Getting rear-ended is one of the most unsettling experiences a driver can have. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to control the behavior of others.
Even though Florida law requires all drivers to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them, many fail to follow these simple precautions.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident and make up approximately 32% of all collisions on the road. These accidents may result in neck and back injuries and, in more severe cases, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Are you wondering about the average settlement for a rear-end collision in Florida? Speak with a qualified Florida car accident attorney today to discuss the facts of your case and learn about potential compensation.
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How And When Do Florida Rear-End Collisions Occur?
Most rear-end collisions occur when one car is traveling at a slower speed or is at a complete stop. For example, you may know someone who was rear-ended when they were stopped at a stoplight.
However, rear-end collisions can also occur when cars are traveling on roads and highways. There are a few common factors that contribute to these types of accidents.
Most of us have experienced an impatient driver behind us. In these situations, that driver may engage in the dangerous act of tailgating. Tailgating occurs when a driver follows the car in front of them too closely.
When drivers fail to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of them, this creates significantly less reaction time to any sudden changes in speed or stops. As a result, if the car in front brakes suddenly, avoiding a rear-end collision may be impossible.
If a driver hit your car and was tailgating, speak with a car accident attorney to discuss rear-end collision injury settlements for your losses.
When a driver engages in distracting behavior like texting, changing radio stations, or talking on the phone, they increase their risk of causing an accident. Road conditions, including the behavior of the drivers around you, can change in seconds.
If a driver is distracted, they may not notice a car braking in front of them and cause a rear-end collision.
Sending or reading a text message while driving may take your eyes off the road for about five seconds.
Five seconds may not seem like a long time, but when driving at 55 mph, it equates to driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded! Accidents occurring at these speeds may result in serious injury or death and will impact the average payout for a rear-end collision.
Speed limits increase safety on the roadways because they establish a reasonable operating speed for drivers. When drivers fail to adhere to posted speed limits, they may cause accidents.
At high speeds, a driver increases the risk of losing control of their car and colliding with the cars around them. Rear-end collisions at high speeds can result in catastrophic injuries and substantial property damage.
Weather conditions like rain, sleet, and snow create slippery road conditions and increase the likelihood of car accidents. When driving in these conditions, drivers should slow their operating speeds to reduce the risk of losing control of their vehicle.
Common Injuries From Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions can cause serious injuries at high and slow speeds. While seatbelts protect our bodies upon impact – our head, neck, arms, and shoulders usually feel the brunt of any sudden movements caused by a rear-end collision.
Some people may walk away from a car accident with no injuries. However, some may suffer more severe injuries. After an accident, even if you feel uninjured, always seek medical attention.
Many serious injuries may not be immediately apparent. Obtaining a complete medical evaluation may strengthen your Florida rear-end collision settlement or help your attorney fight for a more favorable verdict at trial.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury occurring when your head and neck are jostled back and forth in a collision. Whiplash symptoms may not appear until days after a car accident.
However, the effects of a whiplash injury may last for months or years. Whiplash injuries impact many everyday activities and may sometimes make it difficult to work.
A concussion occurs when the brain is bumped against your skull causing bruising of connective tissues. Like whiplash, concussions often have delayed symptoms and may cause severe issues if you fail to seek medical attention.
Undiagnosed concussions may result in more severe and persistent symptoms that may also last months or years.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Any injury to your spine should never be taken lightly. Spinal fractures slipped discs, and more significant spinal cord injuries cause substantial interruption to everyday activities. Spinal cord injuries can result in chronic pain that may be overcome only with long-term physical therapy.
What Is an Average Settlement for a Rear-End Car Accident?
An experienced personal injury attorney like Wendy Doyle-Palumbo knows that there is no average settlement value for a rear-end collision in Florida.
Settlement values depend on multiple factors, and there’s no magic number to place on your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
However, after careful analysis of the facts surrounding your accident, your personal injury attorney may provide you with a range of how much your rear-end collision claim may be worth.
What Factors Affect Rear-End Collision Injury Settlements?
Many presume that the person who rear-ended them is the party at fault for their accident. But sometimes it’s not always that simple. Multiple factors affect how fault is determined and how much your rear-end accident may be worth.
Florida operates as a no-fault state. This means that every driver must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage or PIP.
Your PIP insurance coverage pays for your injuries regardless of who is at fault. Florida implemented PIP insurance coverage mandates to avoid payment delays for injured drivers.
The following expenses are eligible for a PIP claim:
- Medical services and medication,
- Hospital expenses,
- Rehabilitation services,
- Ambulance services, and
- Death benefits.
However, there is a caveat to PIP insurance coverage. Florida PIP covers only 80% of your medical costs up to $10,000. Additionally, PIP insurance coverage does not allow for recovery of any pain and suffering damages related to your injury.
People injured in rear-end collisions may seek settlement verdicts beyond the $10,000 PIP coverage. Those injured in rear-end collisions are likely not adequately compensated by the $10,000 coverage for their long-term medical costs and lost wages.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t lose hope that you won’t obtain the compensation you need.
Florida permits victims of rear-end collisions to seek injury settlements from the liable party in certain situations. If you suffered a “serious bodily injury,” Florida permits you to seek recovery from the liable driver.
“Serious bodily injury” includes any of the following injuries:
- A significant or permanent loss of bodily function,
- Permanent injury,
- Significant disfigurement or scarring, and
Therefore, obtain the assistance of a personal injury attorney to assist in increasing your average settlement for a rear-end car accident.
Florida is also a comparative negligence state. This means that fault can be assigned to all parties based on their percentage of fault. For example, let’s presume a distracted driver rear-ended you when you were stopped at a stoplight.
It may seem clear that they are completely at fault. But what if your rear tail light was broken and did not function? In this situation, comparative negligence laws may reduce your average settlement for a rear-end collision by the percentage of your fault.
The cost of your medical expenses also impacts how much money you get after a rear-end collision. Medical expenses associated with serious injuries can easily exceed the $10,000 limit of PIP insurance coverage.
For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury after a rear-end collision, you may require long-term medical care, physical therapy, and medication. If you are rear-ended and injured, it’s overwhelming to face the prospect of long-term medical care without an adequate settlement amount.
Wendy Doyle-Palumbo has spent her entire career litigating and obtaining the best possible results for her clients. At our firm, we provide each client with personalized attention and communication at all stages of your case.
We understand the stress that you may be under due to mounting financial obligations and pain from your injuries. Wendy Doyle-Palumbo works skillfully in settlement negotiations but isn’t afraid to take your case to court.
Let us get to work for you so you can focus on your recovery. Contact us online or calltoday for a free case evaluation. You’ve got nothing to lose but much to gain from hiring Wendy Doyle-Palumbo.