It's important to understand your legal options if you were rear-ended and injured.
One of the most common types of car accidents is the rear-end accident. In Louisville and throughout Kentucky, when rear-enders happen, crash victims deserve compensation for their losses and pain.
At The Whaley Law Firm, we understand that knowledge empowers people to make good decisions. Here's what drivers and passengers need to know about rear-end accident compensation in Kentucky. And, if you have already been injured in a rear-end accident, contact us for a free case consultation to learn more about your potential options for compensation.
What is a rear-end accident and how are they caused?
A rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle collides with the back of another. They happen for various reasons, including distracted driving, impaired driving or DUI, tailgating, speeding, and failure to adjust for road conditions (e.g., slick roads due to rain, poor visibility due to fog). In addition, some people are rear-ended while stopped at a red light or stop sign.
In January, a fatal collision on I-264 was caused by an apparent rear-end accident. Louisville Metro Police are investigating the crash, which involved multiple cars and caused injuries to others. Alcohol is a suspected factor, and one driver has been charged with murder, according to local media.
What factors affect compensation for a rear-end accident?
After a rear-end accident in Kentucky, an injured victim may be able to recover compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses, including surgery, hospital bills, consultations with specialists, and physical therapy.
- Permanent disability, loss of limb, or disfigurement.
- Lost wages, which includes time away from work to heal after a crash.
- Reduced earning capacity due to limitations caused by your injury.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional anguish.
- Long-term medical expenses, such as the cost of ongoing prescription medication, home modifications or accessibility equipment expenses, future medical procedures or surgeries, long-term in-home care or assisted living costs, and assistive technology devices such as wheelchairs or prosthetics.
Among the most significant factors that determine the amount of compensation you're entitled to include:
- Injury type and severity. The more severe an injury is, the more it costs to treat it medically. Serious injuries occur no matter how "minor" or "major" an accident is. Even rear-end crashes at 20 mph or less can cause whiplash, spinal cord injuries, concussions, and other severe injuries.
- Wages. Typically, accident compensation covers the cost of lost wages and any diminished future income-earning potential. Therefore, how much a person earned and the potential growth of their career are important factors to consider when calculating the victim's losses.
- Fault. When people are rear-ended and injured, the car in the back is almost always at fault. However, there are exceptions. Insurance companies and negligent drivers often try to blame victims of rear-end crashes to justify small settlements or claim rejections. For example, the at-fault driver might claim you suddenly slammed on your brakes and they didn't have enough time to avoid a collision, even though it's their responsibility to maintain a safe following distance. This is why having an attorney who can build a strong case on your behalf is so critical.
Contact a Louisville rear-end accident lawyer today.
Insurance companies often make fast settlement offers to rear-end accident victims. They do this because they want the crash victim to accept the settlement before the actual cost of the accident becomes fully known. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money, not give it away. In their eyes, the sooner they settle your claim, the better.
At The Whaley Law Firm, we understand how to investigate rear-end accidents, and we know how to deal with insurance adjusters to maximize compensation for our clients. If you were rear-ended and injured in Louisville or elsewhere in Kentucky, contact us to see how a rear-end accident attorney can help you.