Rear-End Collision Injuries and How You Can Recover Compensation

The rear-end collision is one of the most common types of car accidents. ln most rear-end collision cases, the trailing driver is at fault for not maintaining a proper distance. Nonetheless, it is the leading driver who bears the greatest risk of injury in a rear-end collision. If another driver caused your rear-end collision injury, you have the right to seek compensation – regardless of whether you were a driver or a passenger.

Special Case: Chain Reaction Accidents

Sometimes rear-end accidents cause chain reaction accidents. This happens, for example, when one car rear-ends another, pushing it into the rear of a third car. This car might then rear-end a fourth car, and so on. Multi-vehicle pile-ups can get complex, and a single defendant can bear liability for the losses of many victims. 

Special Case: Override and Underride Accidents

Override accidents and underride accidents are among the deadliest of all types of accidents. In an underride accident, a shorter vehicle rear-ends a taller vehicle at a high speed. The trailing vehicle is then caught in the leading vehicle’s undercarriage. In an override accident, a taller vehicle rear-ends a shorter vehicle, trapping the leading vehicle under the trailing vehicle’s undercarriage. These accidents typically happen when an 18-wheeler truck collides with a car.

Contributory Fault

What happens when more than one party is at fault? Florida applies a pure comparative fault distribution system to traffic accidents. At a trial, the jury will assign each party a percentage of fault. In a two-car accident, for example, the jury might assign 80% of the fault to the trailing driver and 20% of the fault to the leading driver.

Suppose you (the leading driver) sustained $20,000 in damages, and the trailing driver sustained $5,000 in damages. Since you were 20% at fault, you would lose 20% of your compensation, or $4,000, leaving you with a $16,000 claim. The trailing driver would lose 80% of their $5,000 in damages, leaving them with a $1,000 claim. Setting off these amounts against each other would leave you with $15,000. The trailing driver would owe you this much.


In settlement negotiations there is no jury to assign the percentages of fault. Consequently, the parties would have to forecast what a jury would do if the claim were to go to trial. The parties would then settle on that basis, if they could agree on the amount.

Insurance Issues

Insurance issues often set an upper limit on how much compensation is actually available. Florida drivers are subject to the following auto insurance requirements:

  • At least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) bodily injury insurance. This insurance protects the purchaser against their own injuries.
  • At least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance. This insurance protects the purchaser against liability for the other driver’s property damage when the purchaser caused the accident.

Normally, an injured driver cannot sue an at-fault driver. Instead, they must rely on their own PIP insurance. However, if their injuries are “serious” (specifically defined by Florida statute), they can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

They can also file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance policy. Unfortunately, however, Florida generally does not require its drivers to purchase bodily injury liability insurance. Three important exceptions apply: (i) commercial truckers must carry extensive liability insurance, (ii) Uber and Lyft drivers are typically well-insured, and (iii) out-of-state drivers might carry bodily injury liability insurance due to their state’s requirements.. 

Contact a Fort Walton Beach Car Accident Lawyer

You might not need a lawyer for a fender-bender that occurs in a mall parking lot. The more serious your injuries, however, the more likely you are to need a lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind that you probably need to consult with a lawyer to even determine whether you have a viable claim. Most attorneys will not charge for your initial consultation.

If you need legal assistance, contact the Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297