Rear-end collisions are typically unexpected and can result in serious injuries and major property damage. California allows the victim of a rear-end crash to file a personal injury claim when the collision occurred due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful act. Every rear-end collision is different, so every rear-end crash settlement is different. Thus, there is no average rear-end collision settlement in California. The settlement for a rear-end crash will depend on a variety of different factors, like the extent of the victim’s injuries and their chances of a full recovery. Contact a California car accident attorney at Beliz Law today to discuss a fair rear-end collision settlement amount for your case.

What Losses Count Toward a Rear-End Collision Settlement?

In California, a personal injury judgment is designed to compensate you for the losses you suffered as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. Therefore, it is impossible to calculate the average payout for a rear-end collision without reviewing the details of a case. After a rear-end crash, common economic losses include: 

  • Medical bills,
  • Rehabilitation costs,
  • Lost wages, and
  • Loss of future earning capacity.

Proving economic damages is relatively straightforward as long as you keep a record of the costs you incur due to the accident. Medical expenses can make up a large chunk of your economic losses. Thus, someone who suffers a more serious injury in a rear-end collision will likely incur more losses stemming from medical costs alone.

In addition to economic damages, plaintiffs can recover non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. Non-economic damages represent a more abstract form of damages that aim to compensate you for things like:

  • Loss of quality of life,
  • Emotional distress,
  • Disfigurement,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Anxiety, or
  • Psychological trauma.

The abstract nature of non-economic damages makes them more confusing to understand and harder to calculate. Our team can consult with economic experts who can give an accurate market value for your losses to help calculate a fair settlement offer.

What Is Considered a Rear-End Collision?

What Is the Average Settlement for a Rear-End Collision in California?

A rear-end car accident occurs when a car collides with the vehicle in front of it. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 5,250,837 police-reported car accidents occurred throughout the United States in 2020, resulting in 2,282,015 injuries. Inevitably, some of these accidents are rear-end collisions.

In the United States, there are more than eight million car accidents annually, with rear-end collisions accounting for about 41.6% of all accidents between two vehicles.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions in California

Though avoiding a rear-end crash may seem easy, they occur with alarming regularity. In many cases, rear-end collisions happen when one car is stopped or moving very slowly, and a second vehicle strikes it from behind. This scenario frequently occurs in high-traffic areas when drivers need to stop with little notice.

Factors that may cause a rear-end collision include:

  • Using social media while driving,
  • Applying makeup while driving,
  • Eating while driving,
  • Texting and driving,
  • Following too closely,
  • Talking with passengers, and
  • Driving at excessive speeds.

The cause of the rear-end collision will help determine whether you can successfully recover through a personal injury claim. 

Even if you share some blame for the accident, you may still be able to recover. California applies the rule of pure comparative negligence to personal injury claims. That means even if you were partially responsible for the collision, you can still bring a personal injury claim against the other party and collect compensation. However, your recovery is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the judge finds you 30% at fault for the accident and awards you $200,000, you will recover $140,000.

How Can I Maximize My Rear-End Collision Settlement?

No one anticipates a rear-end collision. As a result, many people think their hands are tied until they contact an attorney to review their case. However, there are a few steps you can take to maximize the amount of information you can provide your lawyer to build a case.

Report Your Collision to Authorities

You should contact law enforcement and request that an officer come to the accident scene as soon as possible. Someone else may contact law enforcement for you upon seeing the collision, but you should call 9-1-1 just in case. The police officer who responds to the scene will create an accident report that contains basic information about the crash and the officer’s impression of who caused the accident.

Seek Treatment for Your Injuries

If you suffer an injury in your rear-end accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately.  Rear-end collisions can cause whiplash, which can result in injuries to your neck and spinal cord. In some cases, spinal cord injuries do not present themselves immediately. Thus, even if you do not see apparent injuries, you should still seek a medical evaluation to verify that you did not suffer a hidden injury. 

Additionally, you can start preserving documentation of your medical expenses with your first doctor visit. 

Collect Evidence from the Accident Scene

The strength of your rear-end accident case will depend on what evidence your attorney can present to prove the opposing party’s fault. You can collect some of this evidence at the accident scene immediately after the collision.

You may be able to collect the following information at the scene:

  • Details about the scene of the accident, like locations of nearby surveillance cameras that may have recorded the collision; 
  • Photographs of the collision; 
  • Photographs of your injuries; and
  • Statements and contact information for any eyewitnesses.

Your attorney cannot recreate the accident scene once it gets cleaned up. That means the information you collect at the scene may be the best picture they get of the accident. 

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Beliz Law Firm to Discuss Rear-End Settlement Amounts

A car accident lawyer can help you recover a rear-end collision settlement that fairly compensates you for your financial losses. Our team of attorneys has years of experience handling car accident cases. Whether you are seeking a minor rear-end collision settlement or suffered a significant injury, the Beliz Law Firm is here for you. Contact us today.

Author Photo

Michael Beliz

Michael A. Beliz, Esq., established The Beliz Law Firm in the spring of 2011.  Michael has been a practicing attorney since 2006 and worked for two of the most prominent plaintiff’s personal injury law firms in Southern California.  He has worked on and handled hundreds of cases as an attorney in all types of personal injury cases, including vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents and dog bites, and successfully recovered millions of dollars for his clients.

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