Who Is At Fault In A Rear Ended Collision?

Rear ended collision settlement

Many people will experience a rear ended collision at some point in their life, whether they’re the car that’s hit from the back or the car rear ending someone. Although many people assume that the car striking from the back is always at fault, that is not always the case. Fault gets determined by factors separate from the position of the cars in the accident. Despite which position you are in, you might be able to receive a rear ended collision settlement. 

Just below 2 million rear ended collisions occur every year in the United States. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that almost 30 percent of all car crashes are rear ended collisions. If you find yourself in one of these accidents, these numbers should tell you that you are not alone. If you’re curious about whether you’re able to receive a rear ended collision settlement, contact Gordon & Gordon Law Firm today. Our lawyers will help you through the legal process and fight for your right to compensation.  

What happens to your body in a rear end collision hit from the back?

Injuries sustained in a rear ended collision depend on a variety of factors. One pertains to how fast the cars involved were going. A car traveling at 50 mph could cause significantly more damage than a car going 15 mph. Even cars traveling at what most would consider a slow speed can cause serious damage to both your car and your body. 

This is because when another vehicle strikes yours, the momentum of the other vehicle transfers to your car and body as a result. So if a car is traveling at 15 mph and hits your vehicle from behind, that momentum is suddenly shifted to your body. This can be especially severe if you were at a complete stop when the crash happened. Human bodies aren’t meant to take on that kind of momentum all at once, which is why injuries often occur as a result.

If you got hit from the back in a rear ended collision, there are a few things that could happen to your body. With the force of the impact, both you and your car propel forward all at once. After the initial impact occurs, your body snaps backward. This is usually a result of your seat belt catching you. (If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, the result could be much more catastrophic.) 

When this happens, your head and spine slam against the seat behind you. This sudden motion can leave you with several injuries in your back and spine. You also risk internal injuries due to the unnatural momentum placed on your body. And while airbags may save your life, they can also cause injuries on their own, like a broken nose, for example. Whiplash, herniated discs, muscle strain, and headaches/migraines could also result from this kind of wreck.

Who is at fault in a rear ended collision?

The most common reasons for a rear end collision are because of distracted driving, speeding, or following too closely. In general, the second driver is often at fault for the accident for any one of these reasons (or other reasons). However, this is not a given.

One of the common misconceptions about rear ended collisions is that the second driver is always at fault. Yes, this is often the case, but not one hundred percent of the time. It is entirely possible that the other driver or even other parties may be responsible for the accident.

To rebut the presumption that they are at fault, the rear driver must provide evidence that proves they were not the cause. This evidence may be that the other driver was acting in a negligent manner and that negligence is what caused the accident.

The following scenarios might prove that the driver in front was at fault for the accident:

  • The lead car is driving aggressively, such as erratic lane change or random, sudden braking
  • Failing to drive at a reasonable speed based on road conditions
  • Putting their car in reverse to get out of an intersection and backing into someone
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • The lead car was intentionally looking to get hit
  • The lead car has broken tail lights, making it impossible for the rear driver to see them stopping

How much compensation will I get for rear end accident?

An injured person has the ability to seek compensatory damages following a rear ended accident. This includes any costs or losses that result from the wreck. Factors that will determine the rear ended collision settlement include the following:

  • Cost of medical bills
    • Emergency room treatment, physical or occupational therapy, medical supplies and prescriptions
  • Lost wages and earnings
    • Including lost earning capacity
  • Car repair costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse/partner
  • Survivor damages in the case of a wrongful death

In the case that the other driver was committing a crime, like driving while intoxicated, you may also receive punitive damages.

How much do you get for pain and suffering from a rear ended collision settlement?

The amount you are able to receive in compensation from a rear end collision depends on many factors. The two most contributing factors include how severe your injuries were and the amount of available insurance. Another weighing factor depends on how much pain and suffering you and your attorney are able to prove. 

Pain and suffering refers to both the physical and emotional injuries sustained as a result of the accident. If you suffered any physical pain and mental anguish following the accident, you may be able to seek compensatory damages for it.

The average rear ended collision settlement is generally in the range of $15,000 to $20,000. This is not a set amount, as each settlement offer depends on the specific details of the case. If your attorney is able to prove you suffered extreme mental and physical pain from the accident, you may receive a higher amount. 

Should I sue after being rear ended?

If you received injuries after being rear ended, you are able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. The decision is up to you. 

The amount you receive for a rear ended collision settlement depends on the ability of your personal injury lawyer and the proof of injury you can provide. The best way to provide this proof is to collect any data or bills from doctors visits that pertained to the accident’s injuries.

In a car accident, you may not feel the effects on your body until much later. Even the smallest accidents can take a toll on your body in ways that you don’t even realize. It could take weeks for symptoms to show up. By then, you may not even realize the pain relates to the accident. 

That is why, if you plan to sue after being rear ended, you should always pay attention to any pain you experience after the accident. Keep records of your doctors visits and document as much as you can. This will help your case later. 

Contact Gordon & Gordon Today

If you received injuries as a result of a rear ended collision, contact the lawyers at Gordon & Gordon today. We have over 30 years of combined legal experience dealing with cases such as personal injury. We can help you receive the settlement needed to properly recover from your injuries. You can get in touch with us by calling 318-716-HELP or visiting our website and filling out our online contact form.


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