How Much Is a Rear-End Collision Settlement Worth?
Drivers don't always understand the consequences of a rear-end accident.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of collision, accounting for 29 percent of all crashes. These crashes cause a substantial amount of injuries and fatalities each year.
Our team of experts at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you determine the value of your settlement and get the compensation you deserve. We have over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims.
Contact a Chicago car accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and how much your personal injury settlement may be worth. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
National and Illinois Rear-End Accident Statistics
A rear-end accident is one of the most common types of accidents on the road. In fact, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 2.5 million rear-end accidents occur each year in the United States.
And that number is only for reported accidents – the actual number is likely much higher.
Illinois is no different – rear-end accidents are a common occurrence here. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), over 27,000 reported rear-end wrecks in Illinois in 2017. That’s more than 70 accidents every day!
According to the NHTSA data, 54 percent of all accidents involve rear-end collisions. Of course, many of these accidents do not result in severe injuries or fatalities, but a rear-end wreck can happen to anyone on the road.
Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of following the lead vehicle too closely and take steps to avoid these accidents.
The chances are high that if you are involved in a car accident, it will likely be a rear-end collision. And if you are involved in an accident, don’t assume you know the at-fault party – make sure you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to get the facts.
Causes of Rear-End Car Accidents
Rear-end accidents are common occurrences on the road, and they can happen to anyone. However, they are often caused by the negligence of one driver. So, what are the most common reasons people rear-end another car?
Several factors can contribute to a rear-end, including distracted driving, following too closely, and speeding.
Here are some of the most common causes of these accidents:
Driving while distracted can make any driver a hazard on the road. Whether you are getting directions, talking on your cell phone, or texting, anything that takes your attention away from driving is unsafe. If you are distracted behind the wheel, there is a good chance you will cause a rear-end accident.
A study shows that some activities that divert driver’s attention include:
- Texting (34% of distracted drivers involved in accidents)
- Using a cell phone (24% of distracted drivers involved in accidents)
- Reaching for an object (18% of distracted drivers involved in accidents)
- Eating food, drinking a beverage, and smoking a cigarette are all activities that have been proven to cause accidents – but they can also be as distracting as any other activity
- Glances away from the road for long periods
Following Too Closely
Driving too closely to the vehicle ahead of you is dangerous and can lead to a rear-end accident, especially if the car in front of you stops suddenly.
If your eyes are on the road and not on the car in front of you, you are more likely to see when the car in front starts to brake and avoid a rear-end accident.
Speeding is a common cause of accidents, but it’s also one of the deadliest. When drivers speed, they can easily lose control of their vehicle and get hit by another car. Speeding can also make it harder to stop and harder for other drivers to see you.
Types of Injuries in Rear-End Auto Crash
Three different injuries can result from rear-end wrecks:
- Whiplash: is a common injury associated with rear-end crashes, and it occurs as the head and neck arc forward and backward rapidly, which jams the muscles of the upper back. Whiplash often results in chronic pain, tightness, and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Brain injury: can also result from a rear-end crash. When the victim’s head hits the car's headrest or airbag, rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain, the force causes it to bounce around inside the skull like a rubber ball. Depending on the force of the collision, traumatic brain injury may occur. Symptoms include blackouts, headaches, confusion, fatigue, and personality changes.
- Local injuries: are also common after rear-end collisions. These injuries may or may not be associated with whiplash or brain injury. Instead, they can occur on impact when your body is slammed into the seat belt, steering wheel, or inside the car. Typical examples are broken bones, a herniated disc, and damage to your kidneys, spleen, intestines, or bladder.
Depending upon the severity of the injury, permanent disability may result. Some injuries can be addressed with medication or physical therapy, while others cannot be fixed or improved with drugs or physical therapy. If you have suffered an injury in a rear-end crash, contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.
Don't let another day go by while you suffer from an injury or loss that could have been prevented!
Every personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is here to help. We offer free initial consultations, so call a personal injury lawyer today at 1-888-424-5757 or submit our contact request form to get started.
Specific Rear-End Accident Settlement Examples
The value of your rear-end accident settlement will depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, the insurance policy limits, and the medical bills.
The information below provides an example of what you might be able to recover in a rear-end accident claim.
These examples are made using the average cost for medical treatment in Illinois and do NOT include any permanent or long-term disability that may result from your serious injuries.
$5,000 Settlement for a Minor Rear-End
If you were rear-ended and suffered some mild whiplash or back and neck injuries, or shoulders after an accident, then you might be able to settle your claim for $5,000 – $7,000.
$7,500 Settlement for a Moderate Rear-End
If you were rear-ended and suffered a serious injury that required medical care or missed days at work, then your settlement could be worth more. More severe whiplash, especially when combined with other injuries or if the collision caused whiplash to recur, could mean a settlement of $7,500 – $10,000 or higher.
$35,000 Settlement for Severe Rear-End
Were you injured in a rear-end accident and had to seek medical treatment as a result? Your injuries could be worth more than if you only suffered some minor whiplash. Severe pain and injuries, especially when combined with additional factors, including soft tissue damage or missed time at work, could result in a claim worth $25,000 – $35,000.
If you were involved in a serious rear-end wreck that resulted in chronic pain or long-term difficulties of any kind, then your claim value likely could be higher.
$250,000 Settlement for Life-Changing Injury From Rear End
If you were rear-ended and suffered a life-changing injury such as brain damage, paralysis, or amputation, then you could be able to settle your case for $250,000 – $500,000.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine what your claim is worth and fight to get you the rear-end settlement you deserve. Contact our personal injury lawyer today to learn more about how much a rear-end wreck might be worth.
What You Can Do After a Rear-End Car Accident
If you are involved in a rear-end accident, there is a good chance the driver behind you will be to blame. There are steps you should take after a rear-end car accident as soon as possible:
- If possible, move your vehicle off the roadway and out of any lanes of traffic
- Seek medical assistance if needed
- Exchange insurance information for everyone involved in the accident
- Get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident
Even if you are injured, it is still important that you follow all of these steps. Failure to do so could result in issues with your claim down the road. Speaking with a qualified car accident lawyer can ensure every step possible is taken to protect you after a car accident.
What You Can Expect After a Rear-End Settlement
Although the details vary from case to case, there are some steps that most attorneys and claimants take as part of their rear-end settlement process:
- File an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer for medical bills, repairs to your vehicle, and property damage
- Determine fault for the accident by examining evidence, including police reports, witness statements, driver testimony, and surveillance footage
- Negotiate with the insurance company or go to trial if negotiations don’t yield a satisfactory rear-end settlement offer
The injured party can settle their rear-end accident outside of court, but it is also possible that your claim could go right to trial. During this process, a car accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your claim and fight for the full amount.
What to Do If Rear-Ended by an Uninsured Motorist
If you are in a rear-end wreck with an uninsured driver or if you also did not have uninsured motorist coverage, then the steps listed above will be different.
In this situation, you need to file a claim under your insurance coverage rather than the other party’s insurance. Your claim would include medical expenses and lost income for both parties, along with pain and suffering.
Before filing an insurance claim, you should get the following information from the other driver:
- Driver's full name and contact information
- Driver’s insurance company
- Policy number for the driver’s insurance coverage
You will likely have to file these claims with your insurance adjuster before you move forward in negotiations with the other party’s insurance company. After an agreement has been reached, you need to contact the other party’s insurer to ensure payment is received.
How to Calculate the Settlement Value of a Rear-End
Rear-end wrecks account for one-third of all traffic collisions. They are the most common type of auto accident in the United States, and they cause much damage to property, injuries, and even death.
Therefore, if you were involved in a rear-end wreck (either as the driver or passenger), it is important to learn how to calculate your average settlement to get the best outcome.
The value of your settlement will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident, including where the collision occurred, what kind of car you were driving, how fast you were going, whether or not you were in a marked lane, etc.
The personal injury settlement will also be based on your age and driving history, insurance coverage, and losses. These losses are also referred to as “damages.” Damages can be divided into three common categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
These damages compensate a party for out-of-pocket costs and lost wages. Some of the most common examples include:
- Repairs to your car and general property damage
- Replacement value for your vehicle if it is totaled (be sure to get this information from your insurance company or car dealership)
- Lost wages due to missing work
- Mileage loss when you have to rent a car to get around while your vehicle is being repaired
These damages compensate a party for intangible personal injuries or injuries that cannot be seen. Some of the most common non-economic damages in a rear-end collision include:
- Pain and suffering
- General damage to your body, including strains, herniated disc, cervical sprains, bruising, etc
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence. Therefore, even if you only seek compensatory damages, it is always best to ask for both types of injuries if you are awarded punitive damages.
If the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you would also be able to ask for punitive damages. These damages are not necessarily calculated based on your losses but rather by the accident's severity.
Punitive damage awards are typically very small compared to other types of damages.
Other Factors That Might Affect Your Rear-End Car Accident Settlement Value
The value of your settlement will also be impacted by other issues surrounding the accident. For example, if you are involved in a car accident with an at-fault driver who does not have insurance or enough insurance to cover your damages, you can sue their responsible party for negligence.
The responsible party for this kind of lawsuit is typically the vehicle owner. However, if you are successful, the other driver may sue the insured vehicle owner for damages.
If you weredriving under the influence at the time of your accident, or if you had unpaid traffic tickets that contributed to your accident, this may reduce your settlement amount as well.
It is important to note that just because these circumstances may reduce your settlement amount, it does not necessarily mean that you will receive less money. You can still recover damages from the other party even if they have been considered in the calculation of your settlement value.
Death of a Loved One in Rear-End Accidents
If someone close to you has died in a rear-end accident, you will likely be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. The number of damages claimed will depend on the accident's circumstances.
If it is proven that another driver was negligent when they caused the accident resulting in someone's death, damages may be claimed. They could result in a substantial amount of money being awarded to the family.
While a rear-end wreck may not seem as severe a crash as one involving another vehicle going through your vehicle's windshield, the truth is that these accidents can be extremely damaging and deadly. Because of this, it is important to inform yourself on how much you may be entitled to receive in damages.
The driver's insurance company responsible for the accident may offer you a settlement figure. However, this will likely be much lower than the amount received in damages in wrongful death cases.
Therefore, you must contact a car accident lawyer to determine what amount of money you may be entitled to receive in damages if your loved one died in a rear-end collision accident.
Hiring a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer to Resolve Rear-End Accident Cases
In most rear-end crashes, there is some kind of negligence involved from either the person who caused the accident or from the person being hit, but there are issues involving both people in most cases. Therefore, when a car accident occurs, the first thing that is usually thought about is who will be at fault for what occurred.
Hire a car accident attorney to represent you in your case to ensure that your rights are protected. Chicago personal injury lawyers can fight for you to get the settlement you deserve for pain and suffering, lost income, medical bills, property damage, and anything related to the incident.
Contact our personal injury lawyer at our law firm today if you have been involved in a rear-end collision. We will fight for you on a contingency fee basis to recover the damages you deserve.