A Guide to Claiming Rear End Shunt Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a car accident injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a car accident injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

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 a rear end shunt injury claim?

You should be eligible to make a rear end shunt injury claim if your injury occurred:

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

Find out whether you may have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:

Check my claim

Are there any exceptions?

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To confirm whether you are eligible to claim speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.

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.

Read more

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 a rear end shunt injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I claim if the rear end shunt injury made an existing injury worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward rear end shunt injury injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

How much compensation can I claim for a rear end shunt injury?

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

  • the extent 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 rear end shunt injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

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

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a rear end shunt injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple rear end shunt injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious back injury can be £30,000

For a more minor ankle injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,000.

However, if you have a serious back injury and a more minor ankle injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a rear end shunt injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a rear end shunt injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your rear end shunt injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages?are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the rear end shunt injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.?

I can't find my injury in the table, can I still claim?

The table is a list of the most common injuries associated with a rear end shunt injury claim. You can see the full list of injury awards here: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Rear end shunt injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a rear end shunt injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your rear end shunt injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a road injury compensation claim take?

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

For example, 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. For more information on how long your claim could take, see:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a rear end shunt injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your rear end shunt injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

No win, no fee, no risk

With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a rear end shunt injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your rear end shunt injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a rear end shunt injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my rear end shunt injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my rear end shunt injury claim?

If your rear end shunt injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Rear end shunt 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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 about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a rear end shunt injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a rear end shunt 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim rear end shunt 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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert