What Is the Typical Payout for a Rear End Collision, and What Factors Could Affect Your Settlement?

A rear-end collision occurs when a driver fails to stop or slow down to match the pace of the car in front of them. The collision could be between two vehicles, or the car that causes the accident could push the other driver into a multi-vehicle crash. Even if these accidents occur at slow speeds, rear-end collisions can cause damage to both vehicles and physically harm the drivers. 

Payouts for rear-end collisions vary based on the severity of the crash. Settlement amounts can reach higher numbers for dangerous crashes where the driver is proven to be neglectful. Speaking with a trusted attorney can be a valuable step in assessing the potential value of a rear-end collision case. 

Here’s what you need to know about the various factors contributing to settlement amounts. 

Factors That Influence the Average Payout

Insurance companies use complex algorithms to determine fair payouts in the wake of a rear-end collision. Here are a few factors they consider when estimating what they think is a fair amount. 

  • Fault: If you were completely blameless in the crash, your vehicle damages and injuries will likely be covered. Filing a police report will help determine who was at fault in the crash. You are required to report accidents with damage greater than $2,500 to the DMV in Oregon. 
  • The severity of injuries: Not only will insurance providers consider how severe your injuries are, but they will also ask if you immediately sought medical treatment. 
  • The permanence of injuries: If you sustained a permanent injury because of the crash, like chronic back pain from a broken spinal disc, the insurance payout will likely be higher. 
  • Insurance coverage: Some insurers and policies cover more than others, which determines how much the providers are willing to pay. 
  • Vehicle: Some vehicles have higher values than others, which means it will cost more to replace them. 

Insurers will also look at the statements the drivers made about the crash and other legal documents recorded by police. These provide greater detail about the accident and how much you deserve. 

Getting Rear-Ended While Stopped: What’s the Settlement?

Settlements vary in payout even when one of the vehicles is stopped. Whenever an accident occurs, the police need to determine who is at fault. If the driver who was fully stopped was following the law, the driver who hit them will likely be at fault. 

While the payout might be higher for the driver who was following the law, the speed of the crash and the impact of the accident determine how much they need to be compensated. A driver who tries to stop and hit the other car at 10 mph while braking will likely create less damage than a distracted driver who crashes at 40 mph and flips the other car. 

How Fault Is Determined in Such Cases

In the wake of an accident, the police will determine fault, or essentially assign blame for the crash. One or more drivers can be at fault for an accident. 

There’s a common myth that the driver in the back is always at fault for a rear-end accident. This is because they should be able to see the car in front of them and control their vehicle appropriately. However, there are times when the driver in the front might be at fault. If they are driving erratically, have road rage, or make a sudden decision without checking for cars around them, they could be at fault. 

For example, if a driver slams on their brakes because they are going to miss their turn, they can create a dangerous situation for the drivers behind them. The safer option might be to keep driving and turn around instead.  

If you are in any accident, but especially one where you aren’t at fault, call your insurance company. Give a statement on what happened and the steps you took to prevent the crash. State laws also have different guidelines for determining fault and contesting it. If you are assigned fault by the police officer on the scene but don’t believe that is accurate, you can give your statement to the insurance company and dispute the claim in order to get the payout and coverage you need. 

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

There are multiple causes of rear-end collisions, some of which are in the driver’s control. Here are a few reasons why these accidents happen: 

  • Speeding: Drivers create unsafe conditions by not following the speed limit because they are unable to stop as quickly. 
  • Poor weather conditions: Rain, snow, ice, and fog can all reduce visibility and make the roads harder to drive on. This increases the likelihood of rear-end collisions. 
  • Road conditions: Construction can change road patterns and confuse drivers, increasing the chances of an accident.  
  • Distracted driving: From smartphone use to drowsy driving, drivers who aren’t alert are more likely to cause accidents.   
  • Brake failure: Even an alert driver can cause an accident if their brakes fail. 

The cause of the crash can also impact the severity of the accident. A focused driver could fail to stop in wet or icy conditions, resulting in a small crash. This will likely be less severe than a distracted driver who doesn’t see the other car until it is too late. 

Understanding the Compensation Process

In the wake of an accident, you will evaluate your total losses as a result of the crash to determine your compensation. If you feel like your compensation amount is too low, you can seek legal assistance to get the coverage you deserve. Hiring experts to handle your claim allows you to focus on recovery while experts in the law work with the insurance company to get a fair payout. Here’s how damages are calculated. 

Determining Damages

Damages should cover the long-term and short-term costs to the victim. Short-term, the payout should cover car repair costs and medical bills. Long-term, the coverage should pay for physical therapy, therapy for the emotional trauma of the accident, and any other impacts the crash had on the victim’s life. The damages list can be extensive after a crash.    

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the various costs that the victim accrues because of a crash. These extend beyond medical bills and property damage. They also cover lost wages if they cannot work or any other costs — like canceling a vacation because of injuries, childcare during settlement appointments, and rideshare expenses while the vehicle was out of commission. 

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the victim will seek punitive damages from the driver at fault. These are meant to punish them for their negligent behavior. For example, a drunk driver or aggressive driver who causes a rear-end collision might have to pay punitive damages.

Working with legal representation can help you get the full payout you deserve after your rear-end collision. You don’t have to be an insurance expert when you have an experienced team of lawyers on your side. 

Call Us at 503-594-4944 or Schedule a Free Case Review

Related Posts