What is the Average Settlement for a Rear End Collision?
Were you in a rear end car accident? It is common to wonder how much the average settlement for a rear end collision is, and what you should do next. Who is responsible for your accident damages? What is a typical rear end crash worth?
First, know that rear end accidents are common. Approximately 1/3 of all highway crashes are rear end accidents. A rear end accident occurs when a car hits another vehicle in front of it. Rear end collision damages can vary from minor bumper damage with no injuries to a totaled vehicle with serious personal injuries, such as whiplash, brain trauma, broken bones and organ damage.
What Causes Most Rear End Collisions?
The most common explanation for a rear end crash is the driver in the rear is simply driving too closely to the vehicle in front. Distractions also can lead to these accidents – most often, using a cell phone, talking to passengers, or adjusting the radio. Driver inattention is generally at the heart of most rear end collisions.
There can be other factors, though. Poor weather conditions lead to many rear end accidents. A road that is slick with rain or snow, or fog, can cause many serious accidents. Nonetheless, it is the responsibility of the driver in the rear to drive safely. If that driver hits you from behind, he or she still may be liable for your accident injuries.
What To Do In a Rear End Crash
If you are hit in the rear, there are several vital steps to take right away:
- Check for injuries: Even a low-speed, rear end crash can cause broken bones, facial lacerations and/or whiplash. You should go to the hospital to be checked out, even if you think you are unhurt. Minor soreness right after a crash could turn into a severe injury after a few days, so you are always safer to be examined by a medical professional after an accident. You are more likely to be compensated for your injuries if they were documented right away by a medical professional.
- Document property damage: Take pictures of your vehicle and the one that hit you. Also take photos of the road conditions as soon as possible after the crash. Take wide angle photos of the cars’ positions on the road before they are moved. Also take up close pictures of vehicle damage. If in doubt, photograph it.
- Obtain police report: No matter if the accident is minor or severe, your claim or lawsuit will be bolstered by having a copy of the police report. If the other driver was negligent, it is likely that this will be noted in the police report.
- Contact insurance company: If your car was hit from behind, it is important to give your insurance company with all the information it needs as soon as possible. If you were rear ended by a semi truck, make sure to get their commercial insurance information.
Who Is At Fault in a Rear End Collision Accident?
In establishing who is at fault, state and federal laws, as well as insurance companies, will strongly favor the driver that is hit from the rear. Most rear end crashes are eventually blamed upon the driver in the back. This is because driving rules dictate that it is the responsibility of all drivers to follow from a safe distance. By ‘safe distance,’ we mean that the driver should be able to slow and stop in time to avoid hitting another vehicle or object. This applies regardless of why the car in front slowed or stopped.
That said, there are several factors that can reduce the level of rear driver liability. For instance, poor road conditions or poor visibility can be factors in a crash. This can reduce the liability of the driver in the rear.
Another factor to determine fault for rear end collision injuries is whether any laws were broken. If a car makes a left turn at a red light into traffic and is hit from behind by a car with right of way, the car in the rear may not be completely at fault. The driver in front also may be negligent. Other factors that can influence fault are whether the car in front had working brake lights or if the driver suddenly went into reverse without warning.
Rear End Collision Injuries Compensation
Determining liability in a rear end collision settlement will consider all the above scenarios and others. The ability of the driver in front to receive rear end collision injuries compensation will depend upon such factors as mentioned above. A personal injury attorney can assist in analyzing specific accident factors to determine liability in your case.
Rear End Collision Settlement Compensation Process
To receive compensation, the first step usually is to file an insurance company claim. It is possible that the claim will need to be litigated in court, but most rear end collisions settle out of court. Going to court is expensive and can take weeks or months. It usually is not needed in a rear end crash case. Negligence in these accidents usually is clear.
Typically, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will offer a settlement to the party who has been injured. The initial offer from the insurance company may be inadequate, so be ready to negotiate by proving how much your damages are, including lost income. If the accident involves substantial medical bills and pain and suffering, it would be wise to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney at this point.
Average Settlement Amount for Rear End Collision Injuries
The amount you may receive in a rear end car accident will vary tremendously. The idea behind compensation for your accident injuries is to ‘make you whole again.’ This means that the compensation received should be enough to put you in a place where you would have been if you had never been rear ended. What that amount would be will hinge upon your property damage, medical bills, time missed from work, pain and suffering and other factors. Getting rear ended on a motorcycle, for example, will often result in much more serious injuries and will usually mean a larger settlement.
There is no precise calculation that will determine how much you will get in a rear end collision. Your personal injury attorney can help you to understand the types of settlements and judgments that have been decided in your area in similar circumstances recently. Generally, however, remember that the more extensive your injuries and property damage, the higher the possible settlement. Below is a closer look at the key aspects of a rear end accident case that ultimately determine the level of compensation.
What will be the cost to repair your vehicle? Some damage is obvious, such as a crushed bumper. But there could be substantial damage to the frame of the vehicle that is concealed. Therefore, it is smart to have your vehicle completely checked over by a mechanic after the rear end crash.
Medical and Related Expenses
Think about all the medical-related costs after the car hit you:
- Ambulance ride
- Prescription drugs
- Hospital stay
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Physical and mental pain/suffering
Lost wages are a substantial factor when considering what your potential damages are in a rear end collision. This is defined as how long you were unable to work, as well as how much you will not be able to work in the future due to accident injuries. The level of lost income varies on the sort of work you do, and how the accident has affected it. If you are a server and broke your leg, your lost wages would theoretically be higher than a person who can work sitting at a desk.
The total of all the above damages may be enhanced by a ‘multiplier’ that will depend upon how violent the crash was. The more severe the crash, the bigger the multiplier will be. For a devastating rear end accident that leaves you unable to work for a year, the total financial loss could be multiplied by a factor as high as four, for example.
Rear End Collision Settlement Examples
Below are some real life, rear end collision settlement examples. These can give you an idea of what a your car accident settlement might look like. But remember to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your specific case to get a better idea of what your settlement could look like.
- $90,000: Client was rear ended by a pickup truck. This broke her driver’s seat and led to a rotator cuff injury.
- $25,000: Client slowed down in traffic and was rear ended by a large SUV. Diagnosed with whiplash and soft tissue injuries.
- $25,000: Client was rear ended at a stop sign; awoke the next day with serious neck and low back pain. Had to have extensive physical therapy.
Rear End Collision Accident Settlement Calculator:
Have you been involved in a rear end car accident causing injury? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Rear End Collision Settlement Calculator.
This article should give you a good overview of what to do in the case of rear end collision injuries. If you have any further questions, it is recommended to speak with a rear end accident lawyer. They will be able to review your case – including your medical records and police report – to determine if there is the possibility of making a personal injury claim. Law Suit Info Center can help you receive the rear end collision injury compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Never take the first settlement offer and never accept cash at the scene. Typically the first offer given is a very small amount. If you are unsure about the offer given, contact an attorney and ask for a free consultation. Generally they will be happy to review your incident and can give you a ballpark of what compensation you may be able to get out of the collision. Before you settle on any choices about a settlement offer, you need to review the decisions you have and consider the factors that can impact the estimation of your case. By employing a lawyer, they can battle for your case and search out the greatest measure of compensation you merit.
Every accident is different and there are many unique factors that go into determining how much compensation you may be owed. You can sustain many different types of injuries from being involved in a rear-end collision. Depending on the severity of your injuries and property damage will determine if you receive more or less compensation. The recoverable amount can sometimes be affected by the type of insurance policy you have. If you were found at fault, you may not be able to receive any compensation. In order to maximize the amount of compensation you receive will also depend on how you document what happens following the accident. In order to receive maximum compensation, you should rapidly seek medical treatment at the earliest opportunity. This begins the documentation process. Be sure to adhere to your specialist’s instructions and continue seeking treatment without long periods of time to pass between treatments. Be sure to file a police report and once the mishap is reported, contact your personal injury attorney. A lawyer will deal with your lawful issues and fight for as much compensation while enabling you to recuperate and concentrate on self-wellbeing.
After reaching a settlement agreement, you might be wondering how long it will take until you receive your compensation. After signing the release for a rear-end collision, your attorney will return the signed copy to the insurance adjuster. It will be reviewed and a check will be sent back to your attorney within weeks. After your attorney has taken their portion of fees from the settlement check, you should receive it within 2 to 6 weeks depending on how expeditious your attorney is. If you have not received your settlement check within 6 weeks, there may be an issue and you will need to address that with your attorney.
After being involved in a rear-end collision and sustaining injuries, you might be curious as to how much compensation you will be owed. The best way to figure out an estimated settlement value is to use our rear-end collision settlement calculator. Our calculator follows a general formula by adding the following expenses together:
- Income lost during recovery time from your injuries
- Medical bills (past and estimated future bills)
- Damage to property
Once you have totaled the sum of those expenses, a multiplier will be applied to that sum and the number is usually 1-5 that will represent pain and suffering. If the injures sustained are severe and everyday altering that cause continuous pain, the number will generally be on the higher scale, either a 4 or 5. If the pain is less severe and doesn’t require a lengthy recovery, the number will be lower.
Every rear end collision is different with unique factors making it difficult to determine exactly who might be at fault. Generally, the driver of the vehicle who hits the car in front of them is deemed to be at fault. However, as stated above, every situation is unique and it is not always the case. If the person in front of you is driving negligently and slams on their brakes causing you to rear end them, it’s possible you may not be cited as the faulted party. Unfortunately, in most cases the driver who strikes the vehicle from behind is found at fault. Driving 101: maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. By doing so this allows you have enough time to react and brake safely without causing a collision. Drivers are unpredictable and it’s difficult to determine their next move. To avoid these types of accidents:
- Keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you
- Be aware of hazardous surroundings (animal crossings, construction zones weather etc.)
- Maintain a safe speed
When it comes to being involved in a chain reaction collision, it can be difficult to determine who the at-fault party is. In the scenario you become rear ended and forced to hit the car in front of you, you must consider many unique factors that will help determine the fault. If you were stopped or following too closely behind the car in front of you, it is possible that you may be deemed partially at fault. Also in such a situation, the center vehicle is often found at fault and sued by the lawyer who represents the vehicle that was hit by you. However, generally the person who caused the chain reaction collision is typically the party found at fault.
Car accidents can leave you frazzled and confused as to what steps to take next. If you and the other party involved are not experiencing any injuries and neither party has any vehicle damage, it may not be necessary to contact an attorney. However, it can be frustrating dealing with other drivers insurance companies and although neither party is experiencing any injuries directly after the accident, it’s possible for injuries to develop over the next few days after following a collision. There is no harm in contacting an attorney in this situation and in the end, might actually benefit you by covering all your bases and leaving no room for error. In the scenario where neither party is injured and neither party has property damage, it’s best to thoroughly document everything by exchanging all the necessary information including insurance info, taking pictures of the accident and documenting any previous damage to the vehicles. The following steps to take would be to get examined by a medical professional to see if any injuries are actually present as well as contacting an attorney to find out what your options are. Since legal counselors are so educated about their subject matters, they can give important advice about what to do in your specific situation.
Unfortunately, when you become involved in an accident even if the accident was not your fault, it may affect your insurance premium. This will vary from each insurance company as well as what state you are in. It’s hard to wrap your head around why insurance rates would go up due to the negligence of others but insurance rates will go up depending on how risky of a driver you are. The more accidents you are involved in whether or not it was your fault, the higher your rates will increase. You can think of it like health insurance. If you are a healthy, young adult with little history of illness it is most likely your health insurance won’t cost very much. However, an older adult with health complications is considered high risk and will typically result in higher insurance rates. Since car insurance is about risk, the more mishaps you have, the higher likelihood that you will be associated with more accidents, resulting in higher premium rates regardless if you were at fault or not.
To be involved in a rear-end collision involves another car crashing into the vehicles in front of them from the rear. Oftentimes these types of collisions are minor known as fender benders, however, they can also be extreme causing severe injuries. Even though it may appear there are no major damages to either parties vehicle, you still have a checklist of things to do after the accident. Steps to follow include:
- Making sure everyone involved is okay
- Contact law enforcement to file a police report
- Contact your insurance company
- Exchange insurance information and contact information with all parties involved
- Photograph all vehicles involved
- Seek a medical professional as soon as possible as a precaution
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Often, victims of rear-end collisions do not seek medical treatment due to the idea of a fender bender being minor. Although, the accident may seem minor, never fail to seek medical attention after a collision.
Every insurance company is different with different policies. So to get a straight yes or no answer it would need to come from your insurance provider. However, if you got rear-ended, your claim would be filed against the other drivers insurance due to the other driver being the at-fault party. This should not affect your insurance nor would you be liable since you were not found at-fault. This answer will also depend on how many accidents you have been involved in within a 3-5 year period.
Typically in rear-end accidents, it is the rear driver who tends to be found at fault. But this is not always the case! Liability is not automatically placed on the rear driver for many reasons and may find fault on the lead driver. Determining who is at fault is crucial because that will decide which driver will be liable for damages sustained from the collision. While trying to prove whom the negligent driver was and determine fault, you must understand how these types of accidents can happen. Reasons for being found at fault in a rear-end collision include:
- Tailgating too closely
- Stopping abruptly
- Distracted driving (cell phones)
- Failing to yield to the right of way vehicle
- Driving while intoxicated
- Brake light failures
- Road rage/purposely trying to get hit
- Failing to use turn signals.
Rear-end collision are the most widely recognized types of accidents. The amount and types of damages that occur during a rear-end collision can differ immensely. An average settlement for a rear-end collision is hard to place an exact number due to the various factors that go in to determining how much compensation should be owed. A settlement is hard to configure due to both palpable and impalpable expenses. Costs such as medical expenses and wages lost are easily calculated, however, determining how much pain and suffering is worth is a little more challenging. Other expenses to incorporate into a settlement include:
- Insurance costs
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Legal fees
- Property damage
- Quality of life
There is no exact number to be given because each collision is different. Totaling up these damages and configuring how much money a victim may get will increase due to the severity of the accident. But generally an easy way to get some idea of estimating how much compensation you may be owed is to multiply direct expenses by 1.5 – 4. If your direct property damages were $1,000 your settlement estimation would be some area between $2,500 and $5,000.
Some example of rear-end settlements include:
- Rear-end victim suffered from neck injuries later requiring surgery. Settlement amount was $537,500 and $58,158 in Workers Compensation benefits.
- A couple was rear-ended and pushed into oncoming traffic suffering abdominal and spinal injuries. Their settlement amount was $2,331,075.
- Woman rear-ended by a sanitation truck suffering multiple injuries and a total of six surgeries. Settlement amount was $4 million.
Most of the time rear-end collisions are minor accidents leaving the drivers or passengers with little to no injuries and trivial property damage to the vehicles. Although, injuries and damage may be minor, they are still present and still require a course of action. First things first, you must always exchange insurance as well as contact information with the party involved. It’s not always necessary to contact the police if injures are unapparent and damage is minor however, if the other party is uncooperative in exchanging information it’s best to include law enforcement to enable you to acquire this data. In some cases, the accident may be minor however the victim may suffer from emotional stress and request compensation from the liable driver. This is another favorable reason why one would want to involve the police in a minor rear-end collision.
Before a settlement can be fully resolved, there’s a process to prove you are the party who is owed compensation resulting in a lengthy time frame. Each case is different but basically follow the same guidelines. Phases include Pleading, Discovery phase, Trail and possibly an Appeal. There is the choice to settle the case through insurance before achieving preliminary.
Small Claims: Small claims in which the accident was minor and damages were minimal usually become settled with insurance and can take up to 30-90 days to resolve. Now that the claimant has settled with insurance they can no longer sue the liable party.
Discovery Phase: In this phase, each party gathers statements, documents, witnesses, specific timelines and any important facts that will benefit them to win the case. This phase typically takes up to 6 months to a year following the claim’s recording.
Mediation or Trial: After the Discovery phase the court will allow the parties to have and elective gathering and urge them to achieve resolution with the assistance of a neutral mediator. Thus, allowing them to skip the whole trial process. However, if both parties refuse to come to an agreement the case will go to trial and can take up to 2 years before even seeing the inside of a court room.
There are many different variables that influence the estimation of a rear-end collision settlement. Factors that will likely affect the settlement amount include:
- Injuries sustained
- Property damage
- Personal interference (wages lost, medical expenses, future medical expenses, immobility)
- Driving history
- Pain and suffering
- How many parties shared fault in the accident
- Location (settlement laws differ from state to state)
Rear-end car accidents are frequent and the most common form of accident that occurs on the road jolting victims while commonly at a complete stop. Rear-end accidents may also be referred to as “fender benders” meaning, the front bumper of one vehicle (the vehicle at-fault) hits the back of the car in front of it. Typically these accidents are minor, occurring is slow traffic usually by distracted or tired drivers. However, rear-end accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Common injuries sustained from rear-end collisions include:
- Broken bones
- Brain trauma
- Spinal trauma
- Broken ribcage
- Herniated disks
It’s advised for any individual who is involved in a rear-end collision to seek immediate medical attention and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. To learn more, contact Lawsuit Info Center for information about rear end collision settlement.