I got rear-ended how much money will I get?
You were rear-ended in a car accident, and now wondering how much money you might receive as compensation. Well, being rear-ended, just like any other car accident is so stressful. One of the many questions on your mind after being rear-ended is how much you will receive as a compensation settlement, right?
“After a rear-end car accident, how much you will receive as a settlement depends on factors like the severity of the accident, the extent of the personal injuries sustained, and any property damages involved in the accident,” says Chris, a car accident attorney at Rafi law firm.
According to Rosenfeld injury lawyers, the average settlement payout for rear-ended car accidents is between $25,000 and $35,000. Personally, I know a friend who received $150,000, an amount for rear-ended car accident settlement.
Your settlement amount will also depend on the car insurance policy limits of all the parties involved and whether you hired a car accident attorney or not.
To squeeze a maximum payout for your injuries, it is important to keep records of your losses and expenses, like medical bills,
lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.
You will also need to negotiate for a fair settlement with the at-fault party or negotiate with his/her insurance company. I strongly recommend you hire a car accident lawyer or any other personal injury lawyer to maximize your settlement payout.
The basics of car accident compensation
How car accident compensation works in general
According to Deborah, a car accident attorney at Johnsons law firm. A car accident claim is a legal process through which you will seek compensation for the injuries and financial losses you incurred as a result of a car accident that was not your fault.
The purpose of the accident compensation is to help you to recover your injury-related costs, reinstate you to your prior levels of physical well-being, and recover your lost property.
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If you have been unlawfully or negligently injured, you have a right to file a personal injury claim for the damages you incurred like medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Following a rear-ended car accident, there are usually 2 ways of settling your rear-end compensation claim and getting a fair settlement.
1. Negotiation with the at-fault party or insurance company.
After a rear-end car accident, the injured person or the car accident victim is usually entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages.
It is usually the liability of the at-fault driver to pay you these damages either directly from his/her pockets, or pay through his/her insurance company. This is a reason you need good negotiation skills and also be conversant with your state’s insurance policies and car accident laws.
According to my experience, negotiating with a car insurance company is a tedious and rough experience. car insurance companies aim at profit maximization at the expense of their needy clients.
Research has shown that the first claim settlement offer is usually 20-50% lower than the rightful settlement payout you are entitled to, depending on the losses you incurred in the car accident.
Here is an example. Your insurance adjuster won’t feel guilty about offering you just $20,000 initially in the negotiation process and for you to later settle for close to $100,000. This implies that you need top-drawer negotiation skills or else hire a car accident attorney.
If you asked any personal injury lawyer, the most likely advice is that you should never accept the first or second settlement offers for your rear-ended accident or any personal injury case. There is always room for negotiation plus, the first offer is just testing the waters and assessing your negotiation skills.
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However, I do not recommend hiring a car accident attorney for every rear-ended car collision. Every car accident is unique and comes with its own specifics. For instance, I have a friend who on the advice of an attorney declined the $10,000 offered by the at-fault’s party insurance company.
The lawyer took the car accident case to trial only to be awarded $7,000 by the jurors. So, as you can see, it’s not always profitable hiring a personal injury lawyer for every case.
For instance, it’s going to be almost impossible to win a $500,000 rear-end collision settlement without a car accident attorney beside you. On the same note, if you are most likely to receive less settlement amount because of your minor injuries/minor losses, hiring a car accident lawyer is useless.
2. File a claim through your own insurance company.
There are instances where you the car accident victim, resort to compensation from your own insurance company.
For instance, you will need to file through your own car insurance coverage if:
- The at-fault driver has no insurance coverage
- If the at-fault party has lower insurance coverage policy limits
- If you had a hit-run car accident.
- You find it hard negotiating with the other insurance company.
- Your state is a no-fault state so you are claiming through personal injury protection coverage (PIP) and others.
Following a rear-ended car accident, you are free to file your compensation claim against your coverages like collision car insurance coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, and others.
Deciding to claim through the other party’s car insurance claim implies filing your claim against his/her liability insurance coverage. Though negotiating a settlement through a personal insurance company is not as hard as going through the other party’s company, do not expect a smooth ride.
3. Filing car accident lawsuit. According to a survey done on the Facebook group of personal injuries. More than 95% of car accident victims settled their compensation claims outside court.
But according to valuePenguin, nearly 19,937 car accidents occur in the USA per day. Doing simple maths shows that USA alone experiences more than 7 million car crashes yearly.
From the above survey data, we can estimate that 5% of 7 million car accidents go to trial in the USA yearly. From the same survey, we can deduce that more than 350,000 car accident lawsuits are filed every year in the united states alone.
Factors that can affect the amount of money you receive in a rear-ended car accident
Car accidents are unique and the losses/injuries differ from one rear-end accident to another. Many factors will affect the amount of money you will receive in a car accident, some of these factors are:
1. Severity of injuries. severe damages mean a long list of damages you are entitled to in claim compensation. I have seen car accident claims settle for more than $10 million and others for as low as $2,000.
2. Length of recovery. serious injuries usually take longer to recover. Life-threatening and other debilitating personal injuries settle for higher amounts of money.
3. Lost wages. If you spent more time grounded due to the effects of the rear-end accident, you are entitled to lost wages and lost potential to earn damages.
4. Property damages. If your car was damaged, and or lost your personal belongings. Your claim for these damages increases the total settlement offer.
5. Pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering significantly hikes the total rear-end settlement offer. According to personal injury lawyers, pain and suffering are any amounts that are 1.5-5 times the medical bills.
6. Liability. Some states follow a no-fault negligency system and also car accident lawsuits are handled differently from state to state. What you are going to receive in compensation will be affected by such laws and policies.
7. Insurance coverage. Insurance companies pay you damages up to the limit of the coverage policy. For instance, if the policy limit of your collision coverage is $30,000, expect a settlement amount that does not exceed your policy limit of $30,000.
Determining the value of your rear-end claim
Tips for calculating the value of your rear-end settlement claim
Whether you hired a car accident attorney to guide your claim negotiation or not, you will need these tips on how best your car accident damages are calculated.
Below are some of the best tips for calculating the value of your rear-ended car accident claim.
1. Gather relevant documents. keep a record of all the medical expenses receipts, and car accident-related expenses, and keep a record of how the accident is affecting you like missed days of work.
2. Calculate medical expenses. These do not only include current expenses but also future anticipated medical treatments like possibilities of cosmetic surgery, rehabilitation, and physiotherapies.
3. Calculate your lost wages/income. If you missed some period off work or closed your business. The jury or judge will ask you how much you lost, and proof of your lost income.
4. Impact of the car accident on your life. You may qualify for damages due to the effects of the accident on your body. For instance, the inability to play your favorite sport, the inability to socialize, or your pain and suffering.
5. Compute how many losses you incurred in property damages. You should claim a reimbursement for the repair costs of your car and recover your damaged or lost personal belongings.
6. Do the research and find out a possible settlement for the same personal injuries/losses you incurred. Though cases differ, you will get a rough picture of how much you should demand as a settlement for your rear-ended car accident claim.
It is important to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney because insurance policies and car accident laws differ from one area of jurisdiction to another.
What is the role of insurance in car accident compensation?
Car insurance plays a key role in car accident compensation on behalf of the at-fault party (driver). It is mandatory to carry a liability car insurance policy for every driver in the USA.
If you are at fault for the accident, your liability coverage will help you to compensate those you negligently injured and caused property damage/losses. If the other party(driver)is to blame for the accident, their (his/her) liability car insurance will help to cover your financial losses.
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Before the insurance company cuts you a payout check, an insurance adjuster will investigate your accident claim and asses your losses before offering you a settlement offer.
The car insurance might also deny you a settlement for your car accident claim, in which case you might consider hiring a car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf or file a car accident lawsuit.
Instead of going after the other party’s car insurance company, you also have another option of filing an accident claim from your own insurance company. Comprehensive and collision coverages are the 2 policies that benefit the policyholder, so stead of being harassed by the other party’s company, you better claim through your own coverages.
The possibility of negotiating with the other driver or their insurance company to reach a settlement
Though it is generally hard to negotiate with any insurance company for claim settlement, surprisingly, many car accident cases and other personal injury cases settle out of court. I already told you that more than 95% of personal injury cases settle out of court.
It is very possible to engage in negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company and reach a settlement. Settling with the at-fault driver or his insurance company is cheaper and faster compared to the long processes and unpredictable litigation.
For successful rear-ended collisions or any other car accident, you will need to show proof of your financial losses and any bodily injuries. You need medical payment receipts, evidence of previous earnings, proof of injuries, and any property damages you incurred.
Seeking legal assistance after a rear-ended car accident
If you are involved in a rear-ended car accident and you decided to pursue compensation for your damages, you may benefit from seeking assistance from a car accident attorney.
A legal officer will navigate and build you a strong car accident case. The lawyer will advise you on your options and legal rights, and will also offer your representation should your rear-end car accident case go to trial.
Below are a few steps that should guide you in the process of hiring a rear-ended car accident attorney.
1. Gather the necessary documents. Before approaching any personal injury or car accident lawyer, you should make sure you have all the necessary supporting pieces of evidence or documents.
You need car accident scene photos, video, witness statements, car accident footage, police reports, injury pictures, and so many others.
2. Details of the accident. Make sure you have written details about the accident you were involved in. Write down events that led to the occurrence of the accident, what happened during and after the accident, and the nature of injuries you sustained.
3. Make a list of possible questions you want to ask your car accident attorney. You may want to ask about the strength of your case, lawsuits claim processes, and what couple of damages you are entitled to.
During the lawyer consultations, your car accident lawyer will explore all the documents and information you provided. He will assess your legal options and explore possible outcomes of your claim process.
Any car accident attorney can help you navigate the process of seeking a claim settlement for your rear-ended car accident, and help you negotiate fair compensation for the damages you suffered.
Below are ways a car rear-ended car accident lawyer can help you.
1. Investigating the accident. Your attorney will tell you what pieces of evidence are right for your case. The lawyer also investigates liability and offers you the best legal options.
2. Determining the accident’s fault. Most of us are green about car accident laws and insurance policies. The lawyer knows best how to determine the at-fault driver based on the traffic laws and regulations in your state.
3. A car accident lawyers know all the possible damages you are entitled to, and will fight tooth and nail to win you the compensation you deserve. For instance, you do not know how to prove pain and suffering, or you may not know if you are entitled to punitive damages or mot.
4. Negotiating with the insurance companies. Most insurance companies will take you seriously only after hiring a car accident attorney.
5. Filing a car accident lawsuit. A rear-ended car accident lawyer knows better how to write a demand letter that clearly outlines your claim, and if the insurance company still lowballs you, they are trained and have expertise in filing lawsuits.
I got rear-ended how much money will I get?
How much money you will get after a rear-ended car accident will depend on many factors like the circumstances of the accident, the severity of injuries, and the amount of property damage.
What you will receive as compensation for a rear-ended car accident will also depend on whether you hired a car accident attorney or not, car insurance policies and car insurance policy limits, your state’s traffic laws, and whether your case went to trial or not.
Finally, if you are involved in a rear-ended car accident and want to seek damages compensation, there are some specific things you will want to do to protect your right and increase your chances of getting your claim accepted and paid out.
A few things you need to do to protect your rights and increase your likelihood of receiving a car accident payout are: Document the accident, seek medical attention after the rear-ended car accident, keep track of your injuries, and consider working with a car accident attorney.