What Is a Fair Settlement Offer for a Rear-End Accident Case in Maryland?

Most people injured in a rear-end car accident in Maryland look for fair settlement value for their case. No one wants to get ripped off by an insurance company. These companies spend a lot of time training their insurance adjusters how to rip you off. So fair settlement value is not something that will be handed over to you easily. As I explain below, I think “fair settlement value” is the wrong lens to use when approaching the settlement of a rear-end accident case. But let’s start with this premise.

What Is a Fair Settlement Offer for a Rear-End Accident Case in Maryland?

On this page, we will try to give you an idea of what a fair settlement offer should be for a rear-end auto accident case. Rear-end accident cases are the most common type of vehicle collision, accounting for over 40% of all accidents. Not surprisingly, rear-end accidents also generate the greatest number of personal injury claims. Our Maryland auto accident lawyers have literally settled thousands of rear-end cases. We know these cases well. We have a solid understanding of what a fair settlement offer should look like.

The Value of a Rear-End Accident Case Depends on the Severity of Injury

Not all rear-end auto accident cases are going to have the same settlement value. The settlement value of a rear-end accident case will depend on several key factors. But the most significant factor that drives the value of these cases is the severity of the victim’s physical injuries. The more serious the plaintiff’s injuries, the higher the settlement value the case will have.

To give you some value range for rear-end accident cases based on the extent of the injury, we can categorize the plaintiff’s physical injuries into 3 levels of severity.

LEVEL 1: Level 1 will be the lowest (least serious) level of physical injuries. Level 1 injuries will include minor physical injuries that do not require surgery or extensive medical treatment and usually heal within 4-6 weeks. Common auto accident injuries in Level 1 include neck & back sprains, concussions, whiplash, and other types of “soft tissue” injuries.   With some exceptions, treatment for Level 1 injuries is limited to physical therapy and pain management. Damages in a Level 1 injury case will typically include pain & suffering and medical expenses.  
LEVEL 2: Level 2 covers slightly more serious injuries that involve more physical damage and require more extensive medical treatment. Common examples of Level 2 auto accident injuries would include broken arms, broken legs, herniated discs, and burns. Knee and shoulder injuries such as torn rotator cuffs, or ALC / MCL tears would also fall into Level 2.   What separates Level 2 injuries is the severity of physical damage and the fact that these injuries usually require more than just physical therapy and pain management. Level 2 injuries generally significant medical treatment such as surgery. Level 2 injuries can often result in permanent physical impairments and significant claims for lost wages.  
LEVEL 3: The most severe rear-end accident injuries will fall into Level 3. Level 3 injuries are things that can cause death or permanent disability. Examples of Level 3 auto accident injuries would be death, brain damage, organ damage, or paraplegic injuries.  

What Is Fair Settlement Value for Rear End Accident with Level 1 Injuries?

Rear end auto accidents with Level 1 injuries are at the lowest end of auto accident settlement scale. The typical settlement range for a Level 1 injury case in Maryland is between $10,000 and $25,000. Where an individual case falls on this range will depend on the amount of medical treatment (and resulting expenses) and whether the plaintiff has any claim for lost wages. Another factor that can impact the final settlement is what Maryland jurisdiction the case is in. Certain counties (e.g., Baltimore City and Prince George’s County) a very plaintiff friendly, so cases in these jurisdictions may have a higher value.

Below are examples of recent settlements and verdicts in rear-end accident cases involving what we would classify as Level 1 injuries.

$5,405 (Baltimore Count 2022): Mental anguish, depression and other mental health problems and unspecified physical injuries.

$5,000 (Baltimore City 2021): Cardiac contusion, headaches, emotional distress and neck, back and right shoulder pain.

$13,000 (Montgomery 2020): Soft-tissue neck, shoulder, and back injuries in rear-end truck accident involving multiple vehicles.

$17,500 (Anne Arundel 2019): Neck sprain, shoulder sprain, treatment limited to physical therapy and pain medication, no lost wages.

$200,000 (Prince George’s 2019): Soft-tissue lower-back sprain with some residual symptoms and mobility limitations, but chronic pain.

$36,000 (Baltimore County 2018): Back and neck sprains. Plaintiff claims to suffer chronic, permanent pain and asserts a claim for lost wages.

$32,000 (Montgomery 2015): Soft-tissue neck injuries causing headaches and numbness. Plaintiff claims lost wages in addition to medical expenses.

What Is Fair Settlement Value for a Rear-End Accident with Level 2 Injuries?

The average settlement value range for a rear-end auto accident cases in which the plaintiff suffers Level 2 physical injuries is between $60,000 and $110,000. This is obviously a much broader value range compare to Level 1 injury cases. This is because there tends to be much wider variation in severity and required medical treatment with Level 2 injuries. Take for example a case involving a broken arm. Depending on the location of the fracture (upper or lower arm) and the type of fracture, the required treatment could range from a simple cast to extensive orthopedic surgery with internal hardware. This is why Level 2 injury cases have such a wide settlement value range.

$78,471 (Baltimore City 2021): 53-year-old male, reportedly suffered right shoulder tears, requiring surgery and physical therapy, as well as injuries to his cervical and thoracic spine.

$80,000 (Baltimore City 2019): A Female in her mid-40s suffers a right fibula fracture. No extensive surgery required.

$90,000 (Baltimore City 2019): 66-year-old female suffers double arm fractures requiring multiple surgeries and internal fixation hardware. No lost-wage claim.

$200,000 (Carroll 2019): Multiple upper arm fractures in rear-end accident case with a dump truck. Treatment involved several rounds of surgery. Extensive lost wages.

$200,000 (Baltimore County 2018): Rear-end accident on the beltway. Plaintiff suffers herniated disc with nerve impingement. Treatment involves spinal fusion surgery and nerve stabilization.

$164,000 (Prince George’s 2018): 51-year-old female suffers herniated disc in the lumbar region of her spine. Treatment limited to physical therapy and steroid injections.

Fair Settlement Value for Rear-End Accident with Level 3 Injuries

The typical value range for a Maryland rear end auto accident case involving Level 3 injuries is $200,000 to $400,000. This is just an average range. Level 3 injury cases can easily have a much higher value. Rear end accidents tend to be lower impact collisions, so we don’t see too many rear enders resulting in Level 3 injuries. When rear end accidents do cause Level 3 injuries the most common are serious brain injuries and internal organ damage (e.g., ruptured spleen).

$150,000 (Baltimore County 2022): Plaintiff asserted she incurred injuries to her head, neck, back, body, and limbs, verdict included $30,000 in past medical expenses.

$100,000 (Anne Arundel 2019): Passenger suffers ruptured spleen in rear end accident. Treatment involves surgical removal of spleen.

$1,650,000 (Baltimore County 2017): A young driver is stranded on the shoulder of road after running out of gas. Distracted driver drifts onto the shoulder and slams into him from behind, killing him instantly.

$1,500,000 (Baltimore City 2016): A 20-year-old driver pulls over onto the shoulder of the highway for a flat tire and gets killed when a truck rear-ends him.

rear end accidents  

Is Fair Value the Goal for Your Accident Settlement?

When I represent a client, I’m not shooting for fair settlement value.  I’m want to get more than the settlement value of the case.   You want to argue I’m not seeking justice?  Fair enough. I get it.  But the insurance company’s goal is not to pay you fair settlement value.  Their goal is to rip you off.  So if one side is shooting to rip you off and the other side is shooting for fair, how do you think those cases end up?   The answer is somewhere south of fair settlement value.  So I think the goal of fair value is the wrong one.  Hire the best rear-end car accident lawyer in Maryland you can find and tell that attorney to fight to get every last possible penny for you. 

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Should I Settle My Accident Claim or Go to Trial?

You are asking the wrong person, right? If you have a lawyer, the decision to accept or reject a settlement offer is a personal one that should be based on your individual circumstances and goals. Your legal counsel can provide guidance and support, but the decision should be made by you.

But if this is the choice you currently have, I can give you a framework to make a decision:

  1. The strength of your case: An evaluation of the strength of your case can help you determine the likelihood of success if you were to proceed with litigation. This should be based on the available evidence, the law, and the specific facts of your case.

  2. The risks and costs of litigation: Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, and there is always the risk of an unfavorable outcome. It is important to consider the potential costs and risks associated with litigation before deciding whether to accept a settlement.

  3. The terms of the settlement offer: You should carefully review the terms of the settlement offer and make sure they are acceptable to you. This may include the amount of compensation, the release of future claims, and any other conditions or restrictions. (I throw this in.  But in most personal injury cases, you are releasing all of your rights in exchange for money and that is it.)

  4. The possibility of negotiating further: If you believe that the settlement offer is too low, you may be able to negotiate with the other party to reach a more favorable settlement compensation.  So ask you lawyer where you are.  Is this a first offer?  A last offer?  Ask what the path is to make sure you get every last penny offered so you can make the most informed choice that you can.  

Maryland Rear-End Auto Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a rear-end auto accident, again, you are walking in my firm’s wheelhouse.  Contact the Maryland car accident attorneys at Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation or reach out to us online.