Background Information for Rear Ended Injuries Compensation
Insurance companies have frequently begun to investigate circumstances surrounding rear ended injuries compensation claims made against their policy holders, and they are becoming less likely to automatically accept their client’s liability for injuries sustained in a rear ended car crash for a simple reason – false rear ended accident claims for whiplash are on the rise, due to rear ended car accidents being recognised as one of the leading explanations for personal injury* claims in Ireland.
Though many claims for compensation for rear ended injuries are submitted for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland each year, no two cases are alike – even when injuries suffered are the same. This outline, explaining rear end injury claims, will be helpful in your pursuit of compensation for a rear ended injury – but it is not meant as a substitute for the information an experienced personal injury* solicitor could give.
Some Causes of Rear Ended Car Crashes
Most rear ended car crashes are due to driver error and could have been prevented. Listed below are some causes of these types of accidents:
- Careless driving, maybe as a result of tiredness due to long distance driving without breaks or working long hours
- Negligent driving, resulting from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Hazards moving on the road, animals or pedestrians, for example
- Fixed hazards on the road, road works, for example
- Weather conditions, perhaps fog or heavy rain
- Wet roads, especially on rough surfaces
- Icy roads, including black ice
- Distractions, mobile phones or other technology
- Car defects, damaged brakes in the following car or broken brake lights in the leading car
- Sudden braking by the front car
- Poor signalling by the front car
- A car that is parked on the road without hazard warning lights
The rear car not maintaining a safe distance, travelling too fast for the road conditions or the driver of the rear ending vehicle being careless or distracted are the most frequent reasons acknowledged for rear end collisions.
Establishing Fault in Rear Ended Accident Claims
The law, along with insurance companies will typically assume that the rear ending driver is to blame for the accident unless proven otherwise. As a result, many extenuating situations that explain why the front driver may be fully or partially at fault – if the car’s brake lights were damaged, for example – are not taken into account. This is one of the factors that have led to insurance companies being less inclined to accept their policyholder’s liability in a compensation for a rear ended injury claim.
Therefore, it would have been important to call the Gardai and an ambulance to the scene of the accident if you or a passenger has sustained an injury as a result of this type of collision – even in liability was admitted by the negligent driver immediately after the accident occurred. If the Gardai did not attend the accident scene because it was not deemed sufficiently serious, it is recommended that you make a report of the accident at a Garda station at the earliest possible opportunity.
Making a report to the Gardai does not prove the liability of the driver responsible for the accident, but it should be possible to use the filed record of your call to the Gardai and your car crash report as evidence in your compensation for a rear ended injury claim; to prove that your accident happened should the negligent driver – or their insurers – contest any rear end injury claims.
Injuries included in Rear End Injury Claims
Serious damage can be caused to a person injured in a rear ended accident. Injuries to the spinal cord, fractures, concussion and traumatic brain injuries can all be sustained in a rear end collision; however, the most common injury sustained in such a collision is whiplash. A normal occurrence involving whiplash is for the symptoms to not become clear until a number of days after the accident, but it is important not to delay seeking professional medical treatment until symptoms appear.
Should you wait for several days – or weeks – before undergoing a medical examination, the negligent driver’s insurance company may accuse you of aggravating your injury between the date of the accident and the date you eventually obtained medical treatment. This may not prohibit you from continuing with your claim for compensation for a rear ended injury, but the value of compensation you receive may be reduced due to your own lack of care.
Claiming for Rear Ended Injuries Compensation
A claim for rear ended injuries compensation must first be assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland. The Injuries Board procedure does not determine who is to blame for the accident, so if the negligent driver’s insurers wish to further investigate your claim before accepting liability, approval for the Injuries Board to proceed with assessing your compensation claim for a rear ended injury will be retained until the time when the insurance company is convinced the claim is legitimate.
Once approval has been given for the assessment to proceed, the Injuries Board will evaluate the value of compensation for rear ended accident claims you are eligible for in accordance with the information given by your doctor and perhaps also by a further medical examination to assess the progress of your injuries. Whiplash claims are more likely to need a secondary medical examination because of the nature of soft tissue injuries, which are difficult to predict.
Compensation for a Rear Ended Injury Claim
The value of compensation for rear end collisions will be evaluated on the nature of your injuries, how long you may be debilitated during your recovery and any financial costs you may have acquired due to the accident. Any physical injuries you have suffered will be measured against the Book of Quantum – a publication which lists a variety of injuries and allocates a financial value to them according to a number of individual factors – while any financial costs, or loss of income is calculated depending on receipts and payslips given to the Injuries when you submit your application for assessment.
You should also consider the element of “loss of amenity” when seeking to pursue rear ended accident claims. “Loss of amenity” refers to the affect your injuries have had on your quality of life; your ability to perform everyday tasks, partake in recreational activities and enjoy social events. Very little space is allocated on the Injuries Board application for assessment in relation to loss of amenity and no indication on what may be included – and so it is recommended that you consult with a solicitor who will review your application and make sure that this important element of your claim for a rear ended injury is sufficiently presented.
Passengers in Rear Ended Accident Claims
All passengers who have been injured in a rear end collision – including those who were travelling in the car driven by the person to blame for the accident – are qualified to claim for rear ended injuries compensation. It is often the case that passengers in these types of crashes suffer more severe injuries, since they do not always have the advantage the driver usually has of seeing a car approach from behind in his or her rear view mirror.
Women and child passengers typically have weaker neck muscles than adult males, which makes them susceptible to more severe soft tissue injuries. Rear end injury claims for children must be made on their behalf by a “next friend” – their parent of guardian – and will need consent from court before their compensation claim for a rear ended injury can be resolved. Your solicitor can provide you with more information on making rear ended accident claims for children.
Rear End Injury Claims and Insurance Companies
As was mentioned at the top of the page, t insurers are looking more closely at rear ended injuries compensation claims that are made against their clients and are disputing them whenever they can. This also means, however, that you, as the potential plaintiff, may be directly approached by an insurance company with an offer of compensation for a rear ended injury, soon after they have been made aware of your injury and especially when their investigation finds that their client was undeniably negligent.
Should you receive such an offer, it would be in your best interest to have it examined by a solicitor as, although the possibility of a quick settlement may seem appealing, it is rare that it will match your full eligibility to rear end injury compensation. Insurance companies practice this method for their own benefit- to keep their costs as low as possible – and little consideration is given to the victim of their policy holder’s negligent actions. It should cost you nothing to obtain rear ended accident claims advice from an experienced solicitor rather than accept an unsolicited offer which you may regret later.
Claims Advice for Rear Ended Injuries Compensation Claims
An initial consultation will be offered for free by most solicitors, and will be used to determine whether you have a viable claim for compensation for a rear ended injury claim and if it is worth your while to pursue. The solicitor would then recommend the best way to establish your injuries and their effects on the application for assessment to the Injuries Board.
Sometimes -where your injuries’ symptoms have not become completely clear or where further reports are needed to ensure your eligibility to compensation for a rear ended injury – you might not be able to submit rear end injury claims immediately, but you should still not delay in speaking with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Rear Ended Accident Claims: A Summary
- Almost one third of traffic accidents in Ireland are rear end car crashes, resulting most frequently in whiplash and soft tissue damage.
- Most of these types of collisions are due to drivers leaving inadequate braking distance between their car and the one in front of them.
- Distracted drivers and inclement weather conditions are also to blame for many rear ended car crashes.
- It is imperative that you seek professional medical treatment and have an examination to validate any injuries after any traffic accident.
- Before submitting your application for assessment to the Injuries Board, it is recommended that you have it reviewed by a solicitor.
- It is also advised that you refer any offer of compensation to a solicitor to determine that it fully covers the impact of your injuries.