Rear-end car accidents are some of the most common vehicle collisions that occur on American roads. Despite how widespread they are, they’re pretty challenging to navigate for the average person, especially when burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when estimating your settlement for rear end car accident, depending on the incident’s specifics.
How Much Should a Rear End Collision Settlement Be?
Your expected settlement total depends on numerous details in your car accident case.
For instance, you might expect a minimal payout if the negligent driver hardly did any damage to your vehicle or property in the crash. However, if you suffered extensive losses, such as a totaled car, it’s reasonable to predict a higher settlement total.
These caveats represent some of the most compelling reasons you need a car accident lawyer to represent you if you become a victim of another driver’s negligence. An experienced attorney will be thoroughly prepared to represent you and increase your chances of receiving an appropriate settlement to cover all losses and damages.
Here are the primary factors that typically contribute to an accident’s expenses to give you a more thorough understanding of how to predict your rear end collision settlement.
Medical Costs (Related to Personal Injury)
In 2019, motor vehicle incidents caused 4.5 million injuries. Not all car crashes require extensive medical attention.
Still, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor if there are wounds that evade your immediate attention. Common injuries include neck and back injuries, whiplash, and contusions.
Pain and Suffering
Many people tend to suffer from psychological and emotional trauma in a collision’s aftermath, especially if they experienced a significant injury or lost a loved one in the event. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most likely mental disorders accident victims may develop.
This is the most obvious damage you must factor into your settlement total. Note that “property” includes the vehicle and stationary objects like a fence or a building.
Depending on your policy, you might be able to cover the repair or replacement of items inside the car, too.
Any time you spend at the hospital, at a mechanic’s shop to repair your vehicle, or handling other logistical elements of the crash takes away from your work time.
You can be compensated for this as long as you document your hours to demonstrate that you could not attend work as a direct consequence of the crash.
The worst possible outcome a collision can have is the loss of life. Back in 2019, roughly 38,800 people died in these incidents. Although this represents the continuation of a small yearly decline, it illustrates a dark reality of the risks of driving on U.S. roads. Wrongful deaths tend to be the most expensive settlements.
It would be best to consider all this before you conclude what your settlement value of rear end accident might be. Depending on the accident’s specifics, you might be looking at average minimums of $15,000 to highs of $150,000.
Some cases even reach tens of millions. In these cases, the accident likely either resulted in a death, left the victim with extreme, permanent injuries (e.g., paralysis), or involved a commercial or government vehicle.
Commercial Vehicle Rear End Collision
The most common vehicle collisions involving commercial automobiles are truck crashes. These are some of the deadliest accidents to be involved in, mainly because of the semi-trucks weight and size.
The average 18-wheeler weighs about 35,000 lbs empty. According to the Interstate Highway System commercial vehicle maximum standards, they can get up to 80,000 lbs maximum when they’re loaded.
Suppose you’re rear ended by a company vehicle (even if it’s not a semi-truck). In that case, the blame may not fall on the driver but on the company or manufacturer. This is because the fault may not simply be the driver’s behavior, but any of the following:
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Improper cargo loading
- Faulty components
If any of these are indeed the problem underlying the crash, your case will likely grow in complexity and cost. Below are some examples of a settlement for rear end car accident total in various commercial truck accidents.
Examples of Settlement Totals in Truck Crashes
As mentioned above, vehicle collision settlement amounts differ greatly depending on the specifics of the event. Here are a few past cases to give you an idea of how your case might play out.
Walmart Truck Driver. A limousine slowed down due to congested road conditions. A truck driver (who had not gotten any sleep in the preceding 24 hours) was approaching from behind, exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph.
The truck struck the limousine, killing one passenger and injuring numerous others. One victim received the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractured ribs
- Fractured leg
Due to these injuries and the overall collision, this individual reportedly received approximately $90 million from Walmart. (Attorneys were not at liberty to confirm or deny this amount.)
Liquid Nitrogen Truck Accident. A tractor-trailer carrying liquid nitrogen crashed into the victim’s vehicle from behind, causing the individual to suffer a herniated disc in his spine and excruciating pain extending down both legs.
Although the victim initially refused care on-scene, he ultimately required $880,000 in medical bills (which multiple experts testified should have cost significantly less).
Ultimately, the victim received $3,464,288 in total, which included:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future pain and suffering
Rear End Accidents with Government Vehicles
Getting rear ended by a government vehicle is an entirely different matter from being hit by another casual driver or company vehicle. This is because there are a lot more legal nuances in these cases than any other.
This is primarily due to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This statute grants immunity to U.S. government employees operating within their job duties at the time of the accident. Although the law acknowledges the following, you’ll still need to deal with a lot of legal confusion when you’re going up against a federal or state entity after a rear end car accident.
28 U.S.C. § 1346(b): “The United States shall be liable . in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances.”
You shouldn’t be discouraged from holding a government employee accountable for injuring you or damaging your property in a car accident. Just know that when you do, the case will be more complex than you might expect due to their unusual immunity in some cases. This increases the need for an attorney.
It’s significantly more difficult to estimate an average settlement for rear end collision with a government vehicle. In this case, you’ll need to discuss the matter in-depth with your rear end car accident lawyer.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Rear End Collision Case?
The time required to reach a settlement for rear-end car accident depends on your incident’s details. Typically, the more extensive the damages and injuries are, the longer the case will take to conclude. This is because of the extensive paperwork and legal processes required to cover your claim’s details.
Here’s a quick overview of what it takes to file a claim for your rear end car accident:
1. Day 1, immediately after the crash:
- Document evidence at the scene. If you are capable of doing so, take photos and videos of the damage and write down the events that occurred before, during, and after the crash. All the details matter in proving the damages and rightfully demonstrating who is at fault.
- Call the police. This will provide you an indisputable legal document reflecting the case’s details.
- Contact your insurance company. Get the incident on record with your insurer as soon as possible to improve your chances of receiving your due compensation.
2. Several days, weeks, or months:
- Seek medical attention. You should do this as soon as possible after the crash. However, your doctor may require repeated visits over several weeks or months, depending on the extent of your injuries. After the necessary period, you’ll get the medical paperwork to make your case against the negligent driver.
- Contact an attorney. Present your car accident lawyer with as much information as possible about the case. They will handle further investigation to determine fault and secure your owed settlement.
3. Up to 90 days or several years:
- Settlement. If there are only minor damages, you can expect to wrap up your case within 90 days. This is the average time frame for a rear end collision. However, more extensive damages and injuries may take years, as they must go through a lengthy litigation process.
Find Legal Help to Secure Your Settlement for Rear End Car Accident
Navigating the legal process for rear end settlements and claims is incredibly difficult, especially if you’ve suffered extensive injuries or lost a loved one in the crash.
Yet, with an experienced attorney at your side, you can be confident that you’ll get the settlement you need to cover your expenses and have a stress-free recovery. Contact Warriors for Justice to get started on your claim today.