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California Rear-End Accident Lawyers

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common car accidents on California roads and highways. Even minor accidents can result in injuries. It’s important to remember that you have legal rights if someone else’s negligence caused the collision. Let skilled California rear-end accident attorneys at Silva Injury Law help protect your rights if you or someone you love sustained injuries in a rear-end accident. Silva Injury Law can help you identify all responsible parties and file a claim to recover compensation for your damages.

What Is A Rear-End Accident?

A rear-end accident happens when the vehicle immediately behind you hits your car. Some rear-end collisions involve more than two vehicles. Auto manufacturers are always designing vehicles to withstand a more significant impact, but injuries still occur. Some collisions result in minor physical damage to a vehicle, but the vehicle occupants still sustain soft tissue injuries.

Common Causes Of Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents can happen for any number of reasons. Some of the most common causes we see in rear-end accident claims include the following.


One of the most common causes of rear-end accidents is following too closely. California Vehicle Code 21703 says that vehicles that don’t follow at a safe speed are guilty of tailgating. The law doesn’t specify how close is too close, but you shouldn’t follow a vehicle closer than is reasonable and prudent. Defining what’s reasonable and prudent depends on several different factors, including:

  • The speed of the vehicles,
  • Weather conditions,
  • Road conditions,
  • Stopping distances, and
  • Other relevant factors.

Keeping a safe distance is essential. Should someone rear-end you and you’re following too close to the vehicle in front, the impact might push you into that vehicle.

Distracted Driving

Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction. Many people think about texting and driving, but many other potential distractions exist. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Checking the GPS or paper directions,
  • Talking to vehicle occupants,
  • Eating or drinking something while driving,
  • Trying to apply makeup,
  • Changing music or a radio station, and
  • Checking on children in the back seat.

Distracted drivers put everyone at risk when they are not paying attention to traffic and their surroundings. Even looking away for a split second could cause a rear-end collision if the vehicle follows too closely.

Reckless Driving

Drivers speeding, running traffic signals, and trying to race other vehicles can also cause a rear-end collision. Often these accidents involve major structural damage and significant injuries because of the high rate of speed.

Road Rage and Fraud

Not all rear-end accidents involve negligence. Some of these collisions are intentional. In a road rage situation, you might have someone slam on the brakes in front of you so that you will crash into them. When someone is driving dangerously and trying to cause an accident deliberately, it’s even more important to leave significant space or leave the road if possible.

Some rear-end collisions are staged and part of large-scale fraud rings. One of the most common is the “swoop-and-squat.” One criminal drives the swoop car, and another drives the squat car. The squat vehicle pulls in front of you, and the swoop car pulls in front of the squat vehicle, causing the squat car to hit its brakes. The hope is you rear-end the squat vehicle, and the swoop car takes off, so you look guilty of tailgating. An even more complex version of this involves three vehicles driven by criminals.

Common Injuries Associated With Rear-End Accidents

Numerous injuries can occur in a rear-end accident, even a minor collision. If you suffered injuries in a rear-end collision caused by someone else, our California rear-end accident lawyers could help you pursue compensation.

Some of the most common injuries associated with rear-end accidents are as follows.


Whiplash happens in a rear-end accident because your head snaps back and forth during the crash. Hyper-extending your neck can cause significant pain and stiffness. However, you might not feel it immediately after the accident. Sometimes it can take one or two days before you start feeling it. A few of the potential symptoms of whiplash can include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness,
  • Pain that worsens when you move your neck,
  • Headaches that start at the base of your skull,
  • Fatigue,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Tingling or numbness in one or both arms,
  • Memory problems or difficulties concentrating,
  • Ringing in the ears,
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck, and
  • Depression.

For some victims, whiplash will resolve on its own. Other people might have chronic pain and need treatment.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are also severe complications of a rear-end accident. An accident victim could have anything from a minor concussion to a skull fracture or brain bleed. You must seek medical treatment immediately if you suspect a head injury.

Spine Injuries

Spinal injuries can be devastating. You might be paralyzed if your spinal cord suffers damage in the accident. Paralysis is often permanent, and victims need lifelong care, which can cost over a million dollars. They might also need to modify their home and be unable to return to work in their former job.

Who Is Liable In A Rear-End Accident?

Determining liability in a rear-end accident is rarely straightforward. The at-fault party isn’t always the car behind you. That’s why we recommend hiring our experienced California rear-end accident lawyers. You need a thorough investigation to identify all potentially liable parties.

While liability is typically attributed to the vehicle in the rear, that’s not always the case. Determining fault can become even more complicated when more than two vehicles are involved. Certain roads and highways are prone to multi-vehicle rear-end collisions when thick fog blankets the Central Valley.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert. Using their scientific expertise, the expert can prepare a report demonstrating the most likely cause of the accident. They might need to appear at a deposition or give testimony in the trial if the defendant’s insurance company still denies liability.

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.
– Abraham Lincoln


When you suffer injuries in a rear-end accident, don’t try to pursue compensation independently. The legal team at Silva Injury Law is ready to help. We have years of experience representing injured car accident victims in California. We are well-versed in insurance companies’ tactics to reduce your potential settlement. We’ll build a solid case supporting maximum compensation when you hire our firm to represent you. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.

Our highly-skilled legal team also handles other cases, such as: