14 Oct

Will insurance cover my injuries if I rear-ended someone else?


Will insurance cover my injuries if I rear-ended someone else?

Rear-end collisions happen all the time – if you hit someone from behind and were injured yourself, you may still be entitled to compensation!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that every eight seconds, someone gets rear-ended. These types of collisions account for 40% of all collisions on U.S. roadways. Many people refer to rear-end car accidents as just minor “fender benders”, but just because these accidents are common does not mean that they cannot be serious. Depending on the severity of the crash, they often cause significant damage to vehicles and to drivers/passengers.

Rear-ending happens when the front of one vehicle hits the rear of another, either directly from behind or at a slight angle. We often think of the driver who was hit from behind as the victim, but tailing drivers can sustain injuries as well, and they may not be entirely at fault for the accident. If you rear-ended someone and were hurt, The Florida Law Group can help you negotiate with your insurance company to receive damages for your injuries!

In any rear-end scenario, both parties can suffer major injuries, including, but not limited to:

  • Whiplash – Whiplash doesn’t need high speed conditions to pose a serious health risk. When you or the other driver’s/passenger’s head and neck are moved quickly back and forth, as they nearly always are in a rear-end collision, it can result in headaches, cognitive difficulties, neck pain, and more.
  • Back problems – Because of the nature of rear-end collisions, slipped or herniated discs, or compressed vertebrae are common. It is also possible that other, more serious spinal injuries may occur.
  • Seatbelt/Airbag Injuries – Depending on the force of impact, safety features designed to protect may give you or the other driver/passenger lacerations (cuts) and bruises, broken bones, or head trauma, which often presents itself as a concussion.

Rear-end crashes can also lead to joint injuries, burns, fractures, and more. In some cases, these crashes can be fatal, especially if a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal injury is incurred. Since car accidents can be such devastating and jarring experiences, you or the other parties involved may likely experience emotional stress or suffering. The cost for treating all of these injuries, as well as vehicle repair, can potentially be covered in a settlement with the insurer.

However, if you were the one to rear-end the other driver, you may be wondering if your insurance will cover any of those costs. The answer can be found by examining legal liability and your own auto insurance policy.

What if I wasn’t entirely at fault?

Rear-end crashes can have a variety of causes. For example, the tailing driver may have been distracted or not maintaining proper following distance, or the other driver may have slammed on the brakes for no reason or made a last-minute turn.

There is a legal presumption of negligence in rear-end crashes, simply because of the logic that the rear driver has the most control over the collision. However, if you are the tailing driver, you might not always be at fault for the accident. If the driver’s brake lights don’t turn on, for example, or if they reverse the vehicle for no apparent reason, you could not have known they were stopping/backing into you, even though you should have allowed yourself enough room to stop safely.

Florida uses a comparative negligence standard, meaning that even if you are partially at fault, you can still recover damages for your injuries. The court may assign them 100% of the blame, or, depending on the facts of your case, assign you 60% of the blame, or etc. The amount by which you were determined to be at fault will be a large determining factor in the settlement amount.

Okay, I was entirely at fault, but I was still injured. What can I do?

If you are found to be at 100% fault for the accident – which is something you should never assume until you have discussed your case with an experienced personal injury accident attorney – you have options. Depending on your auto insurance coverage and policy limits, you can likely use Medical Payments to alleviate some of the costs. But your insurance company will always try to avoid paying out damages, and may try to convince you that you have no legal rights. This is often not the case. You may be entitled to more than you realize! Contact an expert local car accident lawyer shortly following a rear-end crash to discover the course of action that’s in your best interests.

The Florida Law Group has recovered millions of dollars in damages for injured victims of rear-ending car accident cases. We know how to navigate complex liability issues and ensure that you get the medical treatment you need! Our skilled, compassionate attorneys will never let you settle for less than what you deserve. We deal with the insurance companies, other parties, and court officials while you focus on healing. Our firm has been nationally recognized for our ability to get verdicts for our clients, and our lead trial attorney, Chris Limberopoulos, is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, something that only 1% of lawyers can claim. If you were injured in a rear-end accident, and you were the one driving, contact us for a free case evaluation!