What is the Average Payout of a Rear-end Collision in California?

rear-end collision

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, according to the NHTSA. There are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways each year.  This is unfortunate considering the severity of the injuries that can result from a rear-end collision. For example, a rear-end collision without airbags can cause severe neck pain and back injuries or even brain injuries.

Even if you’re not badly injured, sometimes a car accident can cause bills to skyrocket for things like auto insurance or medical bills, or both. So how much of a payout do you get if you’re hit from behind?  

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about rear-end collision compensation, including average payouts for rear-end collisions in California. Read on to find out.

Payout for Rear-End Collisions in California

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, you may be wondering if the other driver will pay for your damages. If you can prove that the other driver caused your accident, you may be able to make a claim for reimbursement.

The amount of damages you are entitled to receive will depend on a variety of factors. These factors include the following

  • Severity of injury

In most cases, you will be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other expenses like lost wages. The amount of compensation depends on the severity of your injuries.

  •  Value of your vehicle.

If your vehicle is totaled, you will be eligible for a settlement that covers the market value of your vehicle.

  • Your age and gender

Do you have children? Are you older or younger than the other drivers involved in your accident? If so, this may have a significant effect on your claim.

  • Your insurance coverage

You may be able to receive compensation if you have auto insurance or other property damage coverage.

  • How much fault do you have

If you were at fault in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation. However, be aware that not all accidents are caused by the other driver’s negligence.

In some cases, you may be responsible for part of the accident, even if it was a minor mistake like failing to pay attention to the road.

Of course, it depends on the circumstances. In general, you will be considered more at fault if you were driving with a suspended license or if you were violating traffic laws.

  •  The other driver’s insurance coverage

If the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you may receive a monetary settlement from their insurance carrier. However, if the other driver has auto insurance but doesn’t have enough coverage to cover your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.

All these and more must be considered when considering the payout one receives in rear-end collisions. On average, you can get as low as a $2000 settlement for rear-end collisions that only cause property damage and as much as $30000 or more if the collision causes loss of life or bad injuries.

Common Causes of Rear-end Collisions

Rear-end collisions are often the result of inattentive driving, road congestion, or excessive speed. However, distracted driving is also a major cause of rear-end collisions. Distracted driving is considered to be one of the most dangerous types of distracted behavior. Drivers who are distracted from their driving responsibilities often cause rear-end collisions.

Distracted behaviors such as texting and driving, eating or drinking while driving, or being overly tired can lead to dangerous situations for drivers and passengers alike.

Rear-end collisions can also occur in other situations, such as if the driver in front of you slams on the brakes to avoid a crash. Rear-end collisions may also occur because of automobile defects, such as airbags or seat belts.

Car manufacturers are usually held liable for car defects that contribute to rear-end collisions. In some situations, the driver may be partly liable if they were driving too close to the vehicle in front or were distracted by other things.

What Does a California Rear-End Accident Settlement Include?

You may be entitled to receive money for lost wages and for your pain and suffering. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for things like property damage and medical bills.

You are entitled to financial recompense for your economic and non-economic losses if someone causes you harm in a rear-end collision.

Financial losses that constitute economic damage may include:

  • medical costs,
  • lost revenue,
  • decreased earning potential, and
  • Damage to property and repairs.

Non-economic losses, or non-economic damage, can include:

  • Suffering and pain,
  • Emotional turbulence,
  • Deformity and scarring,
  • Disabilities,
  • lower quality of living

In certain situations, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. These damages, however, are only awarded in situations where the defendant has acted egregiously. You should ask your lawyer for advice on whether these damages would apply in your circumstances.

See also: Pedestrian Accident Lawyer; Can a Driver Sue?

Frequently asked questions

Can I Still Get Compensation If I Was Only Slightly at Fault?

Yes. Even if you are only slightly at fault, you may still deserve compensation for your losses. However, the insurance company may be allowed to take your percentage of fault into account when determining your payout.

Can I Get Compensation For PTSD If I Wasn’t Injured?

Yes. If you have preexisting mental conditions such as PTSD, you may be able to receive compensation for their effects on your life. Compensation is also available to cover your medical costs and lost work.

If your employer is paying your workers’ compensation, they may not be willing to pay for the PTSD. However, if you are self-employed or unemployed, you may be able to receive a settlement from your insurance company.

How long do I have to make a claim?

In California, there is a 2-year time limit to make a compensation claim after an accident. 

Can a jury decide the case? 

Yes. In fact, jury trials (with a judge presiding) are the most common way to settle disputes. A jury is used in cases involving serious injury or death.


Rear-end collisions are often caused by the negligence of another driver. These accidents can be extremely dangerous because they happen so fast, and the results can be tragic for the victims involved. 

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