Rear Shunt Accident – Is The Following Car At Fault?

    Were you involved in a rear shunt accident that left you injured? You may be able to claim compensation if you can prove someone else was to blame.

    When you are injured in a road traffic accident, the consequences can be severe. When the accident is caused by someone else, you could make a personal injury claim. You would need to prove another driver was at fault.

    Rear shunt accident

    Rear shunt accident claims guide.

    Maybe it was through dangerous driving, or because their vehicle was defective. If you are injured in a road traffic accident caused by a third party who owed you a duty of care, you could have grounds to sue for compensation by filing a personal injury claim if you are injured. Those who owe a duty of care are other road users, employers and those who maintain the roads. For this article, we are looking specifically at other road users.

    According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and the Highway Code, every road user must follow the rule and regulations set out. However, mistakes and accidents happen and it could involve a rear end shunt.

    We have produced this guide to provide you with as much information and advice as possible. We cover who could be at fault for a rear end shunt, and the sort of evidence you need to support a claim against them.

    Contact Details

    If you have any questions about a rear shunt accident, please reach out to one of our friendly advisers by calling 0161 696 9685. In the initial consultation, a specialist solicitor will assess your claim free of charge.

    For more information about claiming personal injury compensation continue reading our guide by clicking on the links that follow.

    Jump To A Section

    A Guide On Claiming For A Rear Shunt Accident

    The Annual Report 2019 published by the Department For Transport in Great Britain found there were 153,158 casualties involved in road traffic accidents during 2019. The injuries included all severities. However, the cause of the accidents is not dealt with in the report.

    When it comes to rear shunt accidents, it is more often the driver following the car in front who is at fault. The accident could happen because the driver behind was following the car in front too closely. Thus, the driver did not have enough stopping distance to safely come to a stop without crashing into the car in front. However, in some instances, another party could be liable.

    Our guide covers the responsibilities of all parties involved in a rear shunt accident, and how drivers and other road users must follow the law. We explain what you need to do following this type of accident and we provide information on the evidence required to support your case.

    There is a table that provides you with a general idea of the compensation payouts awarded in successful claims. We also provide advice on the sort of damages you may be able to claim both your losses and out of pocket expenses.

    You will also find advice on how a No Win No Fee lawyer could act on your behalf. Once your claim is assessed and found strong, a solicitor could offer you these terms. In short, you won’t have to pay for your legal representation upfront but only when you win personal injury compensation.

    Statutory Time Limit to Making a Rear Shunt Accident Claim

    If you want to file a personal injury claim because a rear shunt accident caused you harm, you must do so within the statutory time limit. This is set at 3 years from the date the accident happened or when you became aware that your injuries were caused by negligence. However, when minors (anyone under the age of eighteen years of age) are injured, the deadline starts when they turn 18. A personal injury claim can be made up till they turn twenty one years of age.

    A friendly adviser is here to answer any questions you have about a rear shunt accident, so call us now to find out if your case is valid. A member of the Legal Helpline team will also provide advice on how long you have to make your rear shunt accident claim.

    A specialist solicitor from our panel will assess your claim free of charge in the initial consultation.

    What Are Rear Shunt Accidents?

    A rear shunt accident is a collision between two (or more) vehicles where one of them collides with the rear of the vehicle in front of them.

    The car in front could be stationery or it could be moving when the car behind collides with them. Examples of a rear shunt accident are:

    • A vehicle collides with the rear of the car in front when they are stopped at traffic lights or a junction. The driver in the car in front may suffer a severe injury to the head in this type of road traffic accident
    • A vehicle collides with a vehicle ahead in slow-moving traffic because the driver failed to judge traffic flow correctly. The accident causes the driver in the car in front to suffer a knee fracture

    Apart from the injuries you sustain in a rear shunt accident, you may also have to deal with the financial stress the incident causes you. If the driver cannot be traced, or they are uninsured, it could add to the stress you have to deal with.

    For more information on claiming compensation following a rear shunt accident, and to benefit from free advice, please call an adviser today. Your initial consultation is free of charge. Furthermore, you are under no obligation to pursue your claim if you choose not to.

    Rear Shunt Accident Statistics

    Statistics published on the Department For Transport website found that between 2079-2019, the number of road traffic accidents fell from 254,967 in 1979 to 117,536 in 2019. Our graph below provides more information on the number of vehicles that were involved in road traffic accidents in 2020.

    statistical graph road traffic accident statistics

    Vehicle types and accident severity graph


    Who Is Liable In A Rear End Collision?

    In most rear shunt accidents, the fault lies with the driver who hit the car in front of them because they weren’t paying attention. Driving without due care and attention often results in drivers not leaving enough distance to stop safely behind the car in front.

    Another cause of a rear end accident could be down to damaged road surfaces. A large pothole, mud, ice, or damaged road signs as well as harsh weather conditions can lead to a road traffic accident.

    In some instances, proving liability for a rear shunt accident can be challenging, and you could be partly liable. However, this does not mean you can’t seek compensation. You can make a claim but your level of responsibility would be factored into the amount you receive in a successful claim.

    To benefit from a free, no obligation consultation, reach out to one of our friendly, experienced advisers.

    What Happens If I Brake Suddenly?

    There are times when you have no choice but to slam on your brakes suddenly. You may have to brake without warning if a child runs out in front of your car. However, the Highway Code states that drivers should always leave enough distance between their vehicles and the car in front. This allows the driver to pull up safely if the car in front stops suddenly.

    The safe stopping distance between your vehicle and another vehicle depends on several things. This includes road and weather conditions.

    When both vehicle drivers share some of the responsibility for the car accident this is known as ‘split liability’ in this type of claim.

    If you have any questions about liability in a rear end accident, please call one of our friendly advisers today. Your first consultation is free of charge and you don’t have to go forward with a claim if you decide not to.

    Claims Against Untraced Or Uninsured Drivers

    When you file a claim for a rear shunt accident, you would typically file it against the driver who is ‘at fault’. Meaning the driver who is at fault, their insurer, would issue the compensation. When the ‘at fault’ driver does not hold valid insurance, or they cannot be traced after fleeing the scene, you can still file for compensation. If hit by a stolen car your claim could be made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

    The MIB collaborates closely with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Police, and they ensure that victims can seek compensation when involved in uninsured driver fault accidents.

    For more information on the work, the Motor Insurer’s Bureau conducts see our guide, or please reach out to one of our friendly advisers today. One of our friendly advisers will provide you with free advice and put you in touch with a solicitor from our panel.

    I Caused The Rear Shunt Accident, Could I Make A Claim?

    If you think you caused the rear shunt accident, you may be wondering if you could be able to seek compensation? This is depending on the circumstances and liability. As previously mentioned, you may be able to make a split liability claim.

    A split liability road traffic accident personal injury claim for compensation will factor in your level of responsibility and that of the other driver. If you are deemed to have 50% responsibility, the other driver would also have 50% responsibility. In short, you will receive 50% of the value of the claim.

    We always recommend that you seek legal advice if you think you are partly responsible for a rear shunt accident because your claim may not be that straightforward. A legal expert can help establish your level of responsibility so you receive a fair compensation payout.

    Moreover, an adviser from our team can connect you to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

    What Are The Whiplash Reforms 2021?

    Changes were made to the law when the Whiplash Reform Programme came into effect. The changes affect low-value injuries and whiplash claims made by drivers and passengers over the age of 18.

    In short, injuries that are valued less than £5,000 must be filed through the government claims portal. Injuries valued at £5,000 or more are not affected by the new legislation.

    When you file a claim for compensation through the government’s online portal, you could still seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor. You may discover the injuries and damage you suffered is considerably more than you first thought.

    To find out out how much your whiplash claim might be worth, please reach out to a member of the Legal Helpline team.

    What To Do If You Have A Car Accident

    When you are in any sort of road traffic accident, you should follow a specific procedure. Always ensure that the emergency services are called if anyone is injured and needs medical attention. Priority is for your health and the health of others. If anyone is injured in a rear shunt accident, medical attention must be sought straight away.

    If you have a medical report detailing the extent of the injuries sustained, it will be valuable evidence in a road traffic accident claim. Also when making a personal injury claim you will need to be seen by an independent medical specialist.

    You should collect as much evidence of the accident as you can. This could include:

    • Call the Police if anyone is injured or the accident is blocking other traffic
    • Dashcam footage of the accident if available
    • Other video footage – traffic cameras if possible
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and the injuries sustained
    • Witness contact details
    • Contact a solicitor to receive professional legal advice (optional)

    Legal Helpline can help you establish whether you have grounds to sue for compensation. Furthermore, the initial consultation is free of charge.

    Calculating Rear Shunt Accident Damages Payouts

    You could claim for the injuries sustained and how your life or that of a loved one has been affected. There are two lots of damages in successful personal injury claims. The first is general damages for the injuries sustained. The second is special damages for the losses and expenses incurred.

    General damages are based on the Judicial College guidelines(JCG). You would need to provide a detailed medical report of the injuries you suffered in the rear shunt accident. The table below provides you with a general idea of the level of compensation you could receive.

    Type of harmFurther detailsCompensation award
    Brain damage(a) Very Severe: Injuries where the person needs full-time care. £264,650 to £379,100
    Brain damage(c) Moderate: (iii) The injury may have impacted concentration and memory.£40,410 to £85,150
    Hand (c) Complete loss of one hand£90,250 to £102,890
    Hand (u) Severe thumb dislocation£3,710 to £6,360
    LegSevere: (iii) A serious comminuted fracture leading to ongoing issues.£36,790 to £51,460
    Ankle(c) A moderate fracture that causes ongoing difficulty with mobility.£12,900 to £24,950
    Foot(d) Where both heels are severely fractured. £39,390 to £65,710
    Foot(f) A moderate displaced metatarsal fracture causing ongoing issues. £12,900 to £23,460

    For a more accurate estimate, please call a member of the Legal Helpline team today. Your initial consultation is free of charge.

    How Your Payment Will Be Calculated

    As previously mentioned, you will receive two lots of payments in a successful rear shunt accident personal injury claim. The first being ‘general damages’ as detailed in the previous section, and the second is‘ special damages’ to cover your losses and out of pocket expenses. To clarify, you could claim for the following:

    • Lost earnings
    • Loss of potential income
    • Medical expenses
    • Travel costs
    • Home and vehicle adaptations (where necessary)
    • Care costs
    • Ongoing treatments and therapy

    A member of the Legal Helpline team can explain what losses and expenses you may be able to seek when you make a successful rear shunt accident claim. Contact us now to find out whether you have grounds to sue for compensation.

    No Win – No Fee Claims For Injuries Caused By A Rear Shunt Accident

    You have the option to work with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. This can be helpful when your finances do not stretch to paying for legal representation upfront. You pay the No Win No Fee lawyer when they win your case whether a settlement is reached in court or in an out of court agreement.

    Should your claim fail, you don’t pay the No Win No Fee solicitor for the services they provided.  To speak to a member of the Legal Helpline team about working with a No Win No Fee solicitor for a rear shunt accident claim, please call the number at the top of the page.

    Contact Legal Helpline Today

    To make a rear shunt accident claim and to find out more about the process, please call a member of the team on 0161 696 9685.

    Alternatively, you can fill out the online claims form and an adviser will get back to you without delay.

    You can also request a call back.

    A friendly adviser will provide you with free advice and answer any questions you have. If you have a valid claim, a member of the team can connect you to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

    Your claim will be assessed by a specialist solicitor during a no obligation, initial consultation. This first contact is free of charge.

    Useful Links

    Links to other useful Legal Helpline guides:

    Claiming compensation after a road traffic accident

    Head injury claims guide

    Hit and Run car accident claims

    Some useful links to other websites:

    The Highway Code

    The new whiplash reforms

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens to your body in a rear end collision?

    When you are in a read shunt accident, pressure and stress is placed on your head, neck, and spine. This type of road traffic accident is often the cause of whiplash and soft tissue damage to the neck.

    Who is liable in a rear end collision?

    In general, if hit from behind the driver in the car behind who collides with the vehicle in front of them is at fault for a rear shunt accident. However, in some instances, the liability could fall to both drivers involved in a rear end accident. If this is the case, it would be a ‘split liability’ claim.

    What kind of injuries can you get from a rear end collision?

    You can suffer damage to your neck, head, and spine when you are in  rear end collision. One of the most common injuries sustained in this type of RTA is whiplash. However, the law has recently changed when it comes to whiplash claims as mentioned above.

    Written by ED

    Edited by IE.