Average Rear-end Collision Settlement Amount (2024)

The average payout for a rear-end collision in the United States is $181,309 and the median settlement amount is $25,000, which is a better representation of the typical settlement amount. Factors that affect the settlement amount of a rear-end collision case include the extent of injuries, total property damage, and whether or not there are claims of pain and suffering.

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Average rear-end collision settlement chart (2024)
Average rear-end collision settlement chart (2024)

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Note: This rear-end collision settlement data is based on over 1,000 cases recorded by Thomson Reuters in the last 5 years (between 2019 and 2024). This should not be interpreted as a guaranteed or standard settlement amount for your case – each case is unique and your settlement amount may be higher or lower if you are eligible to file a claim.

  • Median settlement = $25,000: The median settlement calculation for a rear-end accident involves gathering settlement amounts from similar cases and identifying the middle value. This median provides a central reference point that indicates a typical settlement amount, separating the higher half of the settlements from the lower half. It helps in estimating reasonable compensation expectations for similar rear-end collision cases because it is less impacted by very high or very low settlement amounts.
  • Average settlement = $181,309: The average settlement calculation for a rear-end accident is the sum of all settlement amounts from rear-end accident cases and dividing the total by the number of rear-end accident cases. The total amount of cases in this dataset is 1,022.
  • Highest settlement = $11,025,000: In an auto accident, an individual, co-owner of a tree cutting company, was rear-ended by a tow truck and initially appeared to have only minor injuries. However, months later, this individual was hospitalized with symptoms including headache, nausea, dizziness, and numbness, and was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and underwent medical procedures to address a ruptured aneurysm. Complications arose including vision and memory impairments due to vasospasm, a condition involving the narrowing of blood vessels, which led to strokes. These medical issues resulted in permanent vision and balance deficits. A settlement was reached with the towing company involved in the rear-end accident. In a separate lawsuit against the hospital, it was claimed that the treatment provided was below standard care, contributing to the severity of the individual’s condition. The hospital case highlighted issues with the medical management, including delayed imaging and interventions. $10,000,000 was awarded by the hospital, and another $1,025,000 was awarded for damages directly related to the rear-end collision (including an uninsured motorist policy limit award).
  • Lowest settlement = $1,500: In a rear-end accident, a minor seated in a booster seat was injured when the vehicle they were in, operated by the parent, was hit from behind. The minor sustained a a minor head injury due to the force of the collision causing their head to strike the headrest of their booster seat. A settlement was reached between the parent on behalf of the minor and the other party’s claims administrator.

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Rear-end Collision Settlement Examples

Settlement examples less than $100K

  • $27.5K settlement: Another driver made an improper U-turn and collided with another vehicle, which then rear-ended the plaintiff. The plaintiff sought damages for mental and physical pain, medical expenses, and lost income.
  • $55K settlement: The plaintiff was stopped and was rear-ended by another driver, which caused injuries to a passenger who was a minor at the time of the accident.
  • $98.5K settlement: An induvial was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist. As a result of the accident, the individual suffered cognitive loss and fibromyalgia. Billed medical totaled over $25,000.

Settlement examples between $100K to $500K

  • $150K settlement: An individual was struck by a vehicle from the rear, and suffered injuries including cervical and lumbar strains that resulted in permanent pain after trying treatment with chiropractic care and massage therapy. Medical expenses as a result of the accident totaled nearly $30,000.
  • $250K settlement: In an accident, an individual was operating their vehicle and stopped in traffic when another vehicle, driven at a high speed, failed to stop and collided with the rear of their car. The impact pushed the individual’s car into another vehicle ahead, and the striking vehicle came to rest on top of the individual’s car. The individual was pinned inside their vehicle by the axle and engine block, which resulted in injuries. Tragically, a pet in the rear seat was killed. The driver of the striking vehicle disputed using their phone at the time of the accident, but records showed phone activity close to the time of the collision. As a result of the accident, the individual who was rear-ended suffered various injuries including a hip injury, fractured ribs, burns, and emotional distress.
  • $337K settlement: A minor pursued uninsured motorist benefits following a rear-end collision on the interstate with an unidentified driver. The impact of the collision resulted in the vehicle overturning and rolling several times, along with unspecified injuries.

Settlement examples between $500K to $1M

  • $600K settlement: Following a rear-end accident, an individual suffered a lower back injury that required multiple spinal surgeries. Medical bills associated with the accident totaled nearly $300,000.
  • $800K settlement: An individual’s vehicle was rear-ended, resulting in fatal injuries that later led to the individual’s death. The case argued that the driver of the striking vehicle was negligent in handling their vehicle, which contributed to the injuries and subsequent death of the individual. The defense contested these claims, suggesting the individual had been driving distractedly. A settlement was negotiated, with portions allocated to address the survival action and the wrongful death claim. The individual who passed away is survived by their family.
  • $900K settlement: The driver’s automobile was rear-ended by a semi-truck on the interstate after slowing for a stopped vehicle in the travel lane. Injuries resulting from the accident including cervical spine injuries.

Settlement examples over $1M

  • $1.33M settlement: The driver was rear-ended, which resulted in a multi-vehicle collision. Injuries to the back and neck were reported due to the collision, which resulted in fusion surgery and spinal injections.
  • $3M settlement: An individual suffered serious injuries as a result of a rear-end collision, and claimed negligence as a result of the accident. Injuries included shoulder surgery, lumbar discectomy, and a spinal cord stimulator.
  • $5M settlement: In a wrongful death and personal injury case following an accident, a minor was fatally injured, and another individual sustained severe injuries including brain damage and paralysis when their vehicle was rear-ended. The driver responsible for the accident was reportedly racing and traveling at an extremely high speed at the time of impact. The legal claims argued that the driver was reckless, failed to control their vehicle, and did not maintain proper lookout. The driver admitted to reckless behavior and is serving a criminal sentence. A settlement was reached, which included compensatory and punitive damages for both the wrongful death and the injuries sustained by the other individual. Specific terms were included in the settlement, such as payment arrangements based on the driver’s earnings and an overall payment cap that, if met, would consider the judgment satisfied.

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Factors That Affect Rear-end Collision Settlement Amounts

The settlement amount for an individual injured in a rear-end accident can be influenced by several factors, each with their own impact on the final settlement amount:

Severity of Injuries: The degree of injuries that result from a rear-end accident play a critical role in determining the settlement amount. Generally, rear-end accident cases with more severe injuries will result in a higher settlement amount compared to those where only minor injuries occurred.

🛈 Example: For instance, a spinal cord injury requiring extensive surgery and rehabilitation might increase the settlement by $150,000 to $300,000, depending on the long-term care needed.

Medical Expenses: All medical expenses (past, present, and future) that are incurred as a result of the accident are reimbursed. 

🛈 Example: If an injured party incurs $50,000 in emergency treatments and surgeries, the settlement will cover these costs, and may include an additional payout for future medical needs if needed.

Lost Wages: Lost income or wages are compensated if the victim cannot work as a result of the rear-end accident.

🛈 Example: If the person earns $5,000 a month and is unable to work for six months, the settlement would likely include $30,000 for this loss.

Pain and Suffering:  This accounts for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injuries. 

🛈 Example: A moderate injury causing significant discomfort might add $40,000 to $80,000 to the settlement.

Property Damage: Following a rear-end accident, there is generally significant property damage proportional to the speed of the rear-end driver at the time of the impact.

🛈 Example: Compensation for property damage includes the costs to repair or replace damaged property such as a car. If repairs cost $10,000, this amount is included in the settlement.

Liability: How liability or fault is determined can significantly affect the final settlement amount. In the context of comparative fault, liability significantly influences the settlement by accounting for the degree of each party’s responsibility in the accident. For example, consider a scenario where it’s determined that the other driver was mostly at fault for a rear-end collision due to speeding, but the injured party also contributed by having non-functioning brake lights.

🛈 Example: If the investigation concludes that the injured party was 30% at fault and the other driver 70%, and the total damages calculated for the settlement are $100,000, the comparative fault rule would reduce the injured party’s compensation by 30% due to their partial responsibility. Thus, the settlement amount would be adjusted to $70,000 to reflect this shared fault, directly impacting the overall compensation received by the injured party.

Insurance Coverage In the context of insurance coverage, the settlement amount can be significantly influenced by the policy limits of the insurance policies involved.

🛈 Example: Suppose the injured party incurs total damages of $250,000, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, due to a rear-end collision. If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy has a coverage limit of $200,000, the settlement might be constrained to this amount, despite the higher actual damages. However, if the injured party also has underinsured motorist coverage that supplements the at-fault driver’s policy, they might be able to claim additional funds from their own insurance to cover the shortfall, potentially receiving full compensation for the $250,000 in damages.

These examples demonstrate how each factor specifically affects the settlement in a rear-end accident case, reflecting both direct costs and broader financial impacts. It’s important to note that these are just examples, and factors that influence your specific case may vary. To get an accurate estimate, consult a personal injury attorney.

Each car accident is unique, and settlement amounts for individuals who have been injured in a rear-end accident will vary based on many factors. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

Getting started with your injury claim is easy. Just request a free case evaluation online, and a legal team in our network will reach out to you regarding your case. Our network of attorneys includes a team of over 250+ legal professionals throughout the United States with over $1 billion recovered for clients, including those who have suffered injuries as a result of a rear-end accident.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are rear-end accident settlements calculated?

Rear-end accidents, like car accident calculation methods, will vary depending on the unique details of your case. Generally, these are calculated based on economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, and property damages in addition to non-economic damages (like pain and suffering). 

How long do I have to file a claim after being rear-ended?

If you’ve been injured in a rear-end accident, you’ll want to check the statute of limitations in your state for how long you have to file a claim. In the United States, this ranges from 1 to 6 years depending on the state where the accident occurred.

How long will my rear-end collision case take?

The length of a rear-end accident settlement often ranges from a few months to a year with most car accident cases settling within 6-12 months. However, this can vary between cases due to unique variables such as injury severity and required medical treatment, whether liability is contested, and if the case goes to trial.

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We use settlement calculators to help individuals estimate how much compensation they may receive from their personal injury claim. We partner with law firms throughout the United States to help produce the most accurate results. Our content and calculators are created with the help of top-rated attorneys and legal professionals.

Accident type Avg. Settlement
Drunk driver $262,479
Uninsured driver $128,129
Hit-and-run $87,233
Rear-end $181,309
Injury type Avg. Settlement
Back & neck $263,030
Herniated disc $220,066
Concussion $347,046
Whiplash $121,542
PTSD $762,436

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