Rear-end shunt injury compensation claims

Man on phone after rear end collision car crash

Rear-end shunt car crashes are among the most common road traffic accidents, often resulting in whiplash or more serious spinal issues. An accident can disrupt your daily routine and work life, leading to medical costs and financial strain. A compensation claim can be a vital step toward tackling the costs of recovery and compensating you for any pain and suffering.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a car accident injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by another driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other road user, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

In this article

With nearly 75,000 car occupant injuries every year, you are not alone

As well as damaging vehicles, the impact of a rear-end shunt often causes injuries such as whiplash to the driver and passengers in the car which has been hit.

See also: Making a claim for a car passenger claim

What is a rear end shunt or 'rear-ender'?

A rear end shunt is when one vehicle collides into the back of the vehicle in front. This might be when the car in front is stationary, for example at a junction, roundabout or traffic lights, or when traffic is moving slowly in a congested area.

Collisions such as these may happen when the driver of the following vehicle loses concentration for a moment, or is travelling too close to the vehicle in front.

Multiple rear end shunts may occur in lines of queuing traffic when the impact of a car hitting the end of the queue pushes other cars forward into the rear of the cars in front of them.

Who is liable for a rear end shunt?

Usually the driver of the colliding vehicle is legally liable for a rear end shunt since it is his responsibility to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and the vehicle in front, ensuring he has sufficient time to react and stop should the leading vehicle also stop.

However in a multiple rear end shunt the liability falls on the driver of the vehicle who hit the back of the queue. Each of the subsequent shunts and collisions were caused by his original negligence, therefore all claims should be met by his insurer.

Could I be liable if I braked suddenly?

You may have to brake suddenly if another car pulls out of a junction in front of you, or a child runs out across the road, for example. However, your reaction to the unexpected hazard does not make you responsible for a rear end shunt, should the vehicle behind you collide with you or another vehicle run into the back of that vehicle as a consequence.

What should I do if involved in a rear end shut?

In the first instance, you should exchange details with the other driver(s), including name, address, vehicle registration number and insurance company.

Gather as much evidence as possible, photograph the scene if possible, and take the details of any witnesses who may be able to verify what happened.

Do I have an injury claim?

You should be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

What if the road accident was my fault?

If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.

In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.

Read more about when there is uncertainty as to who is to blame.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Rear end shunt injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated May 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.

These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your rear end shunt injury such as diagnostic tests, neck brace, physiotherapy and pain management treatments.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

How long does a road injury compensation claim take?

How long it can take to get compensation for a car accident can vary considerably.

A straightforward liability accepted road accident claim could be settled in several weeks. However, if liability is denied it could take longer. Typically, a road accident claim should take 4 to 9 months.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

Your solicitor will ask you about how the road accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

By law, all drivers must have insurance to cover the cost of injury compensation claims. Even if you were injured by an uninsured or untraceable road user, a claim may still be possible.

We can help you make a road accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

No win, no fee rear end shunt injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim rear end shunt injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Road traffic accidents

Rear end shunt injury claims are usually categorised as road traffic accident (RTA) claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a road accident specialist about your claim?

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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

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Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I need to travel to a solicitor's office?

Claims for rear end shunt injury are conducted remotely. This means you won't have to travel to your solicitor's office when making a claim.

On a quick phone call with a friendly advisor, you can explain what happened and find out if you may have a claim. There is no obligation to start a claim.

If you decide to start a claim, you will speak to a specialist road accident solicitor. Your solicitor will always be available to answer any questions, and they will keep you updated every step of the way.

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How can I claim an interim compensation payment?

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher