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Who Is At Fault If You Are Rear Ended?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 19th January 2024. Welcome to our guide on who is at fault if you are rear-ended. Rear-end collisions are a type of road traffic accident where one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle. This guide will examine whether you can claim compensation if you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision.

If you have been injured in a rear-end accident with another vehicle, then the resulting injuries can have a severe impact on your quality of life. You may experience musculoskeletal injuries or experience whiplash. This may result in you being unable to live your life as you normally do.

Assessing who is at fault in a car crash rear-end collision or other road traffic accident can be complex. If you have been injured because your car was hit from behind, call Legal Expert today. We will be able to assess who was at fault if you are rear-ended and, if we can see that you are eligible to claim compensation for your injuries, a knowledgeable solicitor can start working on your claim and helping you collect evidence as soon as possible.

Call us today on 0800 073 8804 to begin your rear end car accident claim. Alternatively, use our online accident claims form to contact us in writing. We look forward to helping you claim.

Rear ended car accident

Rear-ended car accident

Select A Section:

  1. A Car Reversed Into Me, Who’s At Fault?
  2. I Rear-Ended Someone Who Stopped Suddenly – Am I At Fault?
  3. I Was In An Accident Where I Was Rear-Ended – How Long Do I Have To Claim?
  4. How To Prove Who Is At Fault If You Are Rear Ended
  5. Compensation Payouts For Rear-Ending Accidents
  6. What Else Could I Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?
  7. Claiming For A Rear-End Collision With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  8. Learn More About Rear-End Collisions

A Car Reversed Into Me, Who’s At Fault?

Fault in rear-end collisions will be placed on the party that did not follow the road traffic laws and guidance. In England, Wales & Scotland these will be from the Road Traffic Act 1980 and The Highway Code. As a road user, you will be expected to observe the laws and guidance that they set out to help ensure that you do not put other road users at risk of harm.

The Highway Code’s guidance on using the road while reversing states that a driver should:

  • Ensure that they constantly check for obstructions
  • Reverse slowly
  • Avoid reversing into a busy road
  • Ensure that they do not reverse their vehicle further than necessary

If you had suffered injuries in a car crash because of another party’s reckless or careless driving then you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

You can reach out to one of our advisers for more information about who could be found at fault for your crash, and whether you may be eligible to make a claim.

I Rear-Ended Someone Who Stopped Suddenly – Am I At Fault?

As we discussed above, drivers are expected to obey the road traffic rules and laws in place. In order to have a valid car accident claim, you must be able to prove that the other driver was responsible for your injuries due to them breaching their duty of care.

Typically, in a rear-end collision, the driver at the back is liable for the accident, even if the vehicle in front stopped suddenly. This is due to Rule 126 of the Highway Code, which states you must leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you call safely pull up if the car in front were to suddenly stop or slow down. We discuss this a bit more later on in this guide.

However, there are incidents where the driver of the car in front might be liable for the accident. For example, the vehicle in front may have faulty brake lights. Annex 6 of the Highway Codes states that lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates must be kept clean and clear. If you rear-ended someone who stopped suddenly because their brake lights were faulty or dirty, they might be liable for the accident.

In addition, there are split liability accidents. These are where each party shares some of the liability for the collision.

To discuss the circumstances of your road traffic accident and find out if you are eligible for compensation, please get in touch with one of our advisors using the details at the top of the page.

I Was In An Accident Where I Was Rear-Ended – How Long Do I Have To Claim?

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim following a rear end car accident, you must also be aware of the time limit in place for starting your claim. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will generally have 3 years to start your claim from the date of the vehicle collision. However, there are some exceptions to this.

For example, if a child was injured in an accident by a rear end shunt, the time limit would pause until their 18th birthday. While the time limit is paused, a solicitor or parent, for example, could apply to be a litigation friend and claim on the child’s behalf. If no claim is made during the pause, the injured party will have 3 years to start their own claim from their 18th birthday.

To learn more about the other exceptions that apply to this 3-year time limit, you can contact our advisors. They could also help answer any questions you may have, such as ‘When is a rear end collision not your fault in the UK?’

How To Prove Who Is At Fault If You Are Rear Ended

When claiming for rear-end collisions, one of the most important steps in the claiming process is gathering evidence. Evidence can help you prove who is responsible for the car accident and your injuries, but it can also help you prove other losses and how your injuries have affected you.

Some examples of evidence you could collect to prove your rear end car accident claim include:

  • Photographs: Taking photographs of the accident site or of your injuries can help prove the severity of both.
  • CCTV: If your accident was caught on CCTV, then you may be able to ask for the footage and use it as evidence in your claim.
  • Dashcam footage: Similar to the above, if your accident was caught on another driver’s dashcam, you may be able to use the footage as evidence. 
  • Witness statements: If you take the contact details of those who witnessed your accident, this means that a professional can take their statements later on during the claims process.
  • Medical records: Your medical records can provide more insight into your injuries and the treatment you have received and will need in the future.

One of the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your claim is that they can help you collect evidence. To find out if one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you, get in touch with our friendly team today.

Compensation Payouts For Rear-Ending Accidents

If you’ve been hit from behind as a result of another road user’s negligence, then you could be owed compensation. However, you may be wondering how much your settlement could be worth. It can be difficult to say without knowing more about your specific circumstances.

However, in this section, we have included a table made up of entries for different injuries corresponding to bracket compensation amounts from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in 2022. We have also included the tariff amounts from the The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, which we will look at more closely in the next section. Please note that the first entry in this table is not taken from the JCG.

Nature Of Your Injury Possible Settlement Notes
Multiple Serious Injuries And Special Damages Up to £100,000+ This would include a number of serious injuries caused by the accident, as well as considerable financial losses, such as lost earnings or the cost of a mobility aid.
Back Injuries – Severe (a)(ii) £74,160 to £88,430 A case which has a special feature which excludes it from a lower bracket back injury. This could include damage to nerve roots as well as loss of mobility or sensation.
Neck Injuries – Severe (a)(iii) £45,470 to £55,990 The injury may cause a dislocation or fracture as well as or cause severe soft tissue damage and injury. There could be a tendon rupture.
Foot – Severe (d) £41,970 to £70,030 This injury could present as your nobility being restricted or there being a heel fracture affecting both heels.
Facial Scar – Very Severe (a) £29,780 to £97,330 The injury may be severe and cause a severe psychological injury as well as disfigure the claimant. Those who are younger (between teenage years and their early 30’s) may be awarded a higher settlement.
Facial Scar – Less Severe (b) £17,960 to £48,420 The claimant may be substantially disfigured and could lead to psychological harm as well as the physical injury.
Toe – Moderate (e) Up to £9,600 An injury which is straight forward or considered to be uncomplicated. This could include a fracture or could include an existing injury being worsened.
Whiplash and Psychiatric Impact £4,345 An injury lasting between 18-24 months with some psychological impact
Whiplash and Psychiatric Impact £4,215 An injury lasting between 18-24 months without any psychological impact

Whiplash Injury Regulations

The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 and the Whiplash Reform Programme have changed how whiplash is claimed for in the UK. Injuries sustained by passengers or drivers over the age of 18 on or after 31st May 2021 that are worth less than £5,000 will need to be claimed for through an online portal. If your vehicle has been rear ended but you’ve only suffered a minor whiplash injury, you may need to use this portal to claim.

However, we always encourage calling to speak to us before launching a claim in this manner. Your injuries may be worth more than you think. If you’ve been involved in a rear end collision, we can provide you with a compensation estimate over the phone. This can give you a better indication of what you could receive.

What Else Could I Claim After A Road Traffic Accident?

If you are hit from the back by a car, your injuries may cause certain financial losses and expenditures. If so, it’s possible that you could have an amount awarded known as a special damages payment.

We have included some examples below of the kinds of losses that an injury may cause and that you could be reimbursed for. However, you will also need to provide evidence of their financial impact on you. Receipts and payslips are good examples of how you can achieve this.

  • Loss of earnings – If you’ve been hit from the back in a car accident, the injuries you sustain may cause you to miss time at work. If so, your income could suffer as a result. It’s not only your salary for which you could be reimbursed but also any bonuses and pension contributions.
  • Medical expenses – This could include costs such as prescription medication or even certain private healthcare treatment.
  • Damage to property – Whilst damage to your vehicle can often be covered by insurance, other items in your car at the time may have been damaged or destroyed. The cost of these items may be included in your special damages payment.

There are other examples too. Get in touch with our advisors for more information. We can also assist with queries such as who’s at fault in a rear end collision.

Claiming For A Rear-End Collision With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have valid grounds to claim for injuries caused by a rear-end collision, then you could choose to seek help from a solicitor. You can discuss your case with our advisors, and they may then connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

If one of our No Win No Fee solicitors agrees to support your claim, then they can offer you what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this type of agreement, you won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor for their work. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim proves to be unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, then your solicitor can take what’s called a success fee. This is typically a legally capped percentage from the compensation awarded to you.

Contact Our Team For More Information

For more advice on claiming for injuries caused by getting hit by a car from behind, contact our advisors for free today. To do so, you can:

Learn More About Rear-End Collisions

We hope you have found this guide about who is at fault when you get rear-ended helpful. If you wish to claim compensation for injuries caused by a road traffic accident, you may also find these guides helpful.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.