If you have been in a rear-end collision through no fault of your own, then you might be wondering what your best course of action is. Who is responsible, who is to blame, what is your accident worth? These are all great questions.
If the accident has to lead to injuries or damages and the accident was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation from the other party. The best way to do this is to seek the help of a skilled car accident attorney. They will be able to determine how much your claim is worth and fight for you on your behalf to ensure you get the best possible chance of winning your case.
Here at The Law Place, we are a law firm dedicated to fighting for your rights. We don’t think anyone should be punished for an accident that wasn’t their fault, and we won’t rest until we think you have been treated fairly.
We operate on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you can be confident that we’re working around the clock to achieve the best possible result for your case. Contact us today to receive a free consultation with one of our personal injury solicitors about how to make a claim on (941) 444-4444.
Rear-End Collisions in America
Rear-end collisions are one of the most commonly seen accidents across the country. In 2019 alone, nearly 2 million rear-end collisions happened in America. Of these accidents, nearly 2,000 people lost their lives and 500,000 received injuries that needed medical attention.
This means rear-end collisions are one of the highest occurring types of accidents and make-up nearly one-third of all auto accidents, every case is different, and these differences are what make rear-end collision cases so complex.
What Causes Most Rear-End Collisions?
The biggest cause of rear-end collisions is when the driver behind the victim is tailgating or driving too close to the vehicle in front. This means they lack the time necessary to make an emergency stop or predict the movements of the vehicles in front.
Another common reason is distracted driving or driving under the influence. Driving while distracted could be anything from using a cell phone while driving to changing the radio or eating food while driving.
Driving under the influence can mean under the influence of drugs or drinks, both of which massively impair judgment and reduce reaction times, making it easier to crash. This can lead to drivers traveling at a higher speed than they should be and will increase the time it takes to brake after an incident happens.
There are other factors that could be at play too. Weather conditions can make the road surface slippery, and fog can reduce visibility. However, every driver on the road has a duty of care, and it is the responsibility of all drivers to drive in a safe manner. If a driver hits you from behind, he or she may be liable for your accident injuries.
What to Do After a Rear-End Crash
In the aftermath of an accident, it can get pretty chaotic. Here’s what you should do:
- Prioritize your safety – The first and most important thing you need to do is to make sure you are safe. This means moving away from any oncoming traffic, smoking vehicles, or fires. Only once you are as safe as you can make yourself should you do anything else.
- Call 911 – You should call the emergency services straight away and ask for both the police and medical assistance. The police will be able to divert traffic and create a police report, and the ambulance team can sort any injuries out and make their own report.
- Check for injuries – You should always get checked out by a medical professional after an accident. The best option is to get checked out at the scene as certain injuries, like internal bleeding, may not have any outward symptoms until they develop complications later on down the line. Seeking medical help also ensures that you have documented evidence that you were injured. This makes it more likely that you will receive compensation for your injuries.
- Document evidence – Once you have made sure that you are safe and have called for assistance from the emergency services, now is the best time to begin collecting evidence. Take pictures of both cars, draw a sketch of what happened, get witness statements and contact details.
- Obtain police report – Once the police have done their jobs, you can approach them for a police report. This will be a great piece of evidence later on down the line.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision Accident?
To establish liability, you will need to figure out who was at fault for the accident. In most rear-end collisions, the blame rests firmly on the driver behind, and this will be hard to shift unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances.
This is because the rules of the road and duty of care dictate that as a driver, you have a responsibility to drive in a way that is reasonable and safe. This means giving vehicles in front enough distance to allow you to slow and stop in the event of an emergency break.
There are several factors that may reduce the liability of the rear driver:
- Poor road conditions (ice, uncleared snow, potholes.)
- Poor vision due to weather conditions like fog.
- Missing or unlit stop signs and traffic signals with broken lights.
- Unsafe or unmarked work areas.
Finally, the last factor in reducing the liability of the rear driver is when the driver in front has broken laws like turning at a red light and getting hit by a car with the right of way or if they are driving without functioning brake lights.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Rear-End Collision Settlement Amount?
The first step in calculating your settlement figure is to work out the economic damages or the ones that will have an immediate financial effect on your life. This could be:
- Medical bills or health insurance payments.
- Cost of damages to your property, like your car or anything in your boot that was damaged in the crash.
- Loss of income if your injuries require time off work.
- Late penalties and fees for missed bills.
- Funeral expenses.
- Estimates of future expenses related to injuries.
Your attorney will liaise with any medical professionals on your behalf in order to obtain the paperwork and documentation you require. If you have had some aid before seeking the help of a legal representative, make sure you keep all records of treatments, transport, and any other monetary bills.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering are damages that don’t have a strict monetary value attached to them. This can include things like emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment, and phobia development. Pain and Suffering damages are usually better off being calculated by a skilled accident attorney as they will be better at evaluating your case and placing a value on the damages.
Usually, to calculate pain and suffering damages, many attorneys will add up all of the quantitative economic damages and come up with a sum. They will then times that figure by a number between 1-5, depending on the severity of the damages.
Common cases of pain and suffering damages include:
- Gross negligence on the part of the driver, the company that hired them, the manufacturer, or the insurance company.
- Loss of a loved one.
- Development of permanent, life-changing disabilities.
- Development of PTSD or other psychological problems.
- Presence of dependents who relied on the support of the injured or deceased person.
- Dashcam footage or consistent witness statements make determining fault easy.
Typical Factors Used to Determine Rear-End Collision Fault
Rear-end collision accidents can vary in severity. Sometimes they may only result in some minor bumper damage. In severe cases, though, injuries to the neck and back like whiplash or head trauma are possible and, in rare cases, even loss of life.
There are many factors that determine how much a rear-end collision settlement may be worth, such as:
- Type of injuries received.
- The severity of the injuries.
- If the injuries have an effect on your daily ability to work or enjoy life.
- Long-term effects of injuries.
- Pain and suffering in addition to your physical damages.
- Damage that occurred to your property, including your car and any possessions inside.
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of the rear-end collision.
- Who was at fault for the car accident.
- Usage of seatbelts.
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 decided in your area in similar circumstances. 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.
Your Liability for a Rear-End Collision
If struck 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.
There are several circumstances where the driver in the front vehicle may have had their part in causing the accident. Florida uses comparative fault, so your compensation may be affected if you are partly to blame.
Here are some of the reasons you may be found partially liable.
- Road rage behavior like break checking the car behind.
- Unpredictable reversing.
- Knowingly driving a car that has a mechanical problem.
- Driving with a flat tire or a mechanical problem.
- Driving distracted and then slamming on the brakes too late to avoid an object or pedestrian in the road.
- Failing to repair a broken brake light.
Aside from these reasons, the fault will usually lie with the other party.
Property damage costs include all damage and repair of your vehicle. In lower speed, lower impact crashes, the damage may be hidden, and in larger crashes, there may be serious structural damage that the naked eye cannot see.
This makes it a smart decision to go to a mechanics’ with your vehicle as soon after the crash as you are able or to speak to a call-out mechanic who can come to your vehicle if it is no longer driveable.
Remember to cost up all the damages to the inside of the car as well as possessions. You might have to replace the sat-nav, your phone, car seats, etc. if they were damaged in the crash.
Medical and Related Expenses
Medical costs can add up extremely quickly following a car accident. It isn’t fair that anyone faces these alone. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the at-fault party might be responsible for covering your past, future, and present medical bills. Some of the things they may have to cover will include:
- Ambulance ride.
- Prescription drugs.
- Hospital stay.
- Doctor visits.
- Physical therapy.
- Physical and mental pain/suffering.
Lost Wages/ Ability to Work
When you are filing a claim like this, one of the biggest costs in your potential damages following a rear-end collision is lost wages and ability to work. If your accident has made it so you have to take time off or will have to take time off in the future, this can be claimed for. The amount this equates to will depend upon the income that you lose, as well as how much you stand to lose in the future.
For example, if you are a chef, and you have sustained a broken femur which means you cannot stand for long periods of time, this will be taken into account. The whole reason why compensation exists is to make it so that you can work and live in the same capacity, or as close as possible, to the level that you did before you had the accident.
What Injuries Can Happen From a Rear-End Car Accident?
- Whiplash – Whiplash is the most common form of injury found in rear-end car accident cases. Whiplash happens when the head is subjected to rapid jerked movements forwards and backward. The severity of your whiplash will be documented by your doctor.
- Broken or fractured bones – In many crashes, the victim may suffer from broken bones.
- Back, neck, and spinal cord damage – The crash does not have to be high speed in order for there to be spinal damage, neck damage, or back damage. Herniated disks and vertebrae damage can happen at any impact level.
- Head and brain injuries – If the head is slammed into the window or steering wheel, you may have brain injuries from the trauma or concussion.
- Airbag or seatbelt inflicted injury – Seatbelts and airbags save lives, but it comes at a cost. When you crash, the impact with your seatbelt may cause whiplash or concussion, and airbags can leave burn damages.
Rear-End Collision Settlement Compensation Process
The process of seeking compensation begins with collecting your evidence and speaking to a legal attorney who can help you with the settlement process. Using an attorney at this stage is crucial for success as they will be able to calculate a settlement sum that they believe is fair and reasonable.
When this sum is calculated correctly, the chances of the other insurance company accepting are much higher. They will also be much more likely to listen if you send an attorney to deal with them instead of yourself.
After your attorney has built the best possible airtight case for you, they will be able to use that case to fight the insurance company in court if they don’t listen to the settlement offer.
What to Expect From the Insurance Company
Insurance companies did not grow to the size that they are by giving money away whenever someone makes a claim. Wherever at all possible, they will seek to reduce their liability and dispute your claim. To do this, they will use every trick possible. They may call you, attempting to record your call using nice words and then use what you say against you. This is one of the reasons why you should always use an attorney. They will take over all correspondence and inform the other party that you do not wish to be contacted directly.
Your attorney will be able to fight the aggressive legal teams hired by the insurance companies in a way that is hard to match by someone who is not legally trained.
They will also be able to take the reins in terms of the investigation, sending out an investigator, looking at CCTV, and speaking to eyewitnesses and the emergency services.
When Will I Receive Compensation From a Rear-End Collision Settlement Offer?
Every accident case is complex and comes with a range of different variables that make it unique. This means that the time period for seeking settlement will differ for everyone.
If the crash was minor and involved little to no damage and mild injuries that will repair quickly, the case could be over in as little as 1-3 months.
If you have serious injuries or serious damages, then your case may take anything from months to over a year, especially if you have an injury that is going to affect you for the rest of your life.
What Determines the Final Compensation?
As with the time it takes to settle, the final compensation value that you will receive will be completely unique to your case. Over the years, we have dealt with cases that awarded five thousand dollars, and we have dealt with cases that led to payouts of over $1.5million dollars.
The best way for you to get an idea of what your rear-end accident is worth is to seek the help of a skilled and experienced rear-end accident lawyer, one that has dealt with a number of accidents similar to yours and won.
What Should I Expect From a Rear-End Accident Settlement: Examples
To get a better understanding of how much your rear-end accident case could be worth, here are some examples of past cases. In these rear-end accident cases, the insurance company either paid out a settlement figure or lost in court.
- $400,000 – In the first example, a Husband and Wife were involved in a rear-end accident. This led to the wife suffering from whiplash and the husband, a herniated disk. After an aggressive mediation between the attorney and the insurance company, this figure was paid out to cover lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.
- $120,000 – In this example, the victim was involved in a multi-car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. This payout was to cover the surgery and long-term therapy that the victim needed following the accident.
- $90,000 – This case involved a victim who was rear-ended by a pick-up. This resulted in a rotator cuff injury.
- $25,000 – This payout was for a mild rear-end accident where the victim was rear-ended at a stop sign. The injuries seemed minor, but the next day they awoke with neck pain which then required therapy.
Free Case Evaluation
If you or someone in your mainly has suffered injuries or damages following a rear-end collision, you should seek a free legal consultation as soon as possible. Assigning fault and proving liability can be complex and stressful. Help from an experienced attorney will increase the chances that you get what you are owed.
We work on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you never have to worry about being left out of pocket. Our priority is to ensure you get the justice you rightfully deserve and are not left suffering financially as a result of the negligence of somebody else.
We have over 75 years of combined experience in personal injury law in Florida, and many of our attorneys have the highest possible AVVO rating of 10.0, awarded because of years in service, awards, client reviews, and more. When you put your case in our hands, you know that we have your best interests at heart.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free case evaluation.