Rear Shunt Accidents – Was I At Fault?

Have you been injured in a rear shunt accident? 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. 

Rear shunt accident

Rear shunt accident claims guide

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. 

Who Could Claim For A Rear Shunt Accident?

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. 

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Claims For Rear Shunt Accidents
  2. What Is A Rear Shunt Accident?
  3. Who Is Liable In A Rear Shunt Accident?
  4. Could You Be At Fault If Hit From Behind?
  5. Fault In Multiple Vehicle Accidents
  6. Whose Insurance Pays Out If You Get Rear Ended?
  7. What Is The Average Settlement For A Rear Shunt Accident?
  8. What Evidence Could Support A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
  9. Common Injuries Caused By Shunts
  10. Time Limits To Claim For A Rear Shunt Accident
  11. I Was Injured In A Rear Shunt Accident, What Should I Do?
  12. Claim For A Rear Shunt Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis
  13. Useful Pages
  14. FAQs About Rear Shunt Accidents

Everything You Need To Know About Claims For Rear Shunt Accidents

Firstly, this guide will explore what a rear shunt accident is and how these kinds of incidents occur. There will then be a section discussing whether you could be at fault when a vehicle hits you from behind. Furthermore, the article will look at who may be at fault in multiple vehicle accidents. Next, we have included a section to answer the question ‘Whose insurance pays if you get rear-ended?’. 

You may also be wondering how much compensation you could be owed as part of your claim. If so, we have included a section looking at the different kinds of damages that can be included in your claim that you may find useful.

Next, the article will explore some common injuries caused by shunts. This will be followed by the time limits that apply to starting a personal injury claim. Furthermore, there’s some advice regarding what to do if you’ve been in a rear shunt vehicle accident. 

The guide will then go on to discuss what a No Win No Fee agreement is and how it could help you fund legal representation for your claim. Furthermore, we’ve included a section including some useful guides. Finally, we’ve included answers to a range of frequently asked questions. 

If you still have questions about making a claim after you finish this guide, you can get in touch with our team. They will be happy to offer you free legal advice about the claims process. If you have a strong claim, you could be connected with a personal injury lawyer from our panel.

What Is A Rear Shunt Accident?

A rear shunt accident occurs when a vehicle crashes into another vehicle from behind. This can cause significant damage to the car, as well as physical injury to the people inside. 

This type of car accident could occur if the driver is distracted and crashes into the back of a car. It could also happen if the driver at the back of the crash failed to leave an appropriate stopping distance between their car and the car in front. 

Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that a car should leave at least a 2-second gap between them and the car in front to allow time to stop. This is so the car doesn’t crash into the back of a car if it suddenly brakes.

The graph below contains statistics showing the number of casualties to car occupants in reported road accidents in Great Britain in 2019/20. 

As shown below, the number of casualties in car accidents decreased by 28% from 2019. This is a 52% decrease from car occupant casualties in 2010. 

Rear shunt accident statistics graph

Who Is Liable In A Rear Shunt Accident?

The Highway Code states that everyone driving a vehicle on the road has a duty of care to protect those around them. There are some rules in the Highway Code that “must” be followed, meaning they are a legal obligation.

Others contain the word “should”. While these aren’t legal obligations, failure to adhere to these rules can mean someone is liable for an accident. 

The driver who crashed into the back of the car in front is usually held liable in a rear shunt accident. This is because the Highway Code states that drivers must leave at least a two-second gap between them and the vehicle in front. This stopping distance should be increased in certain conditions, such as if the road is wet or icy or visibility is poor.

However, there may be exceptions to this where the fault is placed on the driver in front. This will be covered in greater detail in the next section. 

Could You Be At Fault If Hit From Behind?

As stated above, the vehicle behind is usually at fault for a rear end shunt accident. However, in some cases, the car in front could be to blame. 

For instance, the car in front could reverse back into your vehicle. This could result in a collision even if you left a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front.

You may be wondering whether you can claim if you hit the back of a car that stopped without warning. However, there are a number of different circumstances where a car may need to come to a sudden, abrupt halt. For instance, a child that you’re not able to see could run out in front of their vehicle, meaning that they have to stop suddenly without coming to a gentle halt. This is why it is so important to keep a safe stopping distance between vehicles.

If you were injured in an accident where a driver reversed into the front of your car, then you may be able to claim compensation. Get in touch with our team today for more information on making a claim. 

Fault In Multiple Vehicle Accidents

When you’re involved in a multi-vehicle accident, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault for the incident. However, as with two-car rear-end accidents, the driver behind will usually be at fault.

When claiming compensation for a multi-car rear end accident, each driver will usually claim against the driver who collided with their vehicle. This means that claims for these kinds of accidents usually form a “chain” rather than all of the claims being made against one driver. This is because each driver would be expected to keep a safe stopping distance from the car in front so that they have time to stop.

You can get in touch with our expert team of advisers today to receive free legal advice about your situation. If you have a valid case and would like to make a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your injuries, an adviser can connect you to our panel of personal injury lawyers. 

Whose Insurance Pays Out If You Get Rear Ended? 

A rear-end collision often causes damage to one or both vehicles that can be expensive to fix. This will usually be paid for by the insurer of the vehicle at fault.

As explained above, the vehicle behind is usually to blame for a rear shunt accident. This is because the Highway Code states that drivers must leave a two-second gap between them and the car in front to allow an appropriate stopping distance. 

If the car in front is at fault, their insurance company will pay the damages. If the car ahead reverses into the car behind, then this could be an example of the car in front being at fault for the accident. 

However, if you’re injured by an uninsured driver, the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau) could compensate you as there is no at-fault insurance company to do so. You would need to provide evidence that the accident was the fault of the uninsured or untraced driver. 

What Is The Average Settlement For A Rear Shunt Accident?

Instead of using a personal injury claims calculator, we’ve chosen to illustrate some guideline compensation brackets in the table below. A rear shunt accident can cause many different injuries, meaning each case is unique and may not attract the same compensation figures. 

The compensation table below includes the latest figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. The table is to be used as an example, and figures may vary. 

Injury:Severity:Notes:Compensation:
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevereUnable to live life the same way as they did before the trauma occurred. For instance, they may be unable to work. £56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerateSignificant recovery has occurred and remaining symptoms aren’t grossly disabling.£7,680 to £21,730
Leg InjuriesSevere (i)- The most serious injuries short of amputationDamages awarded at similar level as amputations as the injury is so severe. These injuries may have needed bone grafting as the fractures failed to heal properly. £90,320 to £127,530
Leg InjuriesModerateSignificant crushing injuries or multiple, complicated fractures. This is usually to one leg. £26,050 to £36,790
Arm InjuriesSevere InjuriesSignificant injuries which don’t require amputation but result in the arm being almost useless. £90,250 to £122,860
Arm InjuriesInjuries resulting in permanent and substantial disablementDisability caused by significant injuries to one or both forearms, such as serious fractures.£36,770 to £56,180
Wrist Injuries No use or function in the wrist as a result of the injury.£44,690 to £56,180
Wrist Injuries Some useful movement is still possible but there is permanent disability. £22,990 to £36,770

Compensation can consist of general and special damages. General damages compensate you for the injury and the ways it’s impacted your everyday life, both mentally and physically. For example, you may now have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the rear shunt accident, resulting in a fear of driving. 

Special damages compensate for the financial effect you’ve experienced due to your injuries. For example, you may have had to pay out of pocket for prescription medication or pay the taxi fare to travel to and from medical appointments. 

For more information on the things that could be included in your compensation claim, speak to a member of our team today. Or read on to find out what kind of evidence could be used to support your 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.

Common Injuries Caused By Shunts

A rear shunt accident can cause life-changing injuries for both drivers and passengers. Some of these injuries could be:

  • Spinal injury – A spinal injury could happen due to the body jolting backwards and injuring the back. This can damage the spinal cord and cause problems such as nerve damage or paralysis. 
  • Break or fracture – You could experience a broken ankle, broken elbow or broken femur. These kinds of injuries can affect your mobility in the injured area. In serious cases, badly broken bones might necessitate an amputation. 
  • Whiplash – This is a kind of injury that can be sustained in a road traffic accident. It’s caused by a forceful back-and-forward motion of the head and neck. Whiplash will likely make your neck feel stiff and painful to move. You might be able to receive whiplash compensation if the accident wasn’t your fault.

It’s important to be aware that the Whiplash Reform programme has changed the way that personal injury claims are made for whiplash injuries. Any driver or passenger over the age of 18 whose injuries are valued at £5,000 or less will have to claim through an online portal. However, we still recommend speaking to our team before claiming in this way. You may be underestimating the value of your injuries. 

Time Limits To Claim For A Rear Shunt Accident

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.

I Was Injured In A Rear Shunt Accident, What Should I Do?

If you’ve been injured in a rear shunt accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. If you delay receiving the medical treatment that you need, then this could cause serious long-term repercussions on your health. Moreover, your medical record can be used as evidence if you decide to make a personal injury claim.

The next thing you can do is collect evidence to prove that the rear shunt accident wasn’t your fault. For example, you can provide CCTV footage or details of witnesses who could provide statements to support your version of events. However, you may still be able to claim if there was no witness to the accident in which you were injured.

Furthermore, evidence to prove you suffered a financial loss will help you to receive special damages. For example, you could provide payslips to prove that you suffered a loss of earnings due to taking time off work to heal from your injuries.

Finally, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer to begin working on a personal injury claim. A road traffic accident solicitor will be experienced in handling these types of claims and can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day to offer helpful legal advice about your situation. 

Claim For A Rear Shunt Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis 

A No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, is a contract between you and your personal injury lawyer. It states that you don’t have to pay your solicitor anything if your case fails. You also won’t be asked to pay anything upfront or while your claim is ongoing. 

If your case wins, your personal injury solicitor will deduct a small percentage of your compensation. This is legally capped to ensure you receive the majority of your settlement. 

Our team of advisers would be happy to discuss your case with you before proceeding with the next steps. If you’d like to contact one of our advisers, you can:

  • 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 live chat pop-up box to receive an immediate response. 

Useful Pages

When And How To Report A Car Accident

How To Claim For A Motorcycle Accident Without Insurance 

A Guide To Cycle Accident Claims

Broken Leg NHS Guide 

Broken Arm or Wrist NHS Guide

How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone? Information From The NHS

FAQs About Rear Shunt Accidents

Could I claim if partially at fault?

Yes, you could make a split liability claim if you were deemed to be partly at fault for the accident. Your compensation will be reduced accordingly. 

Do I need to have medical evidence?

Medical evidence can help prove the severity of your injuries and how long your treatment and recovery took. It can help you to receive the correct amount of compensation you’re owed. You will usually be invited to a medical assessment as part of your claim so that this evidence can be collected. 

Why should I use a solicitor?

A personal injury solicitor is experienced in working on road traffic accident claims. This means they could help you get more money from your claim than you otherwise would. 

Will my case go to court?

Many personal injury cases are settled outside of court. However, a claim may need to go to court if there is a dispute over liability that cannot otherwise be resolved. 

Thank you for reading our guide on suffering an injury from a rear shunt accident. 

Writer HL

Checked by NC