It is very difficult to provide an average settlement value for rear-end collisions. This is because settlement amounts for these types of auto accidents vary considerably.
In general, settlement awards will vary depending on
- the relative level of fault of the parties to the accident,
- the specific types of injuries involved,
- the severity of your injuries,
- if an injury results in scarring or permanent disability,
- the amount of insurance coverage available, and
- the extent of your property damage.
1. Will your injury type affect a rear-end accident settlement value?
Most often, yes. Rear-end car accidents can result in a variety of different injuries, and the area of your injury will likely impact your injury claim.
For example, you should expect a higher injury settlement for a severe back injury as opposed to a mild shoulder injury.
Note that common injuries in these cases include your:
- neck injuries,
- shoulder injuries, and
- back injuries.
As to neck, whiplash is a common injury but probably does not settle for as much as a shoulder or back injury.
With regards to your back, strains and sprains are most often mild injuries with relatively low settlement values. But note that back injury settlement figures could drastically increase if an injury leads to paralysis or a long-term disability.
2. Does injury severity impact an insurance claim settlement?
Most often, yes. Car accident settlement amounts will normally increase as the severity of your injuries increases.
Serious injuries typically require longer medical treatment and more intense medical care (for example, physical therapy).
The result is that you will incur expensive medical bills. An adjuster for the insurance company will extend a higher settlement offer to reflect these medical expenses.
Further, rear-end car accident victims with severe injuries will usually experience a higher degree of pain and suffering than victims with mild injuries.
Again, an insurance adjuster will likely extend a higher payout in these personal injury cases.
3. Will scarring or permanent disability affect an accident claim?
Typically, yes. Car crash victims will often receive non-economic damages when an injury results in either:
- scarring, or
- permanent disability.
In particular, a victim may receive compensation for such things as:
- loss of enjoyment of life, and
- emotional distress.1
This compensation will result in higher injury settlements.
Please keep in mind that you should legal advice from a personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney in your rear-end accident case.
A car accident lawyer or law firm will know the true value of your case and the specific types of damages that you are entitled to. A result is that a lawyer will help maximize your rear-end collision settlement.
4. What about the amount of insurance available?
The specific insurance policy and policy limits involved in a case will definitely impact what a fair settlement is in rear-end crashes.
If an at-fault driver has no insurance or is insured at a level below what is required by state law, you may have a difficulty in receiving compensation for all your injuries and expenses.
Note also that different states will require different amounts of insurance coverage. This means injury settlement values may vary from state to state.
If, for some instance, you suffer a car accident injury and the at-fault driver does not have insurance (or is insured at a low level), you can likely still receive some compensation.
To do so, you may have to look towards your:
- uninsured motorist coverage, or
- underinsured motorist coverage.
5. Does property damage impact the value of a car accident claim?
Most often, yes. Car accident cases usually involve damage to the vehicles involved, and the extent of this damage can vary. This is especially true with rear-end crashes.
Accident cases involving extreme damage will settle for more than cases involving little damage. Insurance companies pay more in extreme damage cases to help compensate you for all the necessary repairs to your vehicle.
Note that some rear-end accident cases can involve a car being totaled, where it is no longer operable. A fair settlement in these cases should include a payment for the damaged vehicle.
- See, for example, CACI No. 3905A – Physical Pain, Mental Suffering, and Emotional Distress (Noneconomic Damage), Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2022 edition).