Any vehicle collision can cause severe injuries. However, a jarring, sudden rear-end crash is unusually dangerous. Sudden, unexpected rear impacts expose crash victims to forces our bodies are not built to handle. Our brain, face, jaw, neck and shoulders as well as our back and hips are not meant to endure those unnatural forces. The physical whipping force and torque from a rear-end car crash causes a person’s body to have a second impact with the inside of a vehicle. This second impact causes severe trauma to people’s body parts when they are slammed into the steering wheel, seatbelt or shoulder harness, door, dashboard, windshield, seat, headrest or even other passengers or their own body parts (like slamming your chin into your chest, elbow or other bones). As a result, rear-end crashes cause serious, life changing, and often permanent injuries.
Some of our clients have been permanently injured or killed after another driver’s car or truck struck their vehicle from behind. If you were hurt in a rear-end crash, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Rear-End Collision?
A rear-end collision or rear-end crash occurs when a vehicle collides with the back side of the vehicle traveling in front of it. Motorists who cause rear-end crashes are commonly doing one or more of the following:
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to keep their vehicle under adequate control, as required by law
- Failing to be aware of their surroundings as required by law
- Failing to keep a legally safe distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them
- Intentionally or aggressively tailgating the vehicle in front of them
A rear-end crash often occurs when traffic suddenly stops or slows and a motorist does not allow enough time and distance to safely stop without harming others.
Which Injuries Can You Get from Being Rear-ended?
Motorists whose vehicles are rear-ended often sustain one or more of these common injuries:
- Severe to moderate brain damage from traumatic brain injury
- Concussions (or cumulative damage on prior/recurrent concussions)
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Balance problems (vestibular injuries)
- Memory loss or loss of consciousness
- Blurred or double vision
- Confusion or forgetfulness
- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
Neck and Back Injuries
- Spinal cord injury with or without paralysis
- Fractured vertebra
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Aggravation and worsening of prior spinal problems
- Whiplash or related soft tissue injuries
- Fractured bones in shoulder region
- Rib fractures
- Sternum fractures
- Collarbone fractures
- Torn shoulder labrum
- Torn rotator cuff
- Shoulder/bicep joint injuries
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Facial fractures/lacerations/scarring
- Nose/sinus injuries
- Ear or hearing injuries
- Jaw injuries, including:
- Lost/broken teeth
- Temporal mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Eye injuries, including:
- Vision loss or damage to one or both eyes
- Lost or worsening eyesight, including blindness in one or both eyes
- Retina detachment
- Corneal damage
- Glass in eye
- Double vision
- Fractures to hip/pelvis
- Hip dislocation
- Hip labrum tear or damage
- Injury to hip socket
- These areas are also vulnerable to serious injury in a rear-end crash. When struck from the rear (or if a victim sees that a vehicle behind them is about to slam into them), it is human nature to tighten up and brace at impact. As a result, bones and joints are jolted or jammed into the steering wheel, windshield, floor, brake or dashboard. They are often then damaged and broken, since the object they strike is much harder than these areas of the human body. As a result, the weaker bone or joint gives way and suffers the most damage.
Anyone involved in a rear-end crash should seek professional medical attention right away. Symptoms of severe injuries may not appear immediately. Failure to treat these injuries can lead to more severe pain and injuries.
What is the Average Settlement for a Rear-end Collision?
Every case is different. Determining the value of a rear-end collision case depends on factors such as the severity of the injury or injuries, the medical bills and expenses related to the crash, and how long the injury and impairments from the injury last (or if they are permanent). Other factors include the following:
- The body parts affected by the injury and whether the victim will regain all function after an injury or injuries.
- Whether the victim suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or emotional distress after the crash.
- Whether the victim obtains appropriate medical treatment and the treating physicians provide clear diagnoses and future medical predictions (prognoses) for:
- Full or partial recovery from injury pain and limitation
- Future medical treatment
- Future disability from employment
- The length of time and extent that the victim will have to endure limitations due to injuries that affect daily activities, such as walking, dancing, sports and exercise.
- The effect these injuries have, and will continue to have, on the victim’s marriage and spouse. For example, due to the injuries sustained by one spouse, the other spouse will undertake additional responsibilities with children, household chores, and intimate relations between the victim and their spouse.
- Where will your lawsuit be filed. The county or court where your lawsuit is filed can have a major impact on the value of your claim. Your law firm should be skilled at finding the best county to file your lawsuit and keeping it in that county even when the insurance company’s attorneys fight this. Verdicts and case value will vary dramatically from one county to another.
These and other unique details of a case will help determine a fair settlement for someone who was injured in a rear-end crash. Below are a few case examples to show what others have obtained previously with our legal representation after a rear-end collision.
Some of Our Past Cases Involving Rear-End Collisions
$3 million jury verdict for a client who sustained a right tibia fracture, a broken left foot, facial fractures, a neck fracture, and a diffuse mild brain injury. Our client was a passenger in a Greyhound bus that slammed into the rear of a tractor trailer truck at a high speed. (Philadelphia County verdict/Luzerne County client)
$750,000 jury verdict for a client who was operating a car that was rear-ended by a dump truck. (Centre County verdict for Cambria County client)
$685,000 settlement for a client who suffered a head injury, with headaches and visual and speech issues when a tractor-trailer struck her car in the rear. (Susquehanna County crash/Lawsuit settlement)
$575,000 pre-trial settlement for a client who was rear-ended by a truck at a stop light. Our client sustained aggravation to prior neck injuries and had balance problems as a result of this crash. (Allegheny County lawsuit settlement for Fayette County client)
$450,000 settlement for a truck driver who was struck in the rear by another tractor trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike. He suffered neck injuries that required surgery. (Burlington County, NJ settlement during trial and prior to verdict for Bucks County PA client)
$355,000 in total settlements for a client who was injured when she was stopped at a red light and struck in the rear by another car. Our client sustained a concussion with post-concussion syndrome. (Montgomery County PA lawsuit/crash for New Jersey client)
$325,000 in total settlements for client who suffered shoulder and neck injuries when his vehicle was struck in the rear after he slowed due to traffic on I-376. Our client had limited tort insurance. (Allegheny County crash/lawsuit for Clearfield County client)
$325,000 in total settlements for a client who sustained a right toe fracture and tendonitis in her foot, as well as a shoulder injury that required surgery. Her car was rear-ended as she was slowing to make a left turn. Our client had limited tort insurance. (Federal court lawsuit filed in Allegheny County for client from Crawford County)
$325,000 settlement for client who suffered a severe ankle injury that required tendon surgery. A commercial truck struck her car in the rear. Our client had limited tort insurance. (Philadelphia County lawsuit filed for Blair County client)
Getting Legal Help After a Rear-End Collision
For over a quarter century, Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers has obtained million-dollar recoveries across Pennsylvania and has helped more than 25,000 crash victims. The Ostroff team are masters of Pennsylvania vehicle accident law and aggressively represents their clients to maximize recovery through lawsuits and settlements.
Contact our firm if you suffered injuries in a rear-end crash, even if another lawyer turned your case down or advised you that you don’t have a case. It doesn’t matter to us what other lawyers told you. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients who initially were told or thought they could not seek justice and fair compensation. Even if you have limited tort insurance coverage and were told you cannot file a claim, call us. We have obtained tens of millions of dollars for accident victims covered by limited tort insurance.
If you suffered injuries in a rear-end vehicle accident, we can help. Contact Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to speak with our Pennsylvania car crash lawyers about how we can help you.