Can You Sue Someone For A Rear-End Collision?

Can You Sue Someone For A Rear-End Collision?
Madeleine Jones
October 27, 2020

Rear-end collisions are a bit less serious than other types of car accidents. However, it doesn’t make it any less inconvenient and frustrating. Additionally, some rear-end accidents can be serious and leave you with large medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost wages. If you can’t recover your damages through your insurance company, you can sue the at-fault driver for the rear-end collision.

Where Do Rear-end Accidents Happen?

Rear-end collisions are most likely to happen at a red light. A National Transportation Safety Board’s report found that 87% of rear-end collisions were caused by a distracted driver. The leading cause of this type of crash is distracted drivers, given that they don’t see the vehicle in front of them right on time to slow down or stop the car to prevent the collision. These drivers can be distracted by texting, eating, adjusting settings on the dashboard, rubbernecking at other accidents, or talking on the phone.

Additional Causes Of Rear-end Collisions

  • Aggressive driving
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Drunk driving
  • Driver fatigue
Cars in traffic jam showing brake lights. Possible rear-end collisions from the front two cars.

What Are The Most Common Rear-end Collision Injuries?

Rear-end collisions can cause a variety of back and neck injuries depending on the speed at which the accident happened. Some common back and neck injuries include:

You should seek immediate medical attention after being involved in a rear-end collision. You might have symptoms right away in your back or neck like pain and numbness, but you can also feel absolutely fine after the accident. Skipping medical treatment is a bad idea. You need medical records to prove the accident caused neck and back injuries. Also, some symptoms might show up days or weeks after the accident. Feeling okay does not mean you were not injured.

These are some of the symptoms from neck and back injuries that normally don’t show up right after a rear-end collision:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness
  • Back pain
  • Numbness

If after your accident you begin experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. These symptoms can be an indication of a back or neck injury.

What Happens Legally After Rear-End Collisions?

After any type of car accident, the legal process is pretty much the same. Some days after the accident the at-fault driver’s insurance company will most likely contact you. They will probably offer you a settlement that may seem attractive, however, don’t let them fool you.

The first settlement they offer you is always way lower than what will actually cover your losses from your accident. The insurance company knows that you don’t know this and is hoping you will accept their offer. If you accept it, you are signing away your legal rights and losing any chance of getting more money for your losses.

Additionally, the insurance company will try to use information against you. You have to make sure your rights are protected. The best way to do this is by getting in touch with a rear-end collision accident attorney. An experienced attorney can research your case and tell you what a fair settlement offer looks like. To learn what not to say to an insurance adjuster, click here.

Driver's looking through front window screen. Keeping a safe distance from the car's and bikes in front of them.

When Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision Accident?

After a rear-end collision accident, your first course of action should be filing a claim for compensation. In the majority of rear-end accidents, the driver in the rear is at fault. You need to file a claim with their insurance company. The insurer will give a much lower settlement to start with, but an experienced attorney will help you negotiate a fair settlement that will cover all your medical expenses, lost wages, and car damage, among other things.

If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a good enough settlement and they refuse to negotiate, you need to file a lawsuit against them to get the compensation you deserve. You have every right to do so, and your personal injury attorney can help you with every step of the process.

How Do You Prepare for The Rear-End Collision Lawsuit?

If you’re planning on suing the at-fault driver, you need to take action immediately with your attorney in the following ways.

At the Accident Scene

We all know there is no such thing as going back in time. However, if you protect your rights at the accident scene, that can help you a lot in court. By protecting your rights we mean both physically and legally. You need to make sure you get immediate medical assistance. And, if your injuries are serious you need to call an ambulance immediately. You also need to:

  • Take photos of the scene of the accident and any car damage
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with the at-fault driver
  • Take note of how the accident has affected you. Both emotionally and physically
  • Talk to every or any witnesses at the scene and get their names and contact information

Gathering Evidence of the Other Driver’s Fault

You are going to be able to show and prove that the other driver was negligent and that that negligence was the cause of the accident as well as your damages. The most important piece of evidence you need is the police report of the accident.

A police report includes an official report of the accident and includes details like who the police officers at the scene found to be at fault and what exactly happened. This police report will make a world of difference if your case goes to court.

Demonstrating Your Damages

You need to be able to prove exactly how your rear-end collision accident has affected your life. You need to keep detailed records of all expenses you have faced because of the crash, including:

You may be able to prove some of these damages through bills, receipts, or pay stubs. However, other damages will be harder to prove, that is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you. They will know how to show your damages to their full extent, including emotional damages that don’t really have a price.

Filing a Complaint

Once you’ve collected all of the evidence you need for your case, you will need to file a complaint. This is a document that details what happened in the accident, your injuries, and the compensation you are requesting for your damages.

Your lawyer can help you writing the legal complaint about a rear-end collision. It needs to clearly outline the reason why you are seeking damages and all of your information and your lawyer’s.

Once you file the complaint, the legal process beings. This does not mean that your case needs to go to court. On the other hand, it shows the at-fault party just how serious you are about seeking compensation for the damages they caused. 

Statute Of Limitations for Rear-End Accidents

In Nevada, you have two years from the day of the accident to seek compensation for your losses. It doesn’t mean you have to wait two years to file a complaint, on the contrary, we recommend you take action as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity at financial recovery.

The longer you leave hiring an attorney, the weaker your case can potentially become.

I Got Rear-Ended. How Much Money Can I Get?

The average settlement for a rear-end collision is likely under $15,000. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. The two most important factors are how severe your injury is and the amount of insurance available. In the majority of rear-end collisions, the person who is rear-ended is not injured too badly. And if the case is that they are severely hurt, there is limited insurance available.

How Do You Prove Fault In A Rear-End Car Crash? 

Generally, the driver that rear-ends another vehicle will be considered at least partially at fault. Everybody driving a car has a duty to follow other cars at a safe distance. The reason being car drivers sometimes can unexpectedly stop or slow down to avoid a hazard on the road or because of traffic.

You are supposed to leave enough distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid a collision. However, the driver of the car that gets rear-ended can also be considered negligent in some cases. These include:

  • a driver suddenly reverses
  • a driver suddenly stops to make a turn and fails to make the turn
  • a driver’s brake lights don’t work 
  • a driver gets a flat tire, but fails to  pull over and doesn’t turn on the hazard lights
  • a driver pulls out onto the road when it was unsafe to do so

In these cases, the driver that gets rear-ended would also be considered negligent at some level. The amount of fault will depend on how much that negligence contributed to the collision, and how Nevada treats these situations where more than one party is at fault.

Can I Use Red Light Cams To Prove I Was Rear-Ended?

Yes, you can. Red light cameras are very effective in showing exactly what happened in the accident if your rear-end collision took place at a red light intersection. Your lawyer can request the footage from that particular red light camera. This footage could be crucial in proving the other driver’s fault.

Do I Need A Lawyer For My Rear-End Collision Accident?

Sometimes rear-end collisions can be difficult to sort out, especially if there were multiple passengers and drivers involved. You need to hire an experienced attorney that can help you file the case and guide you through the process. If your injuries are severe and your medical bills are too high, or the at-fault driver was drunk and their insurance refuses to take responsibility, then you definitely need an experienced personal injury lawyer’s help. At Cogburn Law, your lawyer will be able to give you legal advice and arguments to help you get the right compensation for your situation.

Rear-End Collision Accident Attorney in Las Vegas

If you need help seeking financial compensation for your losses caused by a rear-end collision, we can help! At Cogburn Law, we have the experience helping injury car accident victims get the money they deserve. We offer you a free initial consultation. Just call us at (702) 748-7777.

Do you want to learn more about the auto accident claim process? Add your email below and we will send you our guide free of charge. It includes useful tips on things to avoid when going through a personal injury claim and how you can give yourself the best chance of winning it.

I wanted to wait until my case ended before writing this review. I can’t speak highly enough of the people at Cogburn Law. I unfortunately was in an accident involving another car last September while on vacation. I didn’t really know what to do but I found their listing online. Jamie and Alex talked me through the entire process and looked after all of my medical worries while they fought the insurance company. Never for one moment was I worried that they wouldn’t be successful with my case. I had access to them whenever I had questions and I never felt like I was being a nuisance. It took a few months but I finally got a settlement that has allowed me to move on with my life. Thanks guys, I’m thrilled that you were the ones that looked after me!

Ned W.