How Much Should I Settle for if I Was Rear Ended in Texas?
Rear end crashes can cause extensive damage and are somewhat more unexpected than accidents from other directions. Expenses related to rear-end collisions include legal and court fees, personal injuries such as brain trauma or whiplash, insurance costs, and lost productivity. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates direct costs of auto car crashes at $242 billion, while indirect costs of the likes of quality of life put the value at more than $836 billion.
These types of crashes are also very common; there has been an increase in rear-end crashes over the past few years, with more than 1.6 million rear-end incidents reported in 2011 and over 1.7 million in 2012. In 2015, there were 6,296,000 crashes based on research conducted by the NHTSA. Rear end accidents accounted for more than 30% of these wrecks.
Many people wonder what the average compensation for a rear end auto accident is; many are also unaware of what they should do after being involved in one. Below we outline everything you need to know about such accidents.
What Causes Rear-End Accidents?
A rear end accident most frequently occurs as a result of a driver following another driver too closely, making them unable to stop in time when the car in front brakes or comes to a halt. Other causes include:
- Distracted driving such as texting
- Poor weather conditions
- Slick roads with snow or rain
- The driver driving from behind should drive safely since he/she may be held responsible for causing injuries if he/she causes a rear end accident
What Should You Do When a Rear-End Accident Happens?
Here are the steps you should take when you’re hit from behind:
- Check for Injuries – You should seek medical attention even when you think you weren’t hurt in the accident. Minor soreness can turn into serious injuries after a few days. Moreover, your chances of receiving a settlement will increase if your injuries are documented immediately by a doctor.
- Document Property Damage – Take photos of your damaged car, the vehicle that hit you (before they’ve moved from the scene) and the road condition immediately after the crash.
- Get the Police Report – Your lawsuit will be strengthened if you have a copy of the crash report prepared by the police, even if the crash was minor. If the other party is negligent, the police will note this fact in their report.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – If your vehicle was hit from behind, provide your insurer with all accident-related information immediately.
Who Is Liable in a Rear-End Crash?
To prove a person liable for an accident, insurance companies as well as state and federal laws generally favor the driver hit from behind. The rule of thumb is that rear-end accidents are the fault of the driver in the rear. Driving rules dictate that all drivers should slow and stop to avoid hitting another car. Factors that determine fault include:
- Broken traffic laws – If a vehicle makes a left turn into traffic at a red light and is hit by a vehicle with the right of way in the rear, the vehicle that is behind may not be at-fault while the driver in front may have been negligent
- Whether or not the vehicle in front had brake lights that were in working condition
- If the driver in front went into reverse suddenly without warning
- Poor visibility and poor road conditions can also reduce the liability on the rear driver. Determining liability will depend on the above scenarios. A personal injury lawyer will assess specific crash factors to determine liability
Rear-End Accident Compensation Process
In order to win a settlement, you should file a claim that can be litigated in court. However, most rear-end accident settlements are done out of court because negligence in such accidents is usually clear. The insurer of the at-fault party will generally offer compensation to the injured person to cover for injuries and damages up to the policy limits of the at-fault driver.
Be prepared to negotiate what the insurance company is offering as it will likely be lower than the cost of your damages such as medical bills and lost income. You should hire a personal injury lawyer to safeguard your interests and to help with filing your claim and seeing it through to winning compensation.
Average Compensation Amounts Offered for Rear-End Accidents
The settlement you may get in a rear end auto accident varies since compensation amounts offered for injuries suffered are meant to reinstate you to the physical and financial standing you would have enjoyed had you never been hit from behind in the first place. The amount you may be awarded will be based on pain and suffering,medical expenses, property damage, and lost income.
Contact Houston’s Leading Auto Accident Attorney Team Today
Call our panel of expert auto accident attorneys at 713-677-2159 to discuss your case, ask any questions you may have, and learn about your legal options and the best path forward. We will analyze your case, help obtain evidence such as police reports, camera footage, and eyewitness testimony to prepare and file a thorough accident injury claim. Call now.
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