The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA reports that rear-end collisions are the most common type of car crash, accounting for 30% of all car accidents.
Liability for a Rear-End Collision
If you have been hit in a rear-end collision, the good news is that liability is often a straightforward matter. In most cases, the car in the rear is to blame for the accident. If that is the case, you stand a good chance of getting compensation after getting in a rear end collision.
However, there are some circumstances where the driver in the front could be found partially at fault; this could affect the compensation you receive for your accident injuries:
– Brake checking the driver in the rear by slamming on the brakes for no reason
– Suddenly reversing
– Driving with a flat tire or a mechanical problem
– Driving distracted and then slamming on the brakes to late to avoid an object or pedestrian in the road
– Failing to repair a broken brake light
Unless the accident involves one of those scenarios, it is most likely the tailing driver will be found liable. If that is the case, the next step is to determine the compensation you will receive for the rear end collision.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Injuries
Auto insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible for your accident injuries. But there are many factors that can affect how much compensation you get. In many cases, insurance settlements for rear-end collisions are in the thousands of dollars. But if there are higher medical expenses, lost income and car rentals, the number can be much higher. If there are punitive damages, severe rear end collisions can lead to a settlement above $1 million.
What Affects Your Settlement
Exactly how much you will receive for your accident injuries depends on the following:
– Special damages: This type of damages refers to your economic losses from your rear end collision injuries. They include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity in the future and property damage. The more your special damages are, the larger your settlement will be. However, if there is shared liability for the accident, you will receive lower compensation. To calculate your special damages, add up the cost of medical treatment, sum of earnings lost, sum of car repairs costs and sum of out of pocket expenses.
– General damages: These are your non-economic losses. They generally come from mental and physical pain and suffering. Can include embarrassment, loss of reputation and discomfort. General damages can range from 1.5 to 5 times your special damages. The multiplier used depends upon the severity of your injuries and pain and suffering. The more permanent or long term the injuries, the higher your settlement will be.
If your injuries and property damages are minor, you may not need to retain an attorney. But if you have longer term injuries and serious property damage, you should at least consult a personal injury attorney to review your claim.