Rear-end accidents are so common that they account for 29% of motor vehicle fatalities, and there’s no sign of them decreasing. Getting rear-ended while stopped is even worse as there’s no speed to cushion the blow. Even low speeds can cause significant injuries like whiplash and head injuries.
You shouldn’t suffer and pay for excess injury while a negligent driver rear-ended you while stopped. Depending on your case, you may qualify for damages like lost wages or medical bills while you’re recovering from your injuries.
Only through a competent auto accident attorney can you maximize your settlement amount while paying your medical bills. Read further to know more about rear-end accidents and how to start your claim.
Statistics on Rear-End Accidents
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there have been over 1.7 million rear-end crashes since 2012, with approximately 1,705 fatalities and 547,443 injured people.
According to Injury Facts, out of 13.2 million car crashes, more than 3.8 million were classified as rear-end accidents (41.7%). About 915,000 were injured by these rear-end accidents.
In recent reports, nearly 2.5 million rear-end collisions happen, including minor fender-benders, also classified as rear-end accidents. The numbers show frequent crashes of more than 4,500 crashes each day.
What Causes the Most Rear-End Accidents?
The most common cause for rear-ends involving a stopped vehicle is distracted driving, ranked 6th by the Insurance Information Institute (III) for total traffic fatalities. Driving while distracted raises the chances of hitting unsuspecting stopped drivers on the road.
Instances of distracted driving include:
- Texting & Talking (on cellphone)
- Eating & Drinking
- Looking away from the road
- Reading GPS
The second most common rear-end accident is due to driving too close, also known as tailgating. While traveling at high speeds, drivers need sizable space between vehicles to react when sudden stops occur. If cars are too close and travel fast enough, their brakes may not activate fast enough, causing a rear-end collision.
Although these are considered minor actions and a driver may not think it would cause an accident, the problem is the attention span and focus of the driver. The more restrained their attention span is, the more chances of a lethal collision.
There is a reason for speed limits to provide drivers with clear directions and facilitate a safe flow of traffic in standard conditions. If drivers were to speed, it would disrupt traffic flow and cause dangerous collisions.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents, and a lot of people get distracted easily. It could be as simple as changing the music radio in the car or grabbing a quick drink from your cup holder. The NHTSA disclosed roughly 87% of rear-end crashes are due to distracted drivers behind the vehicle.
Tailgating is another common cause of car accidents when drivers are too close to another car’s bumper. It’s unclear as to the number of accidents caused by tailgating, but according to the Texas Department of Insurance, about 51% admit to tailgating intentionally.
In the United States, reckless driving is responsible for one-third of all traffic fatalities. Common types of reckless driving are speeding, driving under alcohol influence, tailgating, etc. In 2019, the NHTSA reported 9,466 injuries caused by speeding, a common form of reckless driving.
What to Do After Getting Rear-Ended While Stopped
When getting into a rear-end accident while stopping, make sure everyone is safe during the accident, but what should you do after that?
- First, look to see if there are any major injuries to you and the passengers. If anyone is seriously hurt, dial 911.
- If able, move your car off the road away from traffic (in a residential area, parking lot, etc.)
- You must take a picture of the damages to your car sustained and get the other party’s information, like:
- Contact info
- Driver’s license
- Registration card
- License plate #
- Let your insurance know within 24 hours so they can have your claims settled quickly.
If you were injured and to get compensated for your pain and suffering, contact LegalASAP, who will connect you to an attorney on your auto accident claim.
Who is At-Fault if You Got Rear-Ended While Stopped?
Most likely, the driver who hit the rear-end driver is at-fault. If the front driver stops suddenly, it’s almost always the rear driver who is at-fault. Also, there’s partially to blame the middle driver if they were driving too closely.
Some states work with a no-fault system, meaning it doesn’t matter who’s at-fault because your insurance would take care of the injuries and damage cost. Learn about the rules and regulations within your state by contacting an attorney with LegalASAP. They will connect you to an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
Will My Insurance Go Up After Getting Rear-Ended?
Unfortunately, there’s a high chance your insurance rate may get impacted even if you weren’t the one at-fault. If your insurance policy pays for your claim, your rate could increase depending on your state and insurance.
However, some states like California have laws against raising rates on drivers who aren’t at-fault, so insurance rates shouldn’t go up.
You can call an attorney to find out if your state has laws against raising rates for no-fault auto accidents. Contact LegalASAP, and we can help you speak with an attorney ASAP.
When Am I At-Fault in a Rear-End Accident?
There are scenarios where the driver in front can be at-fault as well. An aggressive driving tactic that is considered illegal in most states is known as brake checking. This tactic provokes the rear driver by braking hard and to intimidate or retaliate against the rear driver.
Common Injuries After a Rear-End Accident
Some common injuries after a rear-end accident include:
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Chest injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Arm and shoulder pain
Some injuries can be severe and require immediate medical attention. You can contact us and find a local attorney to help you with your claim and get compensated for your pain and suffering.
Average Settlements For Getting Rear-Ended While Stopped
Contact a lawyer and find an estimate of your settlement within your state because laws vary from state-to-state. For instance, Texas minor estimates could range from a little over $2,000 to more than $10,000 for major-level injuries.
The average settlement in Florida is unique since they are a no-fault state. They must carry Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) to pay for all their medical and vehicle bills. Their settlement could range from minor damages — $10,000 to over $175,000 for catastrophic injuries.
Overall, it’s best to seek an auto accident attorney to help you understand the laws within your state and help you find the best estimate for your settlement.
Should I Settle With My Insurance Company?
You can settle with your insurance if you suffered minor injuries (small cuts, bruises, bumps, etc.), but for serious injuries and damages, you should contact an attorney to help you with your claim.
Insurance companies often lowball their settlements to not completely cover all your medical and vehicle expenses. Contact your insurance company after a rear-end accident to see what they’re willing to provide for your claim. Then, contact an attorney to get an estimate on how much you should get compensated before accepting any first quick settlement.
Fight For Justice After a Rear-End Crash With an Attorney
Get justice and contact LegalASAP to find an attorney near you. We are partners with 500+ firms that will connect you with an auto accident attorney to help you with your claim. We want to help you get compensated for your loss, so don’t wait and call us at 888-927-3080 so we can help you find the right attorney for your case.
You can fill out a short free evaluation instead, and we will call you back as soon as possible.
Cassandra Tran Nguy is a legal writer living in Los Angeles, California. She graduated cum laude from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in English Creative Writing and a minor in Marketing. Visit her online profile at linkedin.com