“Tailgating” may conjure up images of a pregame party, but in the context of driving, the word means something else entirely. Tailgating is the colloquial term that describes driving too closely to the car in front of you. Those who do it risk causing rear-end collisions, or as some call it- “tailgating accidents.”
Tailgating is a traffic violation that is responsible for one of the most common types of accidents on the road, and Texas courts take these accidents seriously. If you have been injured in a tailgating accident in and around Fort Worth, you may be entitled to compensation. Protect your rights by seeking legal counsel as soon after the accident as possible. The personal injury lawyers of Patterson Law Group are standing by and eager to help. Call now for a free consultation with a Forth Worth tailgating lawyer and tell us what happened to you.
Texas Traffic Laws on Tailgating
Texas Law is very clear in condemning tailgating. Section 545.062 of the Texas Transportation Code says that a driver following another vehicle “shall maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles.” The distance must be sufficient to assure that, considering speed, traffic, and road conditions, both vehicles can safely come to a stop. Yet, drivers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex are famous for aggressive driving and coming in hot behind the car in the front of them. Our roads are some of the most heavily trafficked roads in the country, and violations of the law are difficult to enforce unless the tailgating leads to a serious accident.
Common Causes of Tailgating Accidents
While traffic is a common cause of tailgating, congestion is not solely to blame. Driver behavior plays a significant role. With cell phone use, texting, and in-car computer screens, driver distraction is at an all-time high; another major contributor to tailgating.
Other causes of rear-end collisions include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield
- Road rage impulsivity
Common Injuries Stemming from Tailgating accidents
Whiplash is a common complaint among those who’ve been struck from behind. This neck injury is due to the sudden, severe jerking motion that comes with the forceful impact of the collision. The faster the car is traveling is directly related to the severity of the injury. The weight of the vehicle also plays a role. Trucks can cause extensive damage even to a large SUV.
Other common car accident injuries include shoulder and low back pain, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, bruising, and swelling. Injuries such as these may not show up for a few days, so it is important to monitor your body. If you begin to experience pain, see a doctor to make sure that the pain is not symptomatic of a serious problem.
More serious injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises and lacerations
- Seatbelt injuries
Is there a time limit to file a claim?
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code provides only two years to file a claim for a personal injury in the state of Texas, with the clock starting the day of the accident. If a person dies as a result of the injury, then the two years begins at the date of death. Two years may seem like a long time, but it goes by in a blink. Recall, party availability, witness testimony, and other evidence is most reliable in the days and weeks following the accident. It is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon after the tailgating accident as possible.
File a Tailgating Lawsuit
Fort Worth tailgating victims are wrong to jump to conclusions and assume that filing a lawsuit for your injuries isn’t worth the effort. You may be tempted to file a claim on your own, or to resolve the matter quickly with the insurance company for the driver who rear-ended you. But filing a claim on your own takes considerably greater effort. And what if you get a lowball settlement offer? If you do settle, do you know that you essentially waive any legal rights you may have had? Remember: no matter how polite the lawyer for the other driver may be, that person does not represent your interests. Insurers will do everything they can to save money.
When you retain your own lawyer in the aftermath of a rear-end collision, they will conduct the negotiations. They will include in those meetings any questions of liability and other legalities that may very well yield a much higher offer without even going to trial. It is wise not to settle for less than what you deserve. Instead, call the Patterson Law Group and see how we can help.
Talk to a Tailgating Accident Lawyer at Patterson Law Group
Patterson Law Group’s car accident practice has dealt with our fair share of the Fort Worth area’s tailgating accidents and rear-end collisions. Our team of lawyers, investigators, crash experts, and medical professionals offer the full suite of services that each one of our injured clients deserves. Together, we will build your case by gathering evidence to prove the key elements of the claim. We will calculate your past and future medical bills, lost income and future lost earnings , and your pain and suffering to pursue a fair award of damages.
Contact us today to see how we can help. The consultation is free, there is no obligation to proceed, and we receive no fees unless we win compensation on your behalf