Usually, auto insurance companies pay for rear-end collisions. Most states require motorists to carry liability insurance, which covers the injured person’s losses in a crash. So, following a rear-end collision, the at-fault driver’s insurer may pay for the other person’s losses. However, this isn’t the case for every rear-end crash. Sometimes, other parties bear liability.
If you’ve recently been in a rear-end collision, and you have concerns about recovering compensation, you should learn about partnering with a personal injury lawyer. They can investigate your collision and pursue the liable party for damages.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
Insurance Generally Covers All Injury-Related Losses
When you’re in a car crash, you can seek compensation from the liable insurance provider, whether it’s your own or the other party’s. Many states operate on fault-based systems, meaning most people file personal injury claims with the other party’s insurer. This is different from no-fault states, where injured claimants can file a claim with their own insurance provider.
An insurance settlement could cover:
- Medical bills, including anticipated healthcare costs and hospital stays
- Lost income, wages, tips, bonuses, and commissions
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Temporary transportation arrangements
- The cost of replacing or repairing your car
Insurance could also cover the cost of your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. You could also recover damages if you lost a loved one, with compensation accounting for funeral and burial costs, final medical bills, and loss of financial support.
An Investigation Could Reveal Liability for Your Losses
Nobody likes to play guessing games when determining liability for a rear-end collision. Doing so just leads to “he said, she said” arguments that go nowhere. Every injury case needs evidence to prove its various elements, including who should pay for the injured person’s losses.
Some information that could determine liability for your losses include:
- Traffic camera footage
- The police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Information from accident reconstruction experts
- Your medical records
- Photos of your car’s damage
As noted, if another party’s negligence caused your wreck, you could seek compensation from their auto insurance provider. However, you have options if a settlement isn’t forthcoming. If the insurer won’t settle, you could sue the at-fault party directly, where a judge could order them to pay out of pocket for your damages.
Proving Liability Requires Proving the Other Party’s Negligence
In order to hold another person accountable for your losses, you must establish they acted negligently.
This requires using evidence to show:
- The other person had a duty of care, meaning they had a civil obligation to act with reasonable prudence.
- They violated this obligation by engaging in careless or reckless conduct.
- The other party caused your rear-end collision and, by extension, your injuries.
- You have various damages related to the collision, such as medical bills and lost income.
Proving these elements can be challenging, especially if multiple factors played into a collision. For that reason, you may consider the benefit of partnering with a personal injury lawyer. They can investigate your case, determine liability, and pursue financial recovery.
What to Expect from the Claims Process After a Rear-End Collision?
If this is your first time filing an injury claim, you may have many questions about how the process goes. The following is a rough outline of what you could expect after filing your claim with the liable insurer. While some situations differ from the one described below, it’s how many claims unfold.
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they:
Using supporting evidence, your attorney can determine who caused your crash. While most rear-end collisions arise from human error, that’s not the case for every wreck.
Who can you hold liable for your losses?
- A government agency, if it failed to properly maintain a roadway, and this led to your rear-end collision.
- A parts manufacturer, if a faulty component (such as defective brakes) caused you to collide with another vehicle.
- A mechanic, if their shoddy work led to your crash.
Sometimes, multiple parties can be responsible for a collision. While this can admittedly complicate matters, a lawyer can use their network of resources to support your claim.
Calculate Your Losses
You should understand your damages’ cost before you file a claim. That way, you can pursue what you need. Without understanding what you’re owed, you could inadvertently accept a low settlement, leaving you with out-of-pocket damages and other financial concerns.
A lawyer adds up your bills, invoices, and receipts to determine your economic damages, such as your healthcare expenses. Then, they evaluate your quality of life, day-to-day function, and collision’s severity to determine your pain and suffering.
Send Your Demand Letter to the Insurance Company
Once your lawyer understands how much you’re owed, they can move forward with sending a demand letter.
This document outlines:
- How much you’re requesting from the liable party
- Information about the liable insurance policy
- The details of your crash, including its cause
- The nature of your condition
- Your estimated recovery period
Ideally, after receiving your demand letter, the insurance company would offer compensation that accounts for your losses. If not, you still have options.
Negotiate a Settlement That Accounts for All of Your Losses
Many times, insurers don’t immediately offer injured claimants what they’re owed. They sometimes present low settlement offers in an attempt to save money. You don’t have to accept a settlement that doesn’t meet your needs. You have the right to negotiate for more money. You may consider entrusting this process to a lawyer.
In the event the insurance company doesn’t cooperate during negotiations, your lawyer can take your case to trial and represent you throughout all proceedings.
Lawsuits Generally Aren’t Necessary in Personal Injury Cases
Many injury claimants recover damages through insurance negotiations. Upon getting a fair offer, they sign a waiver of liability, releasing the insurance company from any financial obligation. Then, they can accept a settlement check and move on with their lives.
However, some cases require lawsuits. This means that the injured person must present their case in court and request a judge to award damages. Litigation can get complicated, especially if the plaintiff doesn’t understand courtroom proceedings. Again, this is another reason to consider partnering with an attorney. They can build your lawsuit, file it within the statute of limitations, and push for the best possible outcome.
What to Know About Rear-End Collisions?
As you navigate the post-collision landscape, there are some things you should know about these situations. Understanding the following details can grant you the information needed to make informed decisions.
Rear-End Collisions Are the Most Common Crash Type
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear-end collisions account for nearly one-third of all traffic crashes. Still, although these crashes happen more frequently than others, they’re still serious situations. Don’t let the liable insurance company write off your collision as “common.” Your needs are important, and you deserve damages for each of your losses.
Rear-End Collisions Can Result in Serious Injuries
Motor Vehicle Accidents reports that even at low speeds, rear-end collisions can cause life-threatening injuries, especially to seniors. These crashes can cause soft-tissue injuries that cause pain, nerve damage, and loss of mobility. They can also lead to broken bones, lacerations, and internal bleeding.
You should seek medical attention immediately after any type of crash, including a rear-end collision. Doing so protects your right to damages and promotes your overall health.
What to Know About Seeking Damages From the Liable Party?
Now that you know some basic things about rear-end collisions, here are some things to know about the financial recovery process itself:
You Have a Limited Time to Seek Damages Following a Rear-End Collision
The liable insurance company has a deadline for processing your claim. This deadline depends on the insurer. Still, it’s vital to submit your claim as soon as possible to protect your right to damages. If you don’t file on time, the insurer could have grounds to dismiss your claim and leave you in dire financial straits.
The insurer may not openly share the filing deadline with you. It hopes that, by missing the filing deadline, you lose the right to seek damages, and it’s freed of liability. This is another reason why partnering with a lawyer could benefit you. An attorney with experience handling rear-end collision cases knows what deadlines apply and can follow them accordingly.
Some Insurance Companies Use Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Many states have laws outlining how insurance companies should treat claimants. They should process claims in a timely matter, give reasons for denials, and otherwise handle cases with good intentions. Still, not every insurer follows the rules.
After filing your claim, the insurer may complicate your right to damages by:
- Failing to respond to your phone calls and emails
- Misrepresenting the liable policy
- Contesting your damages’ cost
- Refusing to accept liability
- Offering less than you need
- Pressuring you into accepting a low settlement
When you partner with a personal injury lawyer, they can recognize these practices and protect you from them. If the insurer still refuses to treat you fairly, you could sue for breach of contract. Alternatively, you could sue the at-fault party for causing the crash.
Insurance Companies Exist to Make Money
Despite what you’ve seen on TV, insurance companies intend to make money by selling policies. They don’t turn a profit by paying for injured people’s damages. They offer low settlements, hoping to preserve their bottom lines. You have rights as an injured claimant where you live.
Your state likely has many rules outlining how insurers must proceed with injury claims. If the insurer fails to uphold its obligation, again, you can partner with an attorney who can initiate a lawsuit.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Determine Who Pays for Your Rear-End Crash
You have enough to deal with in the aftermath of your rear-end collision, and you shouldn’t have to navigate the claims process alone. Instead, you can entrust your case to a personal injury attorney.
You could find one that:
- Works on a contingency-fee basis. Many lawyers don’t charge any upfront fees or costs to work on personal injury cases. Payment for their help is contingent on a case’s success. If the case doesn’t succeed, then the injured claimant owes nothing. This way, they limit their financial risk.
- Offer free case reviews. Do you want to learn about your legal options but aren’t sure about hiring a lawyer? No problem. Many firms offer free case reviews where you can ask questions about your case’s potential. There is no obligation.
- Has years of experience. The more experience a lawyer has, the more equipped they are to combat your case’s challenges.
- Achieve favorable results. Many lawyers share their case’s previous outcomes on their firm’s website. Here, you can see whether they’ve resolved cases similar to yours and for how much.
You’re not alone in your fight for financial justice. You can pass off your case’s obligations to a car collision attorney who has your best interests in mind.
You Can Get Paid After Sustaining Injuries in a Rear-End Collision
Whether an insurance company, government agency, or individual motorist owes you damages, one thing’s for certain: you have legal rights. As an injured claimant, you have the right to seek compensation for the full cost of your injury-related expenses.
Consider reaching out to a car accident lawyer so you can explore all of your options. As noted, they can manage everything your case requires while you focus on healing.