After Effects of Being Rear Ended in a Car Accident

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If you have a rear ended car accident, you may be facing some health issues and some legal issues. The situation you are in will differ depending on whether you are considered to be at fault for the accident or not and depending on the laws of your state.

Possible Injuries

There are a number of injuries that could result from a rear ended car accident. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Bone fractures or breaks
  • Concussions or brain injuries
  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises


In no fault states, each driver is required to recover his damages for a rear ended collision injury from his own insurance company under his personal injury protection coverage. Usually, these damages are limited to payment for medical bills and lost wages. If the injuries are serious or severe in a no fault state, then the party who was the victim of the accident can sue the responsible party.

In other states, the victim can always sue the person who caused the accident. Potential damages include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Who is Responsible?

In most states, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver driving the vehicle in the rear is responsible for the rear end collision. This presumption exists because the motor vehicle code generally requires all drivers to maintain a safe distance that will permit them to stop. However, the presumption can be challenged with evidence that the front car was in fact that vehicle that caused the accident.

For example, the driver of the rear vehicle could argue that the front car:

  • Stopped illegally
  • Stopped suddenly or stopped short with no warning
  • Pulled out in front of his vehicle

In cases where the front driver is at least partially responsible, then the party in the back may be able to sue the front driver for his damages. Alternatively, if the front driver is filing a lawsuit for car accident damages, his recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault that belongs to him.

Getting Help

If you have been involved in a rear end collision, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review the facts and details of your case to determine who is likely to be found at fault and what your potential damages may be. Your lawyer can also help you to prove responsibility in court and to otherwise build your legal case so you can collect the damages you deserve.