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Rear End Collision | I Got Rear-Ended, How Much Money Will I Get?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 14 minutes

Rear End Collision | I Got Rear-Ended, How Much Money Will I Get?

Injured in a rear end collision? You’re not alone. According to one study, rear-end collisions account for approximately 29 percent of all motor vehicle accidents causing serious injury. Additional statistics from the Insurance Information Institute reveal that rear-end crashes are responsible for more than seven percent of all traffic-related fatalities and almost 20 percent of those fatalities arising from accidents involving two vehicles.

If you get rear-ended, it’s important to explore your legal rights. At the very least, it’s worth speaking to an attorney for a quick case evaluation. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced rear end collision attorney. If you’d like to learn more, however, keep reading! 

This article can help you to answer:

  1. What happens to your body when you get rear-ended?
  2. What is the most common injury in a rear end collision?
  3. What is the recovery time after rear end accidents?
  4. Can a car be totaled from a rear end collision?
  5. Why didn’t the airbags deploy in the wreck?
  6. I got rear-ended, how much money will I get?
  7. How do I find a good rear end collision lawyer near me for a free consultation?

Common Rear-End Collision Injuries

Victims in motor vehicle accidents can suffer from several different injuries. They can range from minor to severe, and sometimes even fatal. Some injuries, such as back and neck injuries, are particularly common in rear-end collisions. Consider the following: 

  • Whiplash
  • Back Injuries 
  • Spinal Cord Injuries, or SCI
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBI
  • Internal Organ Damage
  • Broken and Fractured Bones
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD


Whiplash is the most common type of injury arising from a rear-end accident. The speed and force of the car coming from behind suddenly and unexpectedly hitting your vehicle can cause your neck to forcefully and quickly be snapped forward and then backward again.

Unfortunately, the human neck wasn’t designed to withstand this kind of strength and force. As such, the soft tissues in and around the neck can become strained or sprained. This is called whiplash. Whiplash injuries can take several months to heal, and they limit mobility and may require physical therapy.

According to the National Safety Council, up to 80 percent of people diagnosed with whiplash have pain and soreness that lasts longer than a week, and 50 percent report that it lasts over a year. 

Back Injuries

Rear-end accidents also expose your back to impact forces. Even rear-end accidents that occur at low speeds can lead to serious back pain and other problems. Bulging, compressed, or slipped discs and muscle strains are common. Soreness, pain, and mobility issues can last for weeks or even months after this type of accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries, or SCI

Since the spinal cord is protected within the vertebral column, it can also suffer injury in a rear-end accident. The spinal cord is at risk for various types and severities of injuries, including bruises, cuts, and even complete severing. Severe SCIs, or spinal cord injuries, can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis of some or all limbs. It can potentially change someone’s life forever. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBI

Some people who have been involved in a rear-end accident may suffer mild head or brain injuries, such as a concussion. Others may have life-threatening or life-altering TBI, or traumatic brain injuries, as the head is accelerated due to the force of the crash.

When too much force is exerted on the brain, it can be jostled around and damaged from the inside, due to impacting the skull itself. Unfortunately, those who survive a TBI, or traumatic brain injury, may experience lasting health issues, such as seizures, personality changes, depression, and more. 

Internal Organ Damage

After a rear-end accident, your internal organs will likely be bruised and swollen. During the accident, they can also be penetrated by foreign objects or broken ribs, which may significantly damage internal organs.

The physical force of the crash can send your internal organs slamming forward into your rib cage. While they don’t have very far to move, the force is severe. Commonly injured organs in high-speed accidents include the lungs, spleen, liver, kidneys, and even the heart.

A potentially severe internal organ damage or injury that can occur during a rear-end collision is a rupturing of the bowels. If the intestines are torn, pierced, or otherwise stressed by injury, bile, and bodily waste can leak into the torso, potentially causing serious infection, sepsis, and even death. 

Broken and Fractured Bones

The extreme force of a rear-end car accident can also cause bones to break. Although seatbelts stop your body from continuing to move forward, the impact of the seatbelt on the body can fracture bones such as your ribs, clavicle, or pelvis. 

However, those not wearing a seatbelt are much more likely to sustain broken bones from the impact of hitting the windshield, the hood of the car, or even the pavement on the road. In addition, if any part of the body hits the dash or the seat, you may fracture your arms, wrists, legs, shoulders, ankles, and more.

Broken bones take several weeks or sometimes months to heal and may require surgery and physical therapy.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD

Sometimes the most traumatic injuries are invisible. Accident victims can suffer from mental and emotional issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even though the symptoms may not be visible, getting treatment and working towards recovery is imperative.

However, just like physical injuries, treatment and recovery require time and money. Some people with PTSD arising from a motor vehicle accident may need months or years to recover, while others may never fully recover.

Sometimes, the most traumatic injuries are invisible. Even though the symptoms may not be visible, getting treatment and working towards recovery is imperative.

Many other types of injuries can also result from rear-end accidents. These injuries can be quite costly and often require a lengthy recovery which may keep victims from returning to their jobs anytime soon. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Rear-End Collision?

Since the injuries suffered in a rear-end vehicle accident can vary so much in type and severity, there’s unfortunately no one-size-fits-all answer for how long it takes to recover from these accidents. More severe and extensive injuries require a longer recovery time. By contrast, bumps, scrapes, bruises, and some soft tissue injuries will heal more quickly. 

Rear-End Collision Vehicle Damage

Vehicle damage after a rear-end collision often depends on the types of vehicles involved in the accident and the speed they were traveling when one hit the other. Unfortunately, damage after this type of accident is often difficult for the layperson to notice. Common rear-end collision vehicle damages include: 

  • Alignment and suspension problems 
  • Engine and transmission damage 
  • Frame damage 
  • Electrical problems 
  • Trunk damage
  • Cosmetic damage 

Property damage claims for rear-ended vehicles can be quite high, and many cars may become total losses once the insurance company performs its calculations. Repair costs for rear-end collisions can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the type and extent of damage to the vehicle.

Why Didn’t the Airbags Deploy in My Rear End Collision?

Airbags are one of the most critical safety features in vehicles. However, their effectiveness in rear-end collisions isn’t guaranteed. Airbags may not deploy in a rear-end collision if the crash sensors for your car model are only located on the front and sides. 

Generally speaking, airbags are designed to keep vehicle occupants from hitting the dashboard during a collision. This doesn’t occur when the car gets rear-ended. 

I Got Rear-Ended, How Much Money Will I Get?

Getting rear-ended can lead to both minor inconveniences and life-altering changes. The question often asked, especially when getting rear-ended while stopped, is, “What settlement will I receive?” The settlement amount for a rear-end collision varies widely based on several factors, including injuries, vehicle damage, and more.

Understanding Rear End Collisions and Settlements

Rear-end accident cases can be quite complex, and it’s essential to understand the various elements that contribute to the settlement:

  • Severity of Injuries and Damage: Some collisions result in only minor cosmetic damage, while others cause catastrophic injuries. The more severe the injury or damage, the higher the rear-ended car accident settlement.
  • Type of Damages: In a personal injury claim, damages are categorized into:
    • Economic Damages: These have an objective value and include:
      • Medical bills: past and future expenses for treatment, rehabilitation, prescriptions, etc.
      • Lost wages and income: past and future losses.
      • Property damage: including damage to the vehicle in front.
    • Non-Economic Damages: These don’t have an objective value and include:
      • Pain and suffering.
      • Scarring and disfigurement.
      • Mental anguish.
      • Humiliation.
      • Loss of enjoyment of life.
      • Loss of consortium.

What to Do When You Get Rear Ended

If you find yourself in a rear-end accident, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Check for Injuries: Ensure the safety of all parties involved. Seek emergency medical assistance if necessary.
  2. Contact Authorities: Report the incident by calling the police.
  3. Document the Scene: If possible, take photos and gather witness information.
  4. Avoid Insurance Companies Until You Have Spoken to an Attorney: Though you may need to notify your insurance company about the incident, do not engage in conversation until you have spoken to an attorney, first. The statements you make to your insurer could be used against you.
  5. Seek Legal Help: Contact an experienced car accident attorney.

Average Settlement and Specific Cases

Understanding the average settlement for rear-end accidents can be challenging, as every case is unique. Factors like getting rear-ended while stopped settlement amounts differ from cases where both parties are in motion.

  • Car Accident Hit from Behind Settlement: This often involves dealing with insurance companies and can result in different payouts depending on circumstances.
  • Rear End Accident Settlement: This encompasses a broad range of cases and is best assessed with the help of an attorney.

Consult an Experienced Attorney

The best way to understand the potential payout for your specific rear-end accident is to consult an experienced car accident attorney. They can evaluate your accident and injuries, considering all relevant factors, including medical bills and insurance coverage, and provide an estimate of what the rear end accident settlement might be.

Speak with an Experienced Rear-End Collision Attorney Today

You should speak to an experienced rear-end collision attorney today for guidance on next steps, and to maximize your potential recovery. We encourage you to get in touch with a personal injury attorney by phone at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or online with our contact form. We’ll get you connected to an attorney who will evaluate your injury claim and discuss the legal possibilities. Consultation is free, so there is no need to delay!

FAQs – Rear End Collision Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average payout for a rear end collision?

There is currently no data available for “average” payouts, but be aware that every accident case is different. The value of your case, and thus, the potential payout, will vary depending on how much loss you’ve sustained. 

For example, if you get paid $70,000 a year as a construction worker, and the rear-end collision causes injuries that force you to take a year off of work, then you have a $70,000 claim for wage loss alone! That’s not even including the damages you could claim for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

What kind of damage can a rear end collision cause?

Victims in motor vehicle accidents can suffer from several different injuries. They are: whiplash, back injuries, spinal cord injuries or SCI, traumatic brain injuries or TBI, internal organ damage, broken and fractured bones, and post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Find a brain injury lawyer or whiplash attorney near you today.

Can a rear end collision cause frame damage?

Damage after rear end collisions depends on motor vehicle types and speed during the auto accident. Rear end collisions can cause frame damage. Other types of common rear end collision damages are: problems in suspension and alignment, transmission and engine damage, electrical problems, and trunk and cosmetic damage.

How Do I Know Who is The At-Fault Driver?

Determining the at-fault driver in a car accident, especially in rear-end collisions, can be a complex process. Here’s a general guide to understanding who may be at fault:

  1. Understanding Traffic Laws: Often, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is considered at fault, as traffic laws typically require drivers to maintain a safe following distance. However, this isn’t always the case, and exceptions can apply.
  2. Examining the Evidence: Collecting evidence at the scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and police reports, can provide crucial information in determining fault.
  3. Police Reports: Law enforcement officers called to the scene will usually make an official report that may include a determination of fault. This report can be a vital piece of evidence in legal proceedings.
  4. Insurance Company Investigation: Both parties’ insurance companies will investigate the incident to determine fault based on the evidence provided and the specifics of the incident.
  5. Consulting an Attorney: Where fault isn’t clear, a personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney can help identify potential legal fault. They can conduct an independent investigation and coordinate with accident reconstruction experts if needed.
  6. Special Circumstances: Sometimes, the driver in front may be at fault if they were acting negligently, such as abruptly stopping without cause, failing to maintain proper brake lights, or reversing unexpectedly.

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