How Much Can I Get in a Rear-End Collision Settlement?
Rear-ended in Florida? This article will help you understand the factors that most impact the potential settlement amount for your injuries and damages.
Rear-end collisions can leave unsuspecting victims with multiple injuries. Some of the most common injuries in these accidents can occur to the neck, back, head, and rotator cuff.
Most people think about head and neck injuries in a rear-end accident. However, they may not realize their shoulder pain may also be related. If you injured your rotator cuff in a car accident, you might be entitled to reimbursement for your damages as well as your pain and suffering.
When you retain a professional Florida car accident attorney, we will help you fight for compensation for all of your injuries, time off work, pain and suffering, and more.
Is There an “Average” Rear-End Accident Amount?
It’s important to understand that if you’re presenting a claim after being rear-ended, the settlement amount will vary in each case.
There is no average settlement amount for a rear-end accident or any other type of personal injury claim. The reason for this is that each claim is unique, and the accident circumstances aren’t always the same.
What Types of Injuries are Most Common in Rear-End Car Accidents?
Depending on the severity of the collision, the types of injuries will differ. Some of the most common ones include head, neck, back, and shoulder injuries.
Concussions can happen regularly in rear-end collisions as your head may strike something in the vehicle. Head injuries are not always immediately apparent either. Sometimes it can take 24 hours for someone to realize they have a concussion.
In more severe collisions, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms like headaches, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, or an inability to concentrate can be telltale signs of a head injury.
Many plaintiffs overlook their shoulder pain and mistakenly assume it’s just sore. Torn rotator cuffs are painful and more common than people realize in rear-end accidents. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:
- Shoulder and muscle weakness;
- Radiating pain down your arm;
- Limited range of motion in your shoulder;
- Clicking or popping sound when you move the painful shoulder;
- Struggling to raise your arm above your head;
- Swelling in your shoulder area;
- Neck or upper back pain; and
- Severe or sudden pain on the outer side of your shoulder.
Your back and neck pain may only be soft tissue damage, or there could be something more serious going on. Having x-rays and even MRIs may be necessary to determine the extent of your injuries.
Spinal injuries may be severe and cause pinch nerves, leaving you in excruciating pain and unable to walk. If conservative treatment options fail, you may need steroid injections or even surgery.
How Does the Type of Injury Sustained Impact the Amount of the Settlement?
The type of injury you sustained will impact the overall rear-end accident settlement value in multiple ways. Your amount of medical bills is a primary example.
Consider someone who has $200,000 in medical bills compared with someone who has $2,000 in bills. The plaintiff with several hundred thousand in bills will be asking for far more than the other person.
Some injuries are more serious and therefore may be entitled to a higher dollar amount for pain and suffering. Someone who suffered only a mild case of whiplash will not receive the same settlement as someone who had to undergo multiple neck and back surgeries.
Case values are based on a combination of other factors as well, such as loss of earnings, future treatment, disability, and physical vehicle damages. This is why no two rear-end collision settlements are the same.
Is the Driver Who Rear-Ends the Other Vehicle Always at Fault?
No, the driver who rear-ends someone isn’t necessarily at fault. One common example of this is with a multi-car rear-end collision. The car that rear-ended you may have been pushed into you by the vehicle behind them.
There are several other situations where the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front is not entirely at fault. Perhaps the front vehicle suddenly reverses, or it has no working brake lights and stops suddenly.
Or perhaps the front vehicle broke down and the driver didn’t put their emergency flashers on or try to pull the vehicle off the road. In situations like this, the driver in front may be at least partially at fault for the accident.
What Evidence Is Most Critical in Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Determining fault in a rear-end collision is not always straightforward. While skid marks, witness statements, and scene photos are important pieces of evidence, they don’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes you need an expert to review the physical vehicle damages and witness statements.
This can be accomplished by retaining an accident reconstructionist. These experts conduct a thorough review of the accident and provide a scientific answer as to how the collision occurred.
They may also go as far as recreating the accident to duplicate the crash conditions in a controlled environment. The use of experts is typically reserved for cases with severe injuries and/or disputed liability.
What Are Some Examples of Rear-End Cases That Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Has Handled?
Our Florida car accident attorneys have handled numerous rear-end collision cases in our over 30 years of experience. Many of these cases resolved with six-figure settlements for our clients. Several rear-end collision settlement examples are:
- $875,000 for a 36-year-old female who suffered cervical and lumbar spine injuries;
- $750,000 for a client who sustained multiple injuries;
- $550,000 for a client who suffered severe injuries after the defendant failed to observe stopped traffic ahead;
- $525,000 for a 62-year-old man who had multiple surgeries to repair shoulder and cervical spine injuries after a serious rear-end collision;
- $500,000 for a 21-year-old passenger injured in a rear-ended vehicle who sustained herniations to their neck and back that required injections and surgery; and
- $500,000 for a 52-year-old male who required a lumbar discectomy after being rear-ended by a limo and subsequently pushed into another vehicle.
This list is a small representation of the rear-end accidents we’ve handled over the last three decades. When you retain Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we will complete a case evaluation right away.
What Factors Does a Lawyer Consider When Deciding Whether to Take a Rear-End Accident Case?
Numerous factors play into the decision on whether we take a case. One of the most important factors is when the accident occurred. If the accident was recent, you will be well within the statute of limitations.
But what about a case that has been in negotiations for over three years already? There is a chance the four-year statute of limitations has passed. This means that the courts would bar your claim, and it is likely that for an attorney will decline the case.
Your personality and believability are essential criteria that firms look at. You may not come across as believable, or it may appear that you’re lying about the facts of the accident. Have other firms declined to take your case? Those are all red flags an attorney will consider before agreeing to take on your case.
The probability of winning your case is also something attorneys look at. You may think your case is a slam dunk, but attorneys have more insight on whether a case is worth pursuing.
The potential legal fees may outweigh the settlement value. Or the defendant may have limited resources, so there is little probability of collecting on a judgment.
In rare cases, an attorney may not be able to take your case because they have a conflict of interest. Perhaps, for example, they have represented the defendant in the past.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a rear-end accident claim is easy to resolve. Let our experienced Florida car accident attorneys help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to schedule an initial consultation. We can help you fight for the settlement you deserve.