender crashes are the most common types of wreck we see in the Commonwealth. The rear-ender is caused by a driver behind you not paying enough attention and following too close.

As an experienced Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Virginia car accident attorney, I know from personal experience as well as seeing thousands of cases that being hit from behind is the way that most people get injured in a car collision.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) keeps statistics on crashes.  Obviously, there are patterns to how collisions unfold.

Virginia rear-ender crashes are common

Virginia rear-ender crashes are common

It is still amazing to me though how many wrecks occur while my client is simply sitting still, stopped at a red light on some major road like Independence Boulevard in Virginia Beach.  You would think that with the red-light cameras and the heavy traffic, motorists in the resort city would have figured out how to not hit the car in front of them.  Unfortunately, it happens all the time.

Another factor that has led to more Virginia rear-ender crashes and across the U.S. is the spike in distracted driving.  All of the electronic devices especially cell phones and texting have dramatically increased the number of incidents where one car slams into another.

The person at fault for rear-ending you may not necessarily be a young person just learning to drive.  All motorists are susceptible to hitting the car in front of them if they are not paying enough attention because they're distracted by talking on the phone or pushing buttons on a device.

Most people don't realize just how fast a car is moving in terms of time and distance.  At 60 miles-an-hour a vehicle is traveling at about 100 feet per second.  Even the fastest texter is taking their eyes off the road to text for a couple seconds at a time.  If you've gone a football field in that time the chances are that you are going to have a hard time preventing a wreck.

From the personal injury lawyer's perspective and that of the victim, it’s usually easy to prove who was at-fault in a rear-ender.

If you're sitting still at the light on Princess Anne Road and somebody hits you from behind it's pretty clearly their fault.

However, even in rear-end cases, the insurance companies fight like heck.  They won't even admit the fault of the rear-ending driver until the very end of the case.  They have no reason. The court system is set up to take responsibility and do the right thing before trial.

Often the at-fault driver or his or her insurance defense lawyer will dream up some often ridiculous reason for claiming that maybe it wasn't really carelessness on the part of the rear-ending driver.  I've even heard insurance defense lawyers try to claim that the fact that it was raining is enough reason to not put fault on the driver who hit the back of another car.

I guess they don't think that all drivers should recognize the road conditions right in front of them or somehow fooled by something unexpected like rain.

Although Virginia rear-ender crashes are typically less extreme then head-on and side-on crashes, they can cause very serious injuries or prove fatal. In a recent case I handed, a van driver was killed when he was rear ended by a box truck. The family of the van driver was awarded $1.5 million in a wrongful death settlement.

If you or a loved one has been killed in a rear-ender crash, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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