How Much Money Will I Get After Being Rear-Ended?

Updated October, 2020
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The average settlement from getting rear-ended while stopped varies depending on multiple factors. Severity of injury, time away from work, and medical expenses are factors that can determine your settlement. Gross negligence can also impact the settlement.

Most common injuries sustained in rear-end car accidents

The injuries sustained from a rear-end car accident are dependent on many aspects of the accident itself. Speed, vehicle size, and whether or not a seatbelt is worn can impact the injuries sustained. While all accidents are different, some injuries are common in rear-end specific car accidents. Some of the most common are:

  • Whiplash- Occurs when your head is "whipped" forward and backwards rapidly.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries- These occur when your body is jolted during the impact of the crash.
  • Fractures or breaks- These commonly occur in the wrists and hands because the driver most likely has their hands on the wheel when the impact occurs.

How is a settlement amount determined?

A settlement is the term for a payment under legal direction. A car accident settlement is what an insurances company pays the victim of an accident. Most of the time you have to sue an insurance company to get your settlement. The goal of a settlement is to "make you whole again." Many factors go into what you get in your settlement.

Injuries sustained/medical bills

Most of the time if you're getting a settlement you have sustained injuries and medicals bills. You have to pay for these out-of-pocket until the settlement reimburses you. Make sure you save or receipts and give them to your lawyer.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering is a term that's an easy way of saying all of the non-economic damages from a car accident. These include: developing a permanent disability, loss of a family member, and gross negligence on the part of any party involved. Pain and suffering compensation can be calculated by using one of two methods, Multiplication or the Per Diem method.

The multiplication method establishes a number based on severity of the car accident between 1.5 and 5. The economic damages are then multiplies by that number. The final number is the amount paid out to the victim.

The per diem method is a per day method. You would establish a reasonable amount like $75 per day and multiply that by the number of days the issue occurred. If you were in a cast for 50 days you would then get $3,750 in this example.

Lost wages

If your injuries are severe enough you may miss work. The loss of income can be factored into your settlement. Also taken into account is if you're to miss work in the future or lose out on opportunities. For example, if you're a chef and you lose function in an arm or leg your compensation may be higher.

Will I get the full amount that was calculated?

There's a good chance you won't receive the full amount that was calculated. Insurance companies like to find any reason to save themselves money. The company usually offers you a settlement very quickly to try low ball you. Some of the reasons you may not get full value are:

  • You didn't seek immediate medical attention
  • The insurance company believes they can win
  • Information wasn't properly given to the company or the court

What factors determine an increase in compensation?

Some injuries or factors may increase your settlement. Severe injuries, life altering disabilities, and loss of life or limbs can contribute to an increase in the settlement. Some examples of these factors are:

  • Paralysis
  • Death of a loved one
  • Brain damage or loss of memory

Will my insurance premium go up if I was rear-ended?

Since you won't be at-fault, unless you were doing something illegal when you were hit, your rates shouldn't go up. However, sometimes you can be at-fault and your rates can go up. If you're looking to protect yourself from your rates increasing, look into accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness saves your rate from being increased, even after your first at-fault accident.

Is my insurance good enough to protect me in an accident?

If you're not sure, consider comparing different insurance providers to your own to find out who's able to provide you with the level of protection you need. Don't get caught on unprepared in the life-altering car accident.

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