Rear-end collisions are common types of car and truck accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 30% of all car accidents are rear-end collisions and 7% of all accident deaths. In some cases, rear-end accidents can be relatively minor and settlement amounts will reflect the corresponding medical bills and other damages. That doesn’t mean, however, that rear-end collisions don’t cause more serious or permanent injuries, especially if the accident involves a truck.
When you are in a car that is hit from behind, the force can cause you and all of the car’s occupants to be violently thrown forward and then rapidly backward – even when you are wearing seat belts and the other vehicle is moving at a slow speed. It’s common to suffer injuries like whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injury and airbag injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in such a rear-end collision, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the liable party that caused your crash. By taking legal action, you may be able to recover funds that can pay for your car damage, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options.
What are the Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions?
It is highly likely that your rear-end car accident was entirely avoidable and due to driver negligence. For instance, driver inattention accounts for the largest factor in rear-end crashes. Drivers -- in cars or trucks -- may be distracted or preoccupied with other thoughts which then causes them to become unaware of what’s happening with the vehicle in front of them. Additionally, the driver who hit you may have failed to maintain a safe following distance from your car. When this happens, drivers do not have the reaction time to brake to avoid a crash.
Rear-End Collision Settlements: Should You Hire a Lawyer?
Don’t be quick to accept any offer from the insurance company that comes your way. It isn’t unusual for an accident victim to be unhappy with the initial amount offered. Insurance companies are in business to maximize their profits and minimize claims. If you have been injured in an accident, in many cases, a personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurer to get a more reasonable settlement for your injuries.
Before you start the negotiation process with an insurance company, consider your situation. If you’ve incurred medical bills, missed work and especially if you anticipate needing further medical treatment, an experienced personal injury attorney’s help would be of use to you. Unless it is a minor issue, such as a case under $5,000, a car or truck accident lawyer may be able to do more for you.
Rear-End Collision Medical Expenses
Personal injury claims often include the value of your medical expenses. The higher the value that you are seeking, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a car accident attorney who can do all of the negotiations on your behalf. If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, or lost income. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much more difficult to obtain fair compensation.
Pain and Suffering in Rear-End Collision Settlements
When filing an injury claim, you can also recover non-economic damages, such as ‘pain and suffering.’ There are no specific rules around how pain and suffering is calculated in a claim. Insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a serious burn than if you bruised your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience.
Insurance companies typically multiply the cost of medical bills by a number between one and five to calculate “pain and suffering.” The more severe and permanent the injury, the higher the multiplier. Because of the complexity and judgment required to estimate pain and suffering, a skilled car or truck accident attorney is imperative to get the compensation you deserve. Their experience will help to be prepared to explain and justify your calculation.
Brandon J. Broderick, Rear-End Collision Lawyer
There is no law requiring you to have a lawyer when filing a claim after an accident. However, working with experienced personal injury attorneys can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a personal injury lawyer from our team, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney, at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with personal injury settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.