Claims for compensation for rear end car accidents have been acknowledged as the leading reason for personal injury claims in the UK and, due to the potential for false whiplash claims, insurance companies are more frequently investigating the circumstances of collisions from which compensation claims for rear end car accidents arise against their policyholders.
Despite the volume of claims for compensation for rear end car accidents, no two cases are the same — even when two victims are diagnosed with the same grade of whiplash injury — and it is always in your best interests to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced personal injury solicitor if you believe that somebody else was to blame for your rear end car accident.
What Qualifies as a Rear End Car Accident?
Any vehicle collision in which you are struck from behind qualifies as a rear end car accident. Whether or not you are eligible to claim rear end car accident compensation will depend on the reason for the accident occurring and the nature of the injuries you sustain.
The majority of rear end collisions are avoidable and are most commonly due to driver errors – the most frequent being the rear car failing to maintain a safe distance, travelling too fast for the road conditions or the driver of the rear ending vehicle being inattentive.
Other causes of rear end collisions include drunk drivers, distracted drivers and faulty braking mechanisms, and although it is still necessary to establish negligence when making rear end accident compensation claims, the law and insurance companies generally assume that the rear-ending driver is at fault.
Procedures Following Rear End Collisions
The procedures which should have been followed after being involved in a rear end collision are the same as in any traffic accident. Provided you did not place yourself at further risk of injury, insurance details should have been exchanged and the names and contact details of witnesses to the accident recorded.
If you – or a passenger travelling in your car – were injured, the police and an ambulance should have been summoned and, even if the police chose not to attend the scene of the accident, your call to them will have been logged and can be used to support your claim for compensation for rear end car accidents.
If the extent of your injuries was not sufficiently severe to summon an ambulance, you should have attended the Accident and Emergency department of the nearest hospital without delay. In the event that there were no apparent signs of an injury, but symptoms of whiplash developed over the next few days, you should have made an emergency appointment to be examined by your family GP.
If there is an unjustifiable interval between the time of your accident and the time you underwent a medical examination, it could be claimed by the insurance company investigating your claim for a rear end car accident injury that the injuries caused by their client were insufficient to warrant medical attention at the time, or that you exacerbated your injuries by your own lack of care.
Making a Claim for a Rear End Car Accident Injury
If you have been diagnosed with an injury which was sustained in a vehicle collision and wish to make a rear end car accident compensation claim, you should first report the accident to the police if they did not attend the accident – especially if the driver responsible for the accident left the scene without exchanging contact and insurance details.
The police may be interested in tracing the driver of the vehicle which hit you if they believe a criminal act has taken place, and should they be unable to locate him or her – or the negligent driver turns out to be uninsured when they are apprehended – the police report will be of substantial benefit to you in support of claims for compensation for rear end car accidents.
Your solicitor will then compile a “Letter of Claim” to the negligent driver, who has twenty-one days to acknowledge it and a further ninety days for his or her insurance company to inform your solicitor whether they accept liability for their client´s negligence. If liability is accepted, your solicitor will enter into negotiations with the insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement on your behalf.
If liability is denied, you will have to discuss with your solicitor whether it is worth your while to pursue rear end car accident compensation through the courts. The answer to this will possibly depend on the strength of your claim how much evidence you have in support of it and how much compensation for a rear end accident you are likely to receive.
The Value of Compensation for Rear End Car Accidents
How much compensation you will receive for injuries sustained in a rear end car accident is going to depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, the impact they have on your quality of life and any expenses or loss of income you have experienced which are directly attributable to the rear end collision.
General damages for physical and psychological injury are calculated according to the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages and you are also entitled to include in compensation claims for rear end car accidents any loss of amenity you have suffered due to your incapacity to perform everyday tasks, or enjoy leisure and social pursuits which would form part of your regular schedule.
Passengers who make compensation claims for rear end car accidents may often receive a higher settlement of rear end car accident compensation than a driver, as they generally tend to be women and children – who have weaker neck muscles – and who sustain a more severe level of injury due to not having the split second to brace against impact that a driver has when he or she sees a vehicle approaching in their rear view mirror.
Compensation Claims for Rear End Car Accidents and Insurance Companies
Inasmuch as insurance companies are more frequently investigating compensation claims for rear end car accidents – and contesting them whenever appropriate – they are also approaching claimants when their investigations have shown that their client was undoubtedly negligent and making direct, unsolicited offers of compensation for a rear end accident.
Unsolicited offers should always be referred to your solicitor as, although the potential for a swift settlement may be tempting, they rarely reflect your full entitlement to rear end car accident compensation and are compiled without an assessment of your injuries and the impact they have on your quality of life to save the insurance company money.
No all injuries in rear end car accidents are mild cases of whiplash from which the claimant will recover in a matter of weeks and, if you have sustained a serious injury in a rear end collision which leaves you without an income for a considerable period of time, and you accept an inappropriate settlement of compensation for a rear end accident which is inadequate to support your family or pay for your medical care, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more.
Legal Advice about Compensation for Rear End Car Accidents
If you are in the unfortunate position where you are entitled to claim for a rear end car accident injury, you should always seek legal advice about compensation for rear end car accidents rather than attempt to pursue a claim by yourself or accept the first offer of compensation for a rear end accident which is presented to you by an insurance company.
Most solicitors in the UK now offer a free initial consultation about compensation claims for rear end car accidents to establish whether you have a viable claim for a rear end car accident injury and, if so, may offer you legal representation on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. The offer of “No Win, No Fee” claims for compensation for rear end car accidents is no guarantee of success, but it is often a good indicator of the strength of your claim.
As it is often important to construct claims for compensation for rear end car accidents as soon as possible after a collision has occurred, it will be in your best interests to speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.