Rear-End Collisions

These types of vehicle crashes are the most common and can cause disabling and fatal injuries. Accident victims may be unaware that another vehicle is coming from behind or may be unable to get out of the way because of physical barriers like other vehicles or guardrails. In most Missouri rear-end collisions, it’s the driver of the vehicle who strikes from behind who’s responsible for the accident.

Missouri rear-end accidents are often caused by distracted young drivers at intersections and busy roads

There are many potential causes of rear-end accidents, some more common than others. Austroads, an organization of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic agencies, published a study of rear-end accidents in 2015. It found that…

  • A quarter of rear-end accidents result in serious or fatal injuries.
  • Distracted, younger and male drivers are at greater risk of being the striking driver in a rear-end crash (as they are in all other types of crashes).
  • Older and female drivers have a bigger chance of suffering more serious injuries.
  • Larger vehicles have a greater chance of striking another vehicle and being struck. If a larger truck strikes a smaller vehicle, the vehicle will probably be damaged more severely.
  • Rear-end collision risk is highest on highly trafficked, high-speed roads and at intersections.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2008 published a report about rear-end collisions based on facts gathered from 7,024 accidents and near-accidents in the U.S. It stated:

  • Rear-end crashes are the most frequent type of collision — about 29% of all vehicle crashes — and they cause a substantial number of injuries and fatalities annually.
  • Most of the rear-end crashes (59%) involved a stopped lead vehicle, while 22% involved a lead vehicle that was slowing down.
  • Failing or delaying in responding to a vehicle stopped or slowing down is generally due to distraction, specifically looking at the wrong thing at the wrong time.
  • About 87% of rear-end crashes involved some form or degree of driver distraction. An estimated 64% of crash-involved drivers were looking away from the road for more than two seconds before the crash.

Rear-end collisions often result in fatalities, according to 2016 statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. There were 67 fatal rear-end accidents in the state that year. There were also 11,490 such accidents causing injuries. These types of accidents were the most common that year, accounting for 43% of all accidents. The estimated total number of rear-end accidents in Missouri in 2016 was 49,684 or about 136 daily.

Your injuries from a Missouri rear-end accident can vary on cause and severity


What kind of injuries you and your passengers may suffer depend on a number of factors including…

  • Whether you’re wearing seatbelts or not and whether air bags effectively deploy
  • How much force the striking vehicle puts into your vehicle, depending on its size and speed
  • The angle at which the other vehicle strikes you
  • Whether the collision starts a vehicle fire
  • Whether you’re older, more physically frail or suffer from an already existing injury or medical condition.

Injuries from a rear-end crash can range from minor to permanently disabling to fatal. They include:

  • Whiplash and soft tissue injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries.

Missouri rear-end accident negligence law

Personal injury cases are generally based on state law (though federal laws may be involved if you’re rear-ended by a commercial truck) and on the theory of negligence. For you to be successful in such a case, you would need to carry the burden of proving that it’s more likely than not that …

  • The defendant owed you a legal duty or obligation to do or refrain from doing something and generally act as a reasonable person.
  • That duty or obligation was breached when the other party acted negligently by doing or not doing something.
  • That breach is the factual and legal cause of the accident and resulting injuries.
  • Under state law you should be compensated for those injuries and harm done.

Under Missouri law, your award in such a case would be reduced by whatever share of blame you’re found to have for causing the accident. If a jury finds that you made mistakes and they make up 30% of the blame for the accident, your award would be cut by 30%.

Generally, if you’re struck by another vehicle from behind, it’s clear evidence the other driver was at fault. He or she is obligated to drive in a reasonably safe manner, not go too fast for conditions, pay attention and be able to stop the vehicle in time to prevent a collision. However, if you cut in front of the striking vehicle or otherwise do something sudden, stupid and illegal in front of the striking vehicle, you may be the one at fault, not the other driver.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a rear-end collision involving injuries, contact a qualified attorney quickly. We will be able to give you the best representation possible when we get involved with your case early on. If you have questions or would like to discuss your case with an experienced attorney, contact us at Bley & Evans Attorneys at Law today by calling 573-443-8385. We look forward to working with you.

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Columbia Rear-End Collisions Lawyers | Bley & Evans