If you were in a rear end collision, you may be wondering how to manage the claim and settlement. You also probably want to know how to determine liability and what your settlement might look like.
First of all, rear end collisions are one of the most common on American roads. It is estimated that 1/3 of all highway accidents are rear end collisions. A rear end collision happens when a car strikes another car in front of it. Rear end collision settlements can vary tremendously. There can be minor damage to the bumper with no injuries at all. Or, there can be a destroyed vehicle with very serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, broken bones, and internal injuries.
The most common reason rear end collisions happen is the driver in the back is driving too closely to the car in front. It also is common for distractions to cause these accidents. Many rear end collisions are caused by cell phone use, talking to others in the vehicle or changing the radio. Poor weather also can cause rear end crashes.
How to Handle the Rear End Collision
The suggestions below are important to follow because they will likely increase your chances of a larger rear end collision settlement.
First, you should check for injuries on yourself and passengers. If you think you are injured at all, you should go to a hospital right away to be evaluated by a doctor.
Next, fully document your property damage. Take photos of your car and the one that struck you. Take pictures of the road conditions as soon as you can after the accident.
You then should get the police report. No matter if your rear end collision is minor or more serious, the lawsuit will have a better chance of success if you have the police report.
Finally, talk to your insurance company. If your car was struck from behind, you should provide your insurance company with as much information as possible.
Following the above advice will result in a better rear end collision settlement.
Determining Fault in a Rear End Collision
Of course, how much you are compensated in your settlement depends on who was at fault. Laws at the state and federal level, as well as insurance company rules, favor the driver that was struck from behind. Most of these crashes are blamed on the driver in the rear. Driving rules state that all drivers must follow cars in front of them at a safe distance.
But some factors can lower the level of liability for the rear driver. Poor visibility or road conditions can be factors in a rear end crash. Also, there are some crashes that could be at least partially blamed on the front driver. If the front driver was distracted by texting on a cell phone and slams on the brakes to avoid hitting a child in the street, it is possible he could be deemed partially at fault for the accident.