Being involved in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) can be upsetting, confusing and leave you with many questions. Importantly, if you’ve been hit by a vehicle from behind in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to make a rear-end collision injury claim for compensation.
Our team is ready to help if you do have any questions. We offer no-obligation legal advice as part of our free initial consultation. The circumstances of your accident will be reviewed and your advisor will assess the chances that you’ll be compensated. If they are high enough, one of our personal injury solicitors may agree to take your claim on and work on a No Win No Fee basis. If they do, legal fees are not payable unless you are paid compensation.
To talk with us right away, please call 0800 6524 881 today. Otherwise, read on to find out more about rear-end collision injury claims.
Table of contents
- What Is A Rear-End Collision?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Rear-End Collision Injury Claim?
- Common Causes Of Rear-Enders
- Common Rear-End Collision Injuries
- How Much Compensation For Rear-End Collision Injuries?
- Evidence To Support A Rear-End Collision Injury Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Rear-End Collision Compensation
- Starting The Rear-End Collision Injury Claims Process
Put simply, a rear-end collision is where another vehicle crashes into the back of you. It is the type of accident that can cause serious vehicle damage as well as injure anybody inside the car.
Examples of why such accidents occur include if you need to stop suddenly because:
- Another vehicle braked suddenly in front of you.
- A child or animal ran across the road in front of you.
- You had to avoid a serious road defect.
To reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, Section 126 of the Highway Code sets out typical stopping distances and instructs that drivers should always leave at least a two-second gap between their vehicle and the one in front.
As these rules are in place, if you’re hit from behind while driving, the other driver will almost always be liable for the accident. Therefore, you may have grounds to claim compensation for any injuries caused by a rear-end collision.
As well as following the rules of the Highway Code, all road users have a legal duty of care to try and keep others as safe as possible. This duty is established by the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Therefore, you might be eligible to claim compensation for a rear-end collision if:
- The defendant’s negligence meant they breached their duty of care; and
- Their vehicle hit yours from behind as a result of that negligence; and
- You suffered injuries from the rear-end collision.
If your claim meets the criteria listed above, one of our personal injury solicitors may be able to help you claim. Please get in touch and we’ll review your options for free.
Rear shunts can be caused in a variety of ways. As mentioned above though, if you were hit from behind, the other driver will almost always be to blame. Rear-end collisions can occur if the other driver was:
- Tailgating. Following another vehicle too closely is a leading cause of rear-end collisions. When the stopping distance is insufficient, the driver may not have enough time to react if the vehicle in front suddenly slows down or stops.
- Speeding. Driving above the speed limit reduces the driver’s ability to react to changing traffic conditions. When a driver is travelling at higher speeds, they may not have enough time to stop or slow down when the vehicle in front does.
- Sudden braking. When a driver brakes abruptly without warning, the following vehicle may not have enough time to stop or slow down. This can happen due to various reasons, such as avoiding a pothole or misjudging the required braking distance.
- Distracted driving. Engaging in activities that divert attention from the road, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting satnavs and radios, can increase the risk of rear-end collisions. Distracted drivers may fail to notice when the vehicle in front slows down or stops.
- Driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers have slower reaction times and impaired judgment. Falling asleep at the wheel is particularly dangerous and can result in a severe impact
- Faulty brake lights or indicators. When brake lights or indicators of a vehicle are not working correctly, or not being used, the driver following behind may not be adequately warned about the impending stop or turn.
- Careless driving. Tailgating, sudden lane changes, and aggressive manoeuvres increase the likelihood of rear-end collisions. Careless drivers often fail to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, making it challenging to avoid shunts.
- Poor weather conditions. Rain, snow, fog, or icy roads reduce traction and increase stopping distances. In such conditions, drivers need to adjust their speed and maintain a safe following distance. Failing to do so can lead to a rear-end shunt.
- Inadequate road conditions. Potholes, debris, or uneven road surfaces can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle or come to a sudden stop, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions, especially if the following driver is not paying due care and attention or fails to adjust their driving accordingly.
- Impaired driving. Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can significantly impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time and therefore more likely to be involved in rear-end collisions.
If you’ve been injured following a rear-end collision, you’ve probably got a strong chance of being compensated for any injuries. To find out more, please feel free to call our team today.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in rear-end collisions include:
Whatever rear-end collision injury you’ve suffered, one of our solicitors could help you to claim compensation if you’re eligible. If you call 0800 6524 881, we’ll explain your options for free.
If you’ve suffered whiplash and your injuries are valued at less than £5,000, you can seek damages from the defendant’s insurer through an online government portal without a solicitor.
However, if you call us for a free consultation, we’ll review the value of your claim with you and advise you whether, in our opinion, it’s best to claim through the online portal or if your injuries may warrant a higher amount of compensation.
The amount of compensation for rear-end collision injuries you might get will generally be based on the extent of physical and emotional injuries plus any costs associated with the accident. For physical pain and suffering, you can use our compensation calculator for guidance on compensation amounts for various personal injuries:
However, on top of compensation for physical injuries sustained in a rear-end collision, you could also seek damages for:
- Loss of amenity i.e. to cover any loss of enjoyment of your usual activities.
- Private physiotherapy, surgery and other medical expenses.
- Lost income (now and in the future).
- The cost of a carer.
- Damage to personal items.
- Travel expenses.
- Psychological injuries (flashbacks, distress, panic attacks, anxiety after a car accident etc).
- The cost of modifying your home to make it easier for you to cope with any ongoing disability.
Once your claim is settled, you won’t be able to request further compensation. Therefore, before contacting the defendant about your case, your solicitor will thoroughly investigate how you’ve suffered because of the rear-end collision.
As evidence is a key part of any road accident claim, you should take steps to preserve as much as possible if you’re injured from being rear-ended. Doing so could improve your chances of being compensated for any injuries. Therefore, following a rear-end collision, you should:
- Take photos. If you can do so safely, take pictures of the scene of the shunt. Try to show where the damage is located on each vehicle involved as this can make it easier to prove fault.
- Swap details. It is an offence to not provide contact and insurance details at the scene of a road traffic accident.
- Report the rear-end collision. You should tell the police about the rear-end shunt within 24 hours of the collision. Call 999 if there are any serious injuries.
- Secure dashcam footage. If your vehicle or any others that stopped at the scene have a dashcam, secure a copy of the relevant footage.
- Seek medical advice. You should go to a hospital or minor injuries unit (if not taken by ambulance) to have your injuries properly assessed and treated. Medical records from the visit can help to prove how badly you were injured.
- Speak to witnesses. Take contact details for anybody who witnessed the rear-end accident as your solicitor may need to contact them later on.
If you’ve got evidence following a car accident to support your claim, please let us know when you call our advice centre. If your case is accepted and further information is needed, your solicitor will work hard to secure it for you.
For most motor accident claims, you’ll have 3 years to take legal action. Generally, this limitation period starts on the day of the accident but, if your injuries weren’t obvious immediately, could start later.
If your child was a car passenger involved in a rear-ender, the time limit will not start until their 18th birthday. Therefore, depending on their age, there should be plenty of time for you to make a child injury claim before then.
The sooner you start the claims process, the sooner you’ll be compensated if the claim is successful. Starting earlier should also mean that collecting evidence to support the claim is a lot easier.
If you’ve been rear-ended in a road traffic accident and would like to discuss your options, please call 0800 6524 881 today. One of our specially trained advisors will guide you through your options and offer free legal advice.
There’s no obligation to claim but if that’s what you want to do and one of our personal injury solicitors is happy to help, you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please feel free to connect to our live chat service if you’d like more information about the rear-end collision injury claims process.