Rear-End Collisions Aren’t Always Minor Fender Benders

When you think of rear-end collisions, a parking lot fender bender may come to mind. Another example is when one vehicle taps the rear bumper of another at a traffic light. 

While these types of rear-end accidents tend to be minor, with few to no injuries to speak of, this isn’t always the case. Some rear-end collisions can result in extensive injuries and vehicle damage. 

When you’re dealing with injuries from a rear-end collision, recovering compensation for your damages can be a priority. The claims process involves a little more than simply contacting the insurance company.

Types of Injuries Common in Rear-End Collisions

Even a minor rear-end accident can result in injuries. Some may take a while to become apparent and others can affect your quality of life.


A common injury in rear-end car accidents is whiplash. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take a lot of force to experience this type of injury. 

Whiplash is caused when your head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth. Sometimes, even a hard, sudden stop can cause whiplash. The forceful jerking motion can damage ligaments and muscles, resulting in stiffness, headaches, and neck pain.

Thankfully, whiplash typically doesn’t require prolonged medical care. The condition usually heals in a few weeks.

Soft Tissue Injuries

If you’ve ever had a bruise, you’ve experienced a soft tissue injury. Rear-end vehicle accidents can injure the soft tissue and result in painful bruising. Cuts and abrasions are other examples of soft tissue injuries. Most of these injuries, while painful, heal without prolonged treatment in a couple of weeks.

However, you can also experience internal soft tissue injuries like torn ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some of these types of injuries can be more serious than a bruise on your arm or leg. Your treatment may not involve more than a quick exam by your physician, but soft tissue injuries can be painful regardless of the type.

Back Injuries

The sudden impact force from a rear-end collision can do more than strain your neck muscles. You can also suffer a back injury like a strain, sprain, or even a herniated disc. 

Some back injuries only require rest, maybe an ice pack, and some over-the-counter pain medication. Other back injuries, like a herniated disc, can require surgery. Regardless of the severity of your back injury, you’re probably experiencing pain and dealing with limited mobility.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

When a rear-end collision occurs at a high rate of speed, injuries tend to be more severe. An example is if a speeding driver doesn’t notice the lead vehicle has come to a stop. The speeding vehicle slams into the back of the stopped car, resulting in significant property damage and serious injuries like head trauma.

A traumatic brain injury typically occurs when the force of the collision causes the brain to slam into the skull. Yes, your brain can move around inside your skull, and this typically results in a TBI. Some individuals recover from a TBI, while others need a lifetime of care. 

Some symptoms commonly associated with traumatic brain injuries include headaches, memory loss, confusion, and trouble concentrating.

Florida Laws Can Affect Your Accident Claim

Whether your rear-end collision only results in whiplash or something more serious like a traumatic brain injury, you may be wondering who’s responsible for covering your damages. 

If you’re familiar with Florida’s insurance and accident laws, you may be prepared for a potentially confusing and frustrating claim process. If you’re new to Florida laws, here’s how the various rules can affect compensation for a rear-end traffic accident.

Understanding No-Fault Insurance

Okay, to be clear, no-fault insurance laws aren’t saying no one is to blame for your rear-end collision. Instead, the rule dictates where you file your initial compensation claim. Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you file a claim for damages with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider. 

All drivers who register vehicles in the Sunshine State must at least carry the state’s minimum PIP requirements. You also need to carry at least $10,000 in property damage insurance, known as liability coverage.

So, PIP covers medical expenses and lost income if your injuries prevent you from returning to work after the rear-end car accident. Insurance usually covers up to 80% of your medical costs. If you’re only carrying liability insurance, you may be on the hook for your vehicle damage.

However, if you’re not the at-fault driver or at least you’re only partially to blame for the accident, you may be able to file a third-party claim. This is a claim you file against the at-fault driver to recover losses not covered by PIP, and this may also be when you can receive compensation to help cover other expenses like property damage.

What Does Comparative Negligence Mean for Your Injury Claim

We briefly mentioned you may be able to file a third-party claim to recover damages even if you’re partially at fault for the rear-end accident. Florida follows comparative negligence rules, which allow an individual to file for compensation in a personal injury claim as long as they’re not more than 50% responsible for the car accident.

While blame is typically assigned to the driver who rear-ends another vehicle, there can be exceptions. For example, if the lead vehicle suddenly stops in the middle of the street for no reason, meaning there isn’t a hazard present. You also may not be fully responsible for a rear-end collision if the lead vehicle doesn’t have functioning brake lights.

So, if you rear-end another driver and you’re found to be less than 50% responsible for the collision, you can file a claim to cover damages left over from PIP. However, your percentage of the blame reduces your compensation amount. Simply put, if your settlement is for $100,000 and you’re 40% at fault, your compensation is for $60,000.

Don’t Navigate a Rear-End Collision Claim Alone

If you’re planning to file a third-party accident claim or are encountering issues with your PIP insurance, it’s essential to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you navigate Florida’s complex and often frustrating insurance rules, guaranteeing your rights are protected and your claim is handled efficiently. 

With their expertise guiding you, you can focus on your recovery while they manage the legal intricacies on your behalf.

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