You have recourse through the civil justice system if you were rear-ended and injured by another driver.
Rear-end car accidents are among the most common collisions involving two or more vehicles. Nearly one-third – 32.5 percent to be exact – of all car accidents involve rear-end collisions, according to car accident statistics compiled by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and as quoted recently by Forbes.
Not surprisingly, many car accident injuries involve rear-end crashes as well. Overall, 31.1 percent of injuries sustained in all car accidents occur in rear-end collisions. In addition, 7 percent of car accident deaths involve rear-end accidents.
Here is why it's important to understand your legal rights and options if you were injured in a rear-end collision. Unlike other crashes where the insurance company often disputes fault, it's typically pretty clear who is to blame in a rear-end crash. In most cases, the rear driver was speeding, texting, tailgating, driving under the influence, or operating their vehicle recklessly when they hit you from behind.
However, it is common for insurance adjusters to question the severity of injuries sustained in rear-end crashes. Since fault is typically not in question, the best way for the insurance company to save money is to downplay the collision's severity and your injuries. That's why having an experienced rear-end accident lawyer to counter such tactics can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case and the compensation you recover. If you were rear-ended and injured in Cleveland, Merriman Legal, LLC, can help. Contact us for a free consultation to find out if you have a case.
Common injuries in rear-end accidents
When a vehicle crashes into the car in front, the driver and any passengers in the front vehicle often sustain serious injuries, including but not limited to the following:
- Whiplash, a type of neck injury that's caused by the forward and backward motion of the neck in rear-end accidents. Insurance adjusters often downplay whiplash, but if left untreated, whiplash can cause chronic pain and serious medical problems.
- Head injuries, including concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). There is no "minor" brain injury, and these cases are often high stakes. As a result, you can be sure that the insurance company will do everything possible to downplay the severity of your brain injury and its impact on you and your loved ones.
- Facial injuries, including cuts to the face caused by broken glass or other sharp objects.
- Broken bones or bone fractures, especially in the face, arms, or legs.
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries or disc injuries in the back.
Medical expenses can quickly add up thousands or more after a rear-end accident when you factor in the cost of past, current, and future medical bills. That is one reason insurance adjusters will imply that you don't need legal representation. They know an attorney will be able to accurately calculate the actual cost of your accident and advocate for the financial compensation you deserve.
What is the average payout for a rear-end collision in Ohio?
The value of your case will depend upon the severity of your injuries. If you have substantial medical bills and lost income from the accident, your case will typically be worth significantly more than someone who simply went to the ER and followed up with their primary care physician. You are entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages. All accident-related expenses and lost income, now and in the future, are considered economic damages. Accident-related expenses may include the following::
- Emergency medical care, including emergency surgery.
- Hospital fees, especially if your injury requires you to stay overnight in a hospital.
- Follow-up doctor's appointments to monitor your recovery.
- Physical therapy, especially if you have long-term health problems.
- Prescription medications, specifically if you suffer from chronic pain due to your injury.
- Replacement income if you need time off from work while you recover.
- Replacement services, such as childcare and housekeeping.
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs.
The value of a case will generally be driven by the amount of the economic damages. Placing a dollar value on pain, suffering, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life (non-economic damages) is an inexact science. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the economic damages, the more a jury will award for non-economic harms and losses.
Rear-ended in Cleveland? Make sure you protect your legal rights.
At Merriman Legal, LLC, our attorneys can help you level the playing field against the insurance company and prevent them from taking advantage of your unfortunate situation. Tom Merriman is a nationally-renowned attorney and Emmy Award-winning legal analyst with years of experience successfully handling complex legal cases. We know the law and your rights and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome in your case.
See what our team can do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a rear-end accident lawyer from our Cleveland law office. We're conveniently located on West 9th Street in Cleveland and handle injury claims throughout Ohio.