Rear Shunt Accident – How To Make A Claim

By Jo Anderson. Last updated 29th January 2024. Our guide examines whether you can claim compensation if you are injured in a rear shunt accident. A rear end shunt is a road traffic accident that involves two vehicles colliding with each other, with the one behind crashing into the back of the one in front. We explain how car shunt accident injury claims work, as well as describing who could make a car accident claim. Plus, we show how No Win No Fee car accident claims work and how we could help you start to claim compensation for a rear end collision that injured you.

A rear shunt accident could severely impact your quality of life. Your injuries could result in musculoskeletal problems or whiplash. As a result, you may not be able to live your life normally. It could even affect your ability to work.

In a car accident or other type of road traffic accident, fault can be hard to determine. If you are rear-ended, it is essential the person responsible is identified. In short, you must gather adequate evidence to prove who is at fault. A specialist solicitor can be of assistance. Additionally, the solicitor can begin the claim process on your behalf.

For a free claim evaluation, call us today on 0800 073 8801. You can also contact us about your case and request a callback. An adviser will get straight back to you.

Two drivers on the phone after a rear shunt accident

Rear shunt accident how to make a claim guide

Select A Section

  1. Who’s At Fault For A Rear-End Collision In The UK?
  2. How Long After A Rear End Shunt Accident Do I Have To Claim?
  3. I Rear-Ended Someone That Stopped Suddenly In The UK – Can I Claim?
  4. Could I Claim If Hit By An Uninsured Or Untraced Driver?
  5. Rear Shunt Accident Compensation Calculator
  6. How Could The Whiplash Reform Program Affect My Claim?
  7. Car Accident Claims – No Win No Fee Car Accident Claims
  8. Essential Road Accident Claim References

Who’s At Fault For A Rear-End Collision In The UK?

While you are using the roads, you are owed a duty of care by other road users. All road users must use the roads safely and responsibly to prevent causing harm to themselves and others. Additionally, road users must also follow the regulations found within the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code that apply to them.

Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the vehicle at the back must drive at a speed that will allow them to stop safely, and they must also leave enough space between themselves and the car in front of them so that they can pull up safely.

If you have been injured in a car accident, such as a rear end shunt, to be eligible to make a personal injury claim, you will need to prove:

  1. Another road user owed you a duty of care.
  2. They breached this duty.
  3. Due to this breach, you suffered an injury.

To see whether you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation for a rear end shunt, you can contact a member of our advisory team.

How Long After A Rear End Shunt Accident Do I Have To Claim?

If you have suffered injuries in a rear shunt accident, and you’re eligible to claim compensation, you will need to be aware of the time limits that must be adhered to.

Under the Limitation Act 1980, most personal injury claims have a limitation period of three years, which typically starts from the accident date. However, there are some exceptions that may apply.

For example, if someone aged under 18 was injured in a rear end accident, they could not start a claim until they turned 18. Effectively, the limitation period would pause until their 18th birthday. During the time it is paused, a litigation friend could start a claim on their behalf. If no one has started a claim for the child, and they reach 18 years of age, they will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start their own claim.

There are also some exceptions to the time limit that may apply to those who don’t have the mental capacity to make their own claim. In this case, the time limit is suspended. While it is suspended, a litigation friend can start a claim on their behalf. If no claim has been made, and the person regains this mental capacity, they will have three years from this recovery date to start a claim.

To learn more about limitation periods in road traffic accident claims, please contact an advisor.

I Rear-Ended Someone That Stopped Suddenly In The UK – Can I Claim?

If you are involved in a rear end collision, the fault in the UK can often fall on the driver who drove into the back of the other vehicle. Therefore, it may be easier for the car to the front to claim against the one to the rear than the other way around.

This is because there is guidance in the Highway Code that states it is the responsibility of the driver to the rear to maintain a suitable and safe driving distance from the car before you. In reference to slow-moving traffic, rule 151 says:

“Never get so close to the vehicle in front that you cannot stop safely.”

Because of this, following a rear end shunt, the car to the rear is often said to have acted negligently for not maintaining a safe distance from the car to the front.

However, this isn’t to say that there can’t be some specific instances where the car to the front of the car shunt was not to blame for the accident. If so, you may still be able to make a claim – though you may receive a reduced payout due to split liability.

If you rear-ended someone that stopped suddenly in the UK and want to know if you could claim, get in touch with our advisors today.

Could I Claim If Hit By An Uninsured Or Untraced Driver?

On UK roads, uninsured drivers and untraceable drivers are responsible for injuring 26,000 people every year. It is typically the defendant’s insurance company that pays you a settlement after a road accident.

However, what should you do if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t stop at the scene of the rear shunt accident?

The police and your insurer should be notified as soon as possible if a driver runs away from the accident scene. Next, you should contact the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) if the attempt to identify the driver failed or the driver was not insured.

Unlike insurance companies, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates victims of traffic accidents caused by uninsured or unidentified drivers. Contributions from car insurance premiums fund the MIB.

You can only submit a claim to the MIB if:

  • An untraceable or uninsured driver caused your injuries
  • All efforts to identify the other driver failed
  • The accident happened abroad, or in the UK by a foreign vehicle

We can help you determine if you have a valid case and whether you can sue for compensation following a rear shunt accident. We can also help determine whether you can submit an application to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Rear Shunt Accident Compensation Calculator

If your car accident claim is successful, you may receive a payout that includes general and special damages.

General damages compensate you for the suffering and pain you have endured because of your injuries. These are calculated on a case-by-case basis. They take into account the severity of your injury, your prognosis, as well as other factors.

Those calculating your rear-end shunt claim for general damages could look to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for reference. This publication provides guideline compensation amounts for various injuries at different levels of severity.

You can see some examples of brackets from the JCG in the table below. We have taken figures from the 2022 edition of the guidelines. However, this is only meant as guidance. We should also mention that the first figure is purely illustrative and not from the JCG.

Type of injury sustained Further details Potential Compensation Payout (Judicial College Guidelines)
Multiple serious injuries with financial damages. A combination of serious injuries resulting in severe pain and suffering a financial losses, such as medical costs. Up to £500,000+
Severe neck injuries (i) Injuries resulting in incomplete paraplegia or cases of spastic quadriparesis. In the region of £148,330
Moderate injury to the neck (i) Fractures and dislocations which may result in the need for spinal fusion. £24,990 to £38,490
Severe back injuries (i) Injuries involving permanent disability caused by spinal cord or nerve root damage. £91,090 to £160,980
Moderate back injuries (i) Example: compression/crush fractures of the lumbar vertebrae with substantial risk of osteoarthritis £27,760 to £38,780
Minor injuries to the back (i) In a period of two to five years, the patient has achieved a full recovery or has recovered to a level that is not causing nuisance £7,890 to £12,510
Clavicle fracture Dependent on severity £5,150 to £12,240
Whiplash Tariff Whiplash with minor psychological injuries. The symptoms are expected to last between 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash Tariff The claimant’s whiplash symptoms are expected to last between 18-24 months. £4,215

In addition to the general damages included within your payout, you could also receive special damages. It compensates you for financial costs and losses caused by your injuries. Special damages could include costs and losses such as:

  • Travel expenses – Where your injuries have led you to incur travel costs getting to hospital appointments or to visit your lawyer, for example.
  • Care costs – If your injuries have led you to have paid care at home because you could not take care of yourself.
  • Loss of income – If you have not been able to work due to your injuries.
  • Medical expenses – If you have incurred prescription costs, for example.

You will need to present evidence of these costs with documents such as payslips and invoices.

If someone has rear ended your car, and you would like to know whether you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim, contact one of our advisors.

How Could The Whiplash Reform Program Affect My Claim?

If someone has rear ended your car and you have suffered minor injuries from this, the way you make your car accident claim may differ from the traditional route.

The Whiplash Reform Programme brought about changes to how certain claims are made in Wales and England for low-valued road traffic accidents. Now, if the following criteria apply to you, your claim will need to be made via a different avenue:

  • You are aged 18 or over.
  • You were injured as a passenger or driver of a vehicle.
  • The injuries you suffered were valued at £5,000 or less, such as a minor soft tissue injury or whiplash.

Additionally, all whiplash injuries will now be valued in line with the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 tariff. Any additional injuries you wish to claim for following a rear end shunt that are not covered under this tariff will be valued in the traditional manner.

To check which avenue you should take when making your claim, you can contact a friendly member of our advisory team.

Car Accident Claims – No Win No Fee Car Accident Claims

If you are considering making a car accident claim, we would be happy to talk to you. One question you might have is how much it could cost to get help from a personal injury solicitor with experience handling car accident injury claims.

If you opt to make No Win No Fee car accident claims, you could access the services of the solicitor whilst reducing the financial risk of hiring legal representation.

If a solicitor takes on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis, they may offer a Conditional Fee Agreement. Under this agreement, you will pay a success fee to your solicitor if the claim succeeds. This is subject to a legal cap and is taken from your compensation.

However, if your car accident claim fails, you will typically not have to pay your solicitor for the services they provide.

If you would like to speak to us about whether you’d be able to make a No Win No Fee car accident claim with our help, please call the team. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about car accident injury claims. Plus, we could check your eligibility to make a claim.

Contact Our Team

To start your claim today, just get in touch with a member of the Accident Claims team. With us, you can reach an expert adviser in the following ways:

We provide free legal advice and are always here to answer any questions you have about liability in a rear shunt accident. We can introduce you to our solicitors who could act on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis. Furthermore, this takes all the pressure of finding the funds to pay upfront from legal representation.

Essential Road Accident Claim References

If you have any more questions about making a claim after a rear shunt accident, please get in touch.