Rear End Collisions – Who’s At Fault?

By Stephen Moreau. Last Updated 30th January 2024. Have you been injured in a rear end collision? Are you wondering whether you’re at fault for the incident? In this guide, we will look at how liability is determined when one car hits another from behind. 

The injuries sustained from a rear-end collision can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. For example, you could suffer a brain injury or head injury due to the crash, which can be dangerous and cause significant pain and suffering. 

Rear end collisions

Rear end collisions

You may have some questions about this type of car accident, such as:

  • Are you ever at fault if another driver hits you from behind?
  • What is the average settlement for this kind of collision?
  • Who is liable for a rear end accident? 

This article will answer these questions and more to provide you with as much information as possible about your road accident. We’ll also offer you advice on how to begin the claims process, including how you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. 

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day to discuss your situation and learn more about your road traffic collision. They can offer you free legal advice and assess whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

You can get in touch with our friendly team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 020 3870 4868 to receive free legal advice about your situation.
  • Filling out our online claims form to receive a response at your earliest availability. 
  • Chat with one of our advisers via our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply. 

Choose A Section

  1. When Could I Make A Claim For A Rear-End Collision On The Road?
  2. I Was Hit By A Car From Behind – How Much Can I Claim?
  3. What Evidence Could Support A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
  4. Common Injuries In Rear End Collisions
  5. Time Limits To Claim For Rear End Collisions
  6. Rear End Collisions And No Win No Fee Claims
  7. Useful Pages

When Could I Make A Claim For A Rear-End Collision On The Road?

If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision caused by another road user breaching the duty of care they owed you, then you may wonder whether you’re able to claim compensation. Road users owe a duty of care to reduce the risk of causing harm to others while navigating the roads. To uphold their duty of care, road users should follow the mandatory rules outlined in the Highway Code as well as the Road Traffic Act 1988.

You may be able to start a personal injury compensation claim for a rear-end accident if the following applies:

  • You were owed a duty of care by another road user.
  • This party breached the duty of care they owed you.
  • This caused you to suffer injuries.

To ask questions about your eligibility to claim car accident compensation, please contact our advisors for free either online or on the phone.

I Was Hit By A Car From Behind, How Much Can I Claim?

If your road traffic accident claim is successful, your settlement may consist of two heads of claim. These are general and special damages.

General damages compensate for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by the injuries you acquired in the rear ending accident. When valuing personal injury claims, legal professionals can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document lists guideline compensation brackets for different injuries.

In our table below, we’ve listed a few figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. It is only provided as guidance. However, the whiplash amounts are from the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 and are fixed. Additionally, the top row is not from the JCG or Whiplash Injury Regulations. It is provided to show you how compensation could be awarded for more than one serious injury and any related costs.

Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Multiple Severe Injuries and Special Damages Very Serious Successful claimants may receive compensation for more than one very severe injury and related expenses, such as lost earnings in their settlement. Up to £500,000+
Brain and Head Injuries Moderate (i) A significant risk of epilepsy, with a moderate intellectual deficit and personality change. £150,110 to £219,070
Neck Injuries Severe (ii) Damage to the cervical spine discs or fractures which result in considerable disabilities, such as a loss of movement in the neck. £65,740 to £130,930
Back Injuries Severe (iii) Soft tissue injuries or disc lesions/fractures that lead to chronic conditions such as severe pain and sexual dysfunction despite receiving treatment. £38,780 to £69,730
Wrist Injuries (a) A complete loss of function in the wrist. £47,620 to £59,860
Leg Injuries (iv) Moderate Significant crushing injuries or multiple, complicated fractures. This is usually to one leg. £27,760 to £39,200
Arm Injuries Less Severe The person will have suffered with considerable disabilities, however a significant degree of recovery is expected or has taken place. £19,200 to £39,170
Knee Injuries Moderate (i) A dislocation or torn meniscus or cartilage that results in weakness, wasting and slight instability. £14,840 to £26,190
Shoulder Injuries Serious The lower part of the brachial plexus is damaged with the shoulder dislocated which causes neck and shoulder pain. £12,770 £19,200
Whiplash One Or Multiple Whiplash Injuries With Minor Psychological Damage Symptoms lasting 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash One Or Multiple Whiplash Injuries Without Minor Psychological Damage Symptoms lasting for 18-24 months. £4,215

If you suffered injuries because a car from behind crashed into you, call our advisors. They can value your potential claim for free.

Injured When Rear Ended – Can I Claim Special Damages?

If you make a successful personal injury claim after being rear-ended, your settlement may also include special damages. This compensates you for financial losses and expenses you’ve incurred because of your injuries.

Some examples of costs and losses you could be compensated for in a rear ending accident claim might include:

  • Medical expenses – these could include the costs of over-the-counter pain medications or prescriptions.
  • Travel expenses – these could include the cost of taxis or public transport to get to medical appointments.
  • Loss of earnings – if you’ve had to abstain from work because you’re recovering from injuries, you could be compensated for any resulting loss of income.
  • Care costs – if you’ve needed someone to help you because of your injuries, with dressing or washing, for example.
  • The cost of home adaptations – if you’ve been seriously injured and need home adaptations such as wheelchair ramps or a stairlift, for example.

Providing copies of your bank statements, payslips, and any relevant receipts or invoices could be used to support your claim for special damages.

To see if you could be eligible to work with a solicitor on our panel if you suffered injuries after your car was rear ended, you can contact our advisors.

Whiplash Reforms

The Whiplash Reform Programme brought in changes to how certain claims for road traffic accidents are made. The reforms only apply to England and Wales. They mean that passengers and drivers aged 18 or older who have suffered injuries valued at £5,000 or less must claim in a different way.

If this applies to you, your whiplash injury will also be valued in accordance with the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Injuries that are not covered by the tariff will be assigned a value traditionally. As mentioned, our table above includes a few examples of this tariff. These are fixed amounts.

If you were in an accident where being rear ended resulted in whiplash, get in touch with our advisors for help with how to claim.

What Evidence Could Support A Road Traffic Accident Claim?

In order to make a personal injury claim, you must provide evidence to prove that the rear shunt accident wasn’t your fault. You’ll also need to provide evidence as to the injuries you sustained. There are multiple forms of evidence that could be presented as part of your claim, such as:

  • CCTV or dashcam footage – Video footage can show exactly what happened and how the crash occurred. You have the right to request CCTV footage of yourself. 
  • Photos of the cars – Photos of the damage that your car has sustained can help to prove how severe the crash was and how hard the car behind crashed into you. The area of damage on the cars could also help to inform liability. 
  • Photos of your injuries – It may be helpful to take photos of your injuries to show the severity of them and where on the body they occurred. You could also supply photographs of your injuries as they heal to highlight the recovery process. 

If you would like to know more about what kind of evidence could support your claim, why not speak to our team today? They can offer you free legal advice about making a claim.

Man Sits On Floor With Phone In Front Of Rear End Car Accident.

Common Injuries In Rear-End Collisions

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, you could suffer from a variety of injuries. Some of the most common injuries in rear end collisions include:

  • Whiplash.
  • Breaks and fractures – this could be a broken foot or leg.
  • Lacerations – this could be due to glass shattering and cutting you.
  • Brain injuries.
  • Back sprains and strains.

It is important that you provide evidence of your injuries, as this could help support your claim. For example, a copy of your medical records stating your injury and any treatments you needed could be used as evidence. Later in this guide, we will discuss what other evidence you could collect to help support your claim and prove liability.

Do not hesitate to contact our advisors today if you have questions about car accident claims involving rear-end collisions. Our friendly team is available 24/7 and can provide you with free legal advice regarding road traffic accident claims.

Time Limits To Claim For Rear End Collisions

The general personal injury claims time limit is three years. This is three years from the exact date you suffered the rear shunt accident. It can also be three years from when you realised the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. The latter we refer to as the “date of knowledge”. 

However, there are some exceptions to this time limit. For instance: 

  • If someone lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, the three-year time limit begins in the event that they recover. In the event that they don’t recover, the time limit is suspended indefinitely, and someone can act as a litigation friend to sue on behalf of them.
  • If you’re under 18, the personal injury claims time limit of three years begins from your 18th birthday. While you’re underage, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend can claim on your behalf. 

If you’d like more advice about the time limits that apply to starting a claim, you can contact our friendly team of advisers. They would be happy to have a chat with you. If you have a valid case, they can connect you with an experienced lawyer from our panel.

Rear End Collisions And No Win No Fee Claims

If you suffered an injury in a rear ended car accident and are eligible to claim compensation, you may wish to instruct a solicitor to work on your case. One of the personal injury solicitors from our panel could help you. Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors typically provide their services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement.

When your solicitor provides their services under the terms of a CFA, they generally won’t take an upfront fee for their work on your case. You also won’t be asked to pay ongoing costs for their work. Furthermore, if you aren’t awarded compensation for the injuries you suffered in a rear end accident, your solicitor won’t ask you for payment for their services.

However, if your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a success fee out of your compensation. The success fee is a legally capped percentage.

If you would like to discuss the injuries you suffered in a rear end shunt, get in touch with our team. They’re here to help you. Additionally, if you satisfy the eligibility criteria, they could connect you to one of the personal injury solicitors from our panel.

To talk about rear end collisions with an advisor:

  • Call them on 020 3870 4868 to chat about your case today.
  • Fill out our online form to receive a response whenever best suits you.
  • Talk with an adviser through our instant chat pop-up box to receive an immediate response.

Solicitor Sat At A Table With Justice Scales In Front Of Him.

Useful Pages

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for rear-end collisions. Contact our team to learn more.

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