When calculating how much a rear-end accident is worth, it depends on your total damages, which can include medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and emotional and physical pain and suffering. A settlement can vary widely from case to case, so it’s best to have a rear-end collision accident lawyer evaluate yours and help you with your claim.
To get a good idea of what your specific rear-end accident is worth, you need to look at several factors.
Georgia Law on Rear-End Accident Claims
First, you will need to know your local laws for recovering money after a car accident. In most states, including Georgia, the at-fault driver (and their insurance company) is responsible for all costs resulting from the accident if there are injuries.
So, if you are hurt in a Georgia rear-end accident at no fault of your own, you are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for your damages (Georgia Code section 51-1-6). Damages are any losses you face as a direct result of the rear-end accident caused by the other driver’s negligence.
When figuring out how much your damages are worth, you will need to file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company and include proof of all costs that are eligible for compensation.
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Total Damages from Your Rear-End Accident
Your damages from the accident ultimately determine how much your rear-end accident is worth. There are different types of damages you may face.
Special Damages Versus General Damages
There are two main types of damages in a rear-end accident: special damages and general damages, as mentioned in Georgia Code section 51-12-1.
Special damages, also known as economic damages, are tangible and calculable costs from an accident like:
- Medical costs, including bills from doctor visits and hospital stays, prescription medications, tests, etc
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Travel costs to and from medical appointments
- Ongoing and future treatment for serious injuries
Each of these damages will need to be detailed in your injury claim, and you will need to provide proof in the form of bills, receipts, and pay stubs. If your injuries are serious and will require lots of future treatment, you will need to provide proof, such as doctor notes or testimony.
If you don’t have sufficient proof of your special damages, the insurance company may deny compensation for them, which will reduce how much your rear-end accident is worth.
In contrast to special damages, general damages are intangible losses that affect your quality of life or emotional state. Examples of general damages could be:
- Physical or emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, such as anxiety or depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To recover for general damages, they must directly result from physical injuries you suffered because of the accident.
Severity of Your Damages
The seriousness or severity of your total damages also determines how much your rear-end accident is worth.
In general, damages from a rear-end accident tend to be less severe than other types of auto accidents. This is because many rear-end collisions happen at lower speeds and with smaller amounts of space between the front and back vehicles. Plus, some rear-end collisions don’t result in injuries and just cause property damage.
However, serious injuries or even death can still occur from rear-end accidents, especially if the rear-ending vehicle was traveling at high speeds. Even minor rear-end accidents can lead to severe head or neck injuries for victims. Whiplash is an extremely common injury resulting from rear-end accidents, for example.
Estimating Your Costs
The hardest part about building an accident claim and determining how much it’s worth is calculating your total settlement costs. A rule of thumb is typically adding up your direct special damages and multiplying them by between anywhere from 1.5 to four.
A rear-end collision accident lawyer can help you determine the best numbers to use in this situation. Generally, the higher the severity and extent of your injuries, the larger the number you will use to multiply. If your injuries will require ongoing treatment like physical therapy, your settlement will typically be higher.
The Other Driver’s Degree of Fault in the Accident
With most rear-end accident claims, the rear vehicle’s driver is fully at fault for the accident. That means, if you live in a fault state, they are responsible for all your damages.
However, there are situations where both drivers may hold a degree of fault. If that happens, your settlement may be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. This would affect how much your rear-end accident is worth.
Working with a Rear-End Collision Accident Lawyer
Another very important factor in the value of your accident is whether or not you work with an attorney. Many car accident victims are tempted to handle their insurance claim alone, but this is generally not recommended.
Injury claims can be extremely complicated, and you may have damages you haven’t even considered yet. Plus, insurance companies will go everything they can to avoid paying out the full value of a settlement—so they may try to discount your damages and convince you that you only deserve a fraction of your total costs.
An experienced rear-end collision accident lawyer can make sure you don’t leave money on the table and pursue a settlement that actually covers all your costs. You’d be surprised how much the worth of your accident increases by working with an attorney.
How Much the Average Rear-End Accident Is Worth
Since each accident can vary so much, we can’t give one number in answer to the question “how much is a rear-end accident worth?” These types of accidents can range anywhere from the low thousands for property damage claims to hundreds or thousands of dollars (or more) if you have injuries that severely impact your life and need a lot of treatment.
At John Foy & Associates, we can discuss how much your own accident may be worth during a free consultation. We’ll match you with the best lawyer for your case and they’ll listen to the details of your accident and your damages. Then, we can get started working towards the fullest compensation possible—as we have been doing for injury victims over the last 20 plus years.
To schedule your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.