Claiming for rear end accident injuries compensation is the leading reason for injury claims in the USA and has been identified as a potentially leading cause of insurance fraud – prompting insurance companies to look more closely into claims for compensation following a rear end car accident.
Discussing your accident with a lawyer as soon as possible after the event is imperative to pursuing a successful claim and being awarded compensation after a rear end collision. It is always in your best interests to speak with a lawyer after a rear-end collision as, even though a large volume of claims for compensation following a rear end car accident are pursued every day, no two cases are the same – even when the same grade of whiplash is diagnosed.
Qualifying for Rear End Accident Injuries Compensation
Whether you are entitled to claim rear end accident injuries compensation after a rear end collision will depend on the reason the accident occurred and whether the severity of the injuries you sustained make claiming compensation following a rear end car accident worth your while.
Any accident in which you are struck by a car from behind you qualifies as a rear end accident but, in order to claim compensation after a rear end collision, it has to show that the driver following you was responsible for causing the accident and thereby your injuries.
Most rear end collisions are caused by error on the part of the following driver and are avoidable — the most common causes of rear end car accidents are drivers failing to pay attention to the road, not leaving sufficient room to brake in the event of a sudden stoppage and driving dangerously in unsuitable conditions. Compensation following a rear end car accident is also known to be awarded where drunk drivers or faulty breaking mechanisms have been responsible for causing accidents.
The Procedures Following a Collision
The procedures which should be adhered to after a rear end collision are the same as for any other road traffic accident. Following them correctly can be key to pursuing a successful claim for compensation after a rear end collision. Inasmuch as you may have done all of these already, it is a good idea to review the procedures in case any were omitted in the aftermath of the accident.
Your first priority should have been to care for your own health and the health of any passengers travelling with you. An ambulance and the police should have been summoned if any serious injuries had been sustained. If your injuries were not severe enough to warrant an ambulance being called you should have visited the nearest hospital’s accident and emergency department immediately, or, if signs of an injury did not become apparent until days later — as can be the case with whiplash or bruising — you should have made an appointment to visit your local GP.
Not having your injuries treated at the first available opportunity may not only place your health in danger, it can jeopardise the likelihood of receiving a rear end accident injuries compensation settlement. The negligent party´s insurance company may argue that your injuries were not as severe as you claim, or that you exacerbated after the event or through inaction.
In order to claim from a liable party’s insurance you will need to swap insurance details with the negligent driver — unless this means putting your health at jeopardy. If possible you should also try to obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses present at the scene.
Contact the Police and Insurance Company
In order to support your claim for compensation following a rear end car accident you should report the incident to the police at the first available opportunity — this is especially important if the driver responsible has fled the scene without providing their insurance or contact details.
If the police believe that there was criminal element to the collision, they could provide you with help tracking down the driver. If the driver is located and apprehended by police, a claim for compensation after a rear end collision is made against the driver´s car insurance policy. If the driver turns out to be uninsured, the claim for compensation following a rear end car accident would be made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau (MIB).
By seeking prompt medical attention, reporting your accident to the police and discussing the circumstances of your accident and injury as soon as possible with a lawyer, you maximise the probability of receiving your full entitlement to rear end accident injuries compensation.
Your lawyer will send the negligent driver´s insurance company (or MIB if uninsured) a Letter of Claim, informing them of your claim for rear end accident injuries compensation. Once the letter has been sent, the recipient has 21 days to acknowledge receipt and a further 90 days to decide whether or not to accept liability.
If liability is accepted, your lawyer will immediately enter into talks with the negligent driver’s insurance company in order to secure the maximum possible settlement. If liability is denied, you and your lawyer will have to weigh up the strength of your case and decide whether to pursue it in court.
How Much Compensation Following a Rear End Car Accident
The value of awards for rear end accident injuries compensation depends on a number of factors. Among the most pertinent are the nature and extent of the injuries sustained in the collision and the psychological and emotional impact of the crash. General damages are calculated according to the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages.
Compensation after a rear end collision can also be granted for the quantifiable financial costs incurred by the victims a result of the accident — these are known as special damages. Claimants can also be compensated for their loss of amenity — the impact the accident has had on the ability to carry out daily tasks and participate in regular leisure and social activities — and any loss of earnings.
Passengers who make a successful claim are often awarded a larger settlement of compensation following a rear end car accident than drivers — mainly because they are often women or children, who generally have weaker soft tissues than male drivers and may not have had as much time to brace themselves prior to a crash – their injuries being more severe as a result.
Insurance Companies and Compensation After a Rear End Collision
While insurance companies now see fit to investigate a claim for rear end accident injuries compensation more frequently, they are also known for making unsolicited offers of compensation — circumventing all other parties in a bid to resolve the issue with you directly. If you are the recipient of an unsolicited offer of compensation you should speak with a lawyer immediately.
Although the offer of compensation may be tempting, how much compensation following a rear end car accident an insurance company proposes as part of its unsolicited offer rarely reflects your full entitlement and you would often be awarded a greater amount should you choose to involve a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf or pursue a claim in court.
If an insurance company decides to make you an unsolicited offer of compensation after a rear end collision, it often means that their investigation has shown their policyholder at fault for your injuries.
Speak with a Solicitor About Your Rear End Collision Queries
If you are in the unfortunate position in which you wish to pursue rear end accident injuries compensation, you should always consult a lawyer before making a decision as to how to proceed. Many lawyers in the USA offer a free initial consultation through which you can find out more information about pursuing a successful claim.
When you choose to speak with a lawyer, you will also be able to find out if your claim is eligible to be undertaken with on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee arrangement is one in which the lawyer offers to handle a claim on the understanding that he/she will not be paid if the case is not successful.
To build the best case possible when pursuing compensation after a rear end collision you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after the event.