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Who Is At Fault If You Are Rear Ended?

Updated by Max Mitrovic on 25th April 2022. 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.

Rear ended car accident

Rear-ended car accident

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 as soon as possible.

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

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A Guide To Who Is At Fault If You Are Rear-Ended

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision and were injured as a result, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. You can only claim compensation if the accident and your subsequent injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party.

In this guide, we will examine what rear-end accidents are and how liability for these accidents is determined. We will also examine the duty of care that all drivers owe to one another.

In addition, we will look at the kinds of damages that you could receive in compensation for your injuries. We will also look at how a No Win No Fee agreement could help you when funding legal representation in your claim for compensation.

If you believe you have been wrongfully injured because of a rear-end car accident, call Legal Expert today to begin your claim or use our online claims form to reach us. If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim, we can provide you with an experienced personal injury claims lawyer to handle your claim. Alternatively, keep on reading this guide to learn more about how someone could be at fault if you are rear-ended.

What Are Rear-End Accidents?

You might be wondering about the rear-ended meaning. A rear-ended accident is a road traffic accident where one vehicle collides into the back of another vehicle. This kind of accident is often the fault of the driver who is behind.

They may occur because the rear driver was not leaving adequate room for the driver ahead or did not react quickly enough when the traffic came to a stop; however, this is not always the case.

Road Users Duty Of Care

All drivers have a duty of care to other people using the roads. This is outlined in the Highway Code.

The Highway Code outlines a number of guidelines on how road users can conduct themselves in a way that reduces the risk of injury. Some of these are legal obligations, and the word “must” is used in the phrasing of these rules.

Where the word “should” is used, this does not indicate a legal obligation. However, whether or not these guidelines have been followed could be taken into consideration when determining who was liable for the accident.

Part of the duty of care for drivers involves adhering to the standards of skill and care of the average motorist. There aren’t any exceptions made for drivers who lack skill or experience behind the wheel.

In many cases involving a rear end collision, the vehicle behind that impacts the vehicle in front can be considered liable because drivers need to ensure they are leaving sufficient space for the vehicle in front. However, there are many collision incidents, such as if you hit another car while reversing, where the person liable for the damage may not be clear.

For more information on who is at fault if you are rear-ended, why not speak to our team today? One of our friendly and helpful advisors could offer you free legal advice about your claim.

What Is The Meaning Of Rear Ended In Car Accident Claims?

You may want more information about the meaning of “rear ended” in car accident claims. As discussed, the rear-ended meaning is a car accident where you have been hit by another vehicle from behind. Often, the person behind you may be at fault for the accident for not paying due care and attention while navigating the roads.

However, there may be cases where there is a partial liability. For instance, a cyclist may have been riding at night without reflector lights on the back of their bike. As a result, it may have been more unreasonable to expect the driver to see you leading to a rear-end collision.

We have explored liability for a car accident further down in our guide. For more information on who could be at fault if you are rear-ended, continue reading.

Whiplash & Other Injuries Caused By Being Rear-Ended

A whiplash injury can be caused by a rear-end shunt accident. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury that occurs when the head is pushed beyond its normal range of motion, causing strain on the neck. It can be caused by road traffic accidents but can also happen as the result of a fall or a sporting accident. Whiplash can also affect the shoulder, upper arms and upper back.

The main symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Stiffness in the neck, which can make it difficult to move the head
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in the shoulders and arms

Fortunately, most cases of whiplash heal without treatment within 2-3 months, but if your whiplash does not heal immediately your doctor may prescribe a course of physiotherapy.

Although whiplash often heals on its own, if you believe that you are suffering from whiplash, you should always go to the doctor to have your injuries diagnosed. This is because the doctor may feel that you need medical treatment and because you will need your injuries to be diagnosed by a doctor to provide evidence of your injuries. If the rear of your car has been damaged by a collision, this report could help you by providing a professional evaluation of your injuries.

Other injuries which can be caused by rear-end collisions can include head injuries, spinal injuries and cuts and lacerations from broken windows. In some instances, rear-end accidents could even be fatal. If you are seriously or severely injured following a car crash rear-end collision, you should go to a hospital or doctors surgery for the appropriate treatment straight away.

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.

Could The Following Driver be At Fault For A Rear-End Collision?

The party who is most often at fault in a rear-end collision is the driver at the back of a collision. A rear-end collision could occur because the following driver did not leave enough space between their car and the car in front.

Drivers are supposed to leave a two-second stopping distance between them and the car ahead. This distance should double in wet or icy weather or if conditions on the roads are poor.

Unfortunately, some drivers tailgate. This means not leaving a safe distance between the car ahead. They may do this to try to pressure the car ahead into increasing their speed.

This can be very dangerous as it can cause a rear-end collision if the car ahead has to stop suddenly. A driver may have to perform an emergency stop at any time to avoid a hazard. If you were the leading car and the following car was tailgating you, it is likely that the following car is at fault if you are rear-ended.

Could The Leading Driver Be At Fault For A Rear-End Collision?

With most rear-end shunt accidents, the following car is at fault, but this is not always the case. For instance, the car in front may have broken rear end brake lights, so the car behind can’t tell that they are about to stop. This may mean that the driver in front is judged to be fully or partially responsible for the accident.

Similarly, a rear-end collision when the lead driver may be at fault can happen if a car reverses into the front of your car. If you hit another car while reversing, you could be liable because you need to check the environment before performing any driving manoeuvre to ensure it’s safe to do so.

You may be wondering whether you would be at fault for hitting the back of a car that stopped suddenly. It is good driving practice to come to a smooth stop rather than stop suddenly. However, a road user may have to perform an emergency stop that cannot be anticipated, for example, if a child or animal runs into the road. For this reason, it’s really important that a safe stopping distance is maintained at all times. It is unlikely that you will be able to claim if you were responsible for a rear-end collision just because the driver stopped suddenly.

The Application Of Rule 126 Of The Highway Code

Rule 126 of The Highway Code states that all drivers should leave a 2-second gap between their vehicle and the vehicle in front. However, this is not cut and dry, and there are some exceptions to this.

Drivers of large vehicles like HGVs or lorries, or someone driving a motorcycle should consider that it takes longer for their vehicle to stop. They should increase their stopping distance accordingly.

“Stopping distance” is actually made up of two factors. “Thinking distance” is the time it takes you to recognise a hazard and apply the breaks. You should leave a greater distance between you and the car in front when driving in low visability, as your thinking distance may be affected.

“Braking distance” is the amount of time it takes your vehicle to stop after the breaks are applied. Your braking distance is greater the higher the speed you are travelling at and will also increase in wet conditions or when there is ice or snow on the road.

Furthermore, you need to ensure that your brakes are working properly at all times. If, for instance, you collide with the rear of a car, you would be considered liable if the collision was caused because you were aware that your brakes were faulty and you failed to get them fixed. Please contact our team if you have further questions about claiming due to a rear end collision. We offer free legal advice and you are under no obligation to use our claims services should you contact us.

What Is Negligence In Rear-End Collisions?

Here are some examples of negligence whilst driving, which could cause a rear-end collision and mean someone else is at fault if you are rear-ended:

  • Drink driving or driving while under the influence- This could impact your thinking distance, making you slower to react to a car stopping in front of you.
  • Using your phone while driving– This could cause you to be distracted, meaning that you don’t notice the car in front of you stop.
  • Speeding- Higher speeds increase your stopping distance. If you’re travelling too fast, you may not be able to stop in time.
  • Tailgating– If you don’t leave the correct stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front, you could fail to stop in time.

If you were injured in a rear-end accident and the other driver was engaging in any of these activities, you could be owed compensation. Speak to our team of advisers to find out more.

How Could I Prove The Other Party’s Negligence?

If you are involved in a rear-end car accident, there are things that you can do at the scene to support your compensation claim. Of course, if you or anyone else is seriously injured or critically injured, seeking the appropriate treatment should be your number one priority.

Here are some ways you could collect evidence to support your claim.

  • Take pictures of damages to your vehicle and any injuries you or your passengers have sustained if they are visible. If a hazard on the road worsened your injuries take photographs of this as well.
  • Speak to witnesses and take down their contact details, as they may be able to make a statement to support your claim. They can help clarify the series of events that led to your vehicle being rear ended. However, you may still be able to claim if there was no witness to your accident.
  • Go to a doctor or hospital to have the medical treatment you need. This is also necessary because your medical records will be used as evidence to support your compensation claim.

Other evidence that may be used to support your claim could include:

  • Information from police investigations or reports about the crash.
  • Information from reports made to the insurance company.
  • CCTV footage.
  • Dashcam footage

For more information on proving who is at fault when you get rear-ended, call our team.

Rear-End Accident Injury Claims Calculator

Instead of a personal injury compensation calculator, we have decided to illustrate the amount of compensation you could receive using the table below. The information from this table is based on guidelines from the Judicial College.

Nature Of Your InjuryPossible SettlementNotes
Facial Scar - Very Severe£27,940 to £91,350The 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£16,860 to £45,440The claimant may be substantially disfigured and could lead to psychological harm as well as the physical injury.
Neck Injuries - Severe (3)£42,680 to £52,540The injury may cause a dislocation or fracture as well as or cause severe soft tissue damage and injury. There could be a tendon rupture.
Back Injuries - Severe (2)£69,600 to £82,980A 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.
Foot - Severe£39,390 to £65,710This injury could present as your nobility being restricted or there being a heel fracture affecting both heels.
Toe - ModerateUp to £9,010An injury which is straight forward or considered to be uncomplicated. This could include a fracture or could include an existing injury being worsened.
Kidney Injuries£158,970 to £197,480This is both a serious and permanent injury affecting both injuries. It could also include the loss of both of your kidneys.

Please keep in mind that these are guideline compensation brackets and not guaranteed compensation awards. Furthermore, this table only includes the part of your compensation paid to you for your injuries, which is referred to as general damages.

In order to value the general damages head of your claim, you will usually be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert. They will confirm that your injuries resulted from your accident. They will then compile a report detailing the severity of the injuries and their prognosis. This report will be used to help value your claim.

Also, please remember that these compensation brackets are a result of past successful claims. If you’ve been involved in a rear end collision and your injuries are worth less than £5,000, you would need to claim using the online portal.

If someone you know has been involved in a fatal road accident, call our team to discuss claiming compensation on their behalf.

Examples Of Special Damages Which May Be Claimed

In addition to general damages, you may also be able to claim compensation for any expenses or future expenses you will have due to becoming injured in a rear-end collision. This is referred to as special damages.

Examples of special damages which may be claimed include:

  • Medical bills, which could include funds to pay for physiotherapy to help you recover from whiplash injuries,
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Care expenses

If you are severely injured and experience a permanent disability, you may also be able to claim funds to pay for any mobility equipment home adaptations you may now need.

For more information on what claims against someone at fault if you are rear-ended could comprise, our team could help.

No Win No Fee Claims For Rear-End Car Accidents

If you have been injured because of a rear-end car accident, you could have your compensation claim handled on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that your solicitor will offer you a No Win No Fee Agreement (also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement). This dictates the conditions that need to be met before you pay them.

Under this agreement, you won’t have to pay them anything before the claim starts, while it’s ongoing or in the event that your claim is unsuccessful. In the event of a successful claim, a legally capped success fee will be deducted from your compensation to cover their costs.

You can read our online guide to learn more about how making a No Win No Fee claim could benefit you.

Contact A Claims Expert

To find an experienced personal injury claims solicitor to work on your case, call Legal Expert today by:

If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to make a claim for a rear-end collision, one of our road traffic accident solicitors will be assigned to work on your claim right away. Call us now; our advisors are looking forward to receiving your call.

Essential Car Accident Claims Reference

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.

Foreign Vehicle Accident Claims– A useful guide on accidents involving foreign vehicles and the process you can go through to seek compensation.

Whiplash Compensation Calculator – 2021 Update

How Much Compensation For Car Accident Claims?

Hit And Run Accident Claims

Think.gov.uk

Road Traffic Act 1988 

When to report an accident to the police 

Uninsured Drivers, Can I Still Claim Compensation For My Accident Or Injury?

Car Accident Injury Payouts – How Much Could You Be Awarded?

Thank you for reading our guide on who is at fault if you are rear-ended. For more information on rear-end collision accident claims, call our team on the number above.

Guide by Chelache

Edited by Stocks

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