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Written by: Stephen Schofield
| Read Time: 5 minutes

When we think of rear-end car accidents, we might picture a violent high-speed crash where a car is completely smashed with serious injuries to the occupants.

Or we might think of a minor fender-bender.

Some crashes are bigger than others, and some injuries are much worse than others.

However, the amount of damage you see on a vehicle does not always equal the severity of the injuries to the people inside.

It is difficult to know the average settlement for rear-end collisions in California, because each case varies in terms of severity or other factors. The settlement value can range from $10,000 to $200,000, or more. Although each case is unique, it can be helpful to have examples. In this article, we have provided rear-end collision settlement examples (with dollar-value breakdowns for each scenario – click on “Jump to Section” to see where you can find this information).

At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we have the experience to help you navigate these waters, and get you the settlement you deserve.

Contact us online or call (707) 243-8595 for more info today. Our California car accident lawyers are ready to help and answer any questions you may have about rear-end settlements.

The settlement amount for a rear-end accident varies widely based on several factors. On average, payouts range from $12,000 to $72,000. However, each case is unique and can result in different compensation amounts.

The Size of the Accident Doesn’t Determine Damages in California

Even a small crash involves a tremendous amount of force and an amazing amount of kinetic energy that is transferred to the driver and passengers. 

Even small accidents can turn a person’s life upside down, and every accident victim deserves to be treated fairly.

Insurance companies will often try to lump all rear-end crashes together and classify all of them as “minor-impact” cases. Don’t let them.

Because, in reality, every case is unique, and several factors will determine the settlement value.

Because there are so many factors, you can’t find a calculator that will tell you what your car accident case is worth. There is virtually no “average settlement” for rear-end collision in California.

To illustrate just how different two settlements can look, we put together a couple of car accident settlement examples.

In these examples, we will go over the damages, what they mean, and how fault comes into play.

The Two Types of Damages You Can Receive

First off, to know the value of your injury case, it’s important to understand the two different types of “damages.” Damages are just the legal term for the harm you suffered.

Economic Damages for Rear-End Collision Settlement

The first type of damages is called economic damages. These are losses that have a real monetary value.

This includes things like lost income, medical bills, paying someone to do home maintenance that you can’t do anymore, and any other out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-Economic Damages for Rear-End Collision Settlement

The second type of damages is called general damages or non-economic damages. This is sometimes called “Pain and Suffering.”

It includes things like physical pain, emotional suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation, mental anguish, and all the ways that your life has been impacted by the injuries.

There is no set value to the non-economic damages in any case, and some injuries can have a drastic change on a person’s ability to enjoy life.

An attorney or insurance adjuster can only understand the true value of your case when they value those intangible harms that you go through.

Rear-End Collision Settlement Examples

And now, two settlement examples for rear-end accidents in california. The first crash, Crash A, is a minor accident with minor injuries. Crash B represents a major accident with more severe injuries.

Crash A

In this rear-end collision settlement example, suppose you are rear-ended while at a four-way stop. The car behind you took off your bumper and ruined all of your tail lights.

Within a few hours your neck, back, and shoulders get stiff and sore.

They get worse the next day, so you set up an appointment with your doctor. You also start treatment with a chiropractor, which really helps give you some relief.

You are too sore, and your doctor puts you off of work for a week. After a couple of months, you start to feel better, and by three months, your pain has pretty much gone back to normal.

Here’s the Theoretical Breakdown of the Value of Damages:

  1. Economic Damages:
    1. Property damage to vehicle: $2500;
    2. Medical bills: $6,000; and
    3. Lost wages: $1,500.
  2. Non-Economic Damages:
    1. In a case like this, the non-economic damages will not be extremely high. You had to go through physical pain and frustration. You had the inconvenience of dealing with this car crash and spending your days at doctor visits and chiropractor visits. You probably have some amount of anxiety when you get in the car.

      Fortunately, you make a good recovery. Because you make a good overall recovery, an insurance company or a jury will not consider a very big number for those non-economic damages.

      In a case like this, the Non-economic damages will probably be somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000. There is no magic number that tells you exactly how much it is worth.

In this example, the settlement value that an insurance company determines for your case might be somewhere between $12,000 and $20,000.

Of course, your facts are unique, so you will want to make sure that you consult with a car accident lawyer before accepting any settlement from the insurance company. 

Crash B

In this rear-end collision settlement example, suppose you find yourself at the back end of a traffic jam on I5.

A semi-truck fails to stop on time and slams into the back of your car. Your car is totaled, and you require surgery, a hospital stay, and rehabilitation.

Here’s what your breakdown of damages might look like:

  1. Economic damages:
    1. Medical bills:
      1. Emergency transportation: $3,000;
      2. Hospitalization and surgery: $70,000;
      3. Rehabilitation and mental healthcare costs: $10,000
    2. Lost wages: $15,000
    3. Property damage: $12,000
  2. Non-economic damages:
    1. In a case like this, where surgery is required, there is often some degree of permanent disability. This type of accident is more catastrophic and the injuries more serious.

      An insurance company would probably value the non-economic losses here at anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. If there is a serious disability or disfigurement, then the value of the case will be even higher than that.

In a case like this, the total settlement value should be anywhere between $160,000 to $210,000. It may be even greater depending on the type of injury you have.

Ready to Get the Rear End Collision Settlement You Deserve? Contact Wells Call Injury Lawyers

We have presented you with two starkly different examples of rear-end collision injury compensation.

These examples, however, may not reflect your own situation. What happens in your claim all depends on the specific facts and circumstances of it.

Call us at Wells Call Injury Lawyers for a free consultation, and we’ll help you figure out how much your car accident claim is worth.

Once we help you figure that out, we can work together to form the right legal strategy.

We’ve already helped thousands of clients obtain what they deserve for their cases, so let’s see what we can do for you.

One of our car accident attorneys will meet with you in person, through Zoom, or over the phone. Call us online or call (707) 243-8595.

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