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Chicago Car Accident Claims: Your Guide to Rear-End Collisions

Were you involved in a rear-end crash? If so, it is crucial that you know how to protect your rights and your options. Rear-end accidents are reported every single day in Chicago. However, navigating the claims process can be difficult. You need compensation to pay your bills. Here, our Chicago auto accident attorney provides a comprehensive overview of rear-end collision claims in Illinois.

Rear-End Collisions are the Most Commonly Reported Multi-Vehicle Crash

A rear-end crash is a serious risk facing drivers in Chicago. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of multi-vehicle crash. According to a comprehensive analysis from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 50 percent of multi-vehicle crashes—around one-quarter of all accidents reported—are rear-end collisions. 

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Chicago

Rear-end collisions can happen for a wide variety of different reasons. Though, they share a core commonality: The vast majority of rear-end accidents in Chicago could have been avoided if all parties had taken due care. Every rear-end crash should be thoroughly investigated. Some of the leading causes of rear-end accidents in Chicago include: 

  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions in Chicago. Drivers distracted by their phones, navigation systems, or any other activity are less likely to notice when traffic slows or stops ahead. 
  • Tailgating: Insufficient following distance does not allow enough time or space to react if the car in front suddenly brakes. It is an aggressive driving behavior that is particularly risky due Chicago’s heavy traffic.
  • Speeding: Exceeding speed limits or driving too fast for conditions can make it difficult to stop quickly enough to avoid hitting the vehicle in front. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to adjust to sudden changes in traffic flow or road conditions.

What to Do After a Rear-End Crash in Chicago

Were you involved in a rear-end crash in Chicago? If so, it is crucial that you take immediate action to protect your rights. The severity of the collision can vary widely—from relatively minor fender benders to truly devastating wrecks. A proactive approach is a must for injured victims. Here are four steps to take after being involved in a rear-end accident in Cook County: 

  1. Stop Your Vehicle, Report the Rear-End Collision: Under Illinois state law, all motorists involved in a crash have a duty to stop their vehicle and remain at the scene. A rear-end accident should be reported to the Chicago Police Department. 
  2. Get Medical Care Right Away for Any Injuries: All rear-end accident injuries should be evaluated by a doctor. Even seemingly minor injuries could actually be very serious. Notably, you need medical records in order to bring a car accident injury claim in Chicago. 
  3. Document Your Rear-End Accident: As Illinois is a fault-based motor vehicle accident jurisdiction, it is crucial that you thoroughly document your rear-end accident. Take pictures, get witness details, and secure any other relevant evidence. 
  4. Consult With an Attorney Before an Insurance Company: Before you provide any statement to an insurance company after a rear-end collision, you should consult with an experienced Chicago auto accident lawyer. Your attorney will protect your best interests. 

Understanding Liability for Rear-End Collisions in Illinois

Illinois is a fault-based (tort) automobile accident state. The driver found to be responsible for causing a rear-end accident can be held liable for the resulting damages. To be sure, the rear driver is often at-fault for these crashes. However, that is not automatically the case under Illinois state law. Rear drivers have a duty to maintain a safe following distance and stay alert to traffic changes. However, this presumption can be challenged if evidence suggests that the lead driver contributed to the accident—such as by sudden braking without reason or having non-functioning brake lights.

Illinois also follows a comparative fault rule (735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1116) for motor vehicle accident claims—including rear-end collisions. The standards allow for the allocation of damages based on the degree of fault each party holds. For example, imagine the lead driver sustains $20,000 in damages in a rear-end collision in Chicago. If that driver is found 20 percent at fault for their own accident—such as if they braked at the last second especially hard due to distracted driving—they would bear liability for 20 percent of their own damages ($4,000). 

Recovering Compensation After a Chicago Rear-End Accident

Hurt in a rear-end collision in Chicago? You need compensation to cover your damages, including your out-of-pocket losses and intangible harm. In Illinois, you have the right to seek financial relief for the full value of your damages. With that being said, getting a full and fair settlement offer from an insurance company can be challenging. Insurers want to resolve claims for less. Our Chicago auto accident lawyers fight tirelessly to help rear-end crash victims maximize their financial relief. You may be entitled to recover money damages for: 

  • Vehicle repairs; 
  • Ambulance costs and emergency room care; 
  • Hospital bills and other health care expenses; 
  • Physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatment; 
  • Loss of wages and loss of future earning power; 
  • Pain and suffering & mental distress; 
  • Long-term disability and scarring/impairment; and
  • Wrongful death of a family member. 

How the Chicago Car Crash Lawyers at Kennedy Watkins Can Help

Rear-end collision claims can be complex. Insurance companies are looking out for their own bottom line—not your best interests. At Kennedy Watkins LLC, our team of Chicago attorneys have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident claims, including rear-end collisions. We know how to hold the big insurance companies accountable. We encourage you to review our verdicts and settlements and to contact us directly with any specific questions about your case. 

Contact Our Chicago, IL Rear-End Collision Attorney for a Free Case Review

At Kennedy Watkins LLC, our Chicago auto accident lawyers have the skills, training, and experience to handle all types of motor vehicle accident claims, including rear-end collisions. Hurt in a rear-end crash? Call us now or get in touch with us online for your free, no strings attached case review. From our Chicago law office, we handle motor vehicle accident injury cases across the whole region.

Attorney Watkins
Attorney Watkins Attorney Kennedy



Attorney Kennedy