Rear-end collisions instill a feeling of helplessness in our clients. Sustaining injuries because another driver followed too close or failed to stop on time is the ultimate definition of negligence. Since these collisions catch people unexpected and often lead to painful injuries, many Maryland residents are interested in how much they can receive in settlement and payout for their rear-end accidents.
Duboff & Associates, Chtd. sees these accidents frequently and preparing them for settlement or litigation is a daily task in our office. Here is an overview of what goes into rear-end collision settlements and why you should call us soon if you fell victim to one.
The Good News
There is good news about rear end accidents, although they are never a good development to your day. Liability is normally left undisputed. The only possible scenario for the car in front to be negligent in a rear-end case is if the driver cut off the other driver too closely either in a moment of inattention or road rage. That is not the most common scenario with these accidents.
Most of the time, the driver sustaining the impact was stopped. The collision occurs because the driver behind was following too closely or was simply not paying attention. These accidents can be especially serious on highways as a sudden stop in traffic may lead to a chain reaction of rear-end collisions that result in drivers being killed or seriously injured. It can become a large mess to determine which driver is at fault and accurately assess the damages of each injured victim.
While there will still be argument as to the extent of your injuries and how they affected your life, it is unlikely you will have to prove you were not negligent. These are fairly cut-and-dry cases where the main dispute centers on damages.
Factors Determining Case Value
Your settlement amount is a combination of economic and non economic damages. Economic damages are objective. They include medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of repairs to your car. Non economic damages are personal. They are a subjective estimation meant to make up for what you lost in quality of life. Pain and suffering, emotional effects, and limitations on work and hobbies can all be assessed with non economic damages.
There are four factors that determine the payout for a rear-end accident:
- Fact scenario. An insurance company may be more anxious to make a texting-while-driving case go away than with a standard rear-end accident where a driver could not react to a sudden stop. Also, an accident involving multiple vehicles and extensive injuries is one insurance companies want completed quickly. These motivations could mean a higher settlement amounts as they attempt to cut through the mess.
- Extent of injuries. This starts with medical expenses since serious injuries are more costly to treat. There is also the limitations injuries impose on victims. Whiplash injuries are painful and limiting but not to the extent of broken bones or head injuries. More serious injuries tend to result in higher settlements mainly because insurance companies do not want to risk litigating in front of likely sympathetic juries.
- Life impacts. Missing three months of work or skipping a long-planned marathon are serious impacts that often convince insurance companies to pay up. If the injury did not limit your activities substantially, your payout will not be as large.
- Damage caps. Maryland places limits on non economic damages. This amount increases each year with inflation and in 2016, it was $810,000. The damage caps do not affect economic damages.
It is difficult to give exact amounts you could expect in settlement because ever rear-end car accident and its resulting injuries are unique. Verdicts involving the high four figures for neck injuries are rare unless there were extraordinary circumstances that move the jury. A rear-end collision that results in minor injuries will most likely attract a few thousand dollars but if your accident involved being hit by a semi truck with many painful surgeries following, you may find yourself looking at a six-figure offer.
Call an Attorney Today
Being a victim of a rear-end collision is a painful and disruptive experience. Even if your only injury is whiplash, you still require time to recover and need to focus on that goal.
Call DuBoff & Associates, Chtd. for assistance with your rear-end collision in Maryland. We offer the experience necessary to negotiate with insurance companies and assure a fair payment for rear-end accidents. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.