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A recent insurance company survey found that road accidents are decreasing but rear-end shunts are increasing and now account for almost a quarter of all accidents.

Typically the victim of a rear-end shunt will suffer whiplash injuries, usually to the neck, but sometimes to the upper back, shoulders and occasionally the lower back, with significant pain and discomfort for a period of days or weeks diminishing over a couple of months.

In such a case the compensation a court would award might run from around £1,500 to £3,000, but I have seen cases where the injuries are much more serious, and the compensation are consequently much higher.

Usually the serious cases result from a major impact, but even low speed collisions can cause serious consequences, particularly in middle-aged and older people who may well have pre-existing medical conditions.

In all these cases it is the driver who runs into the car in front who is legally at fault. The law stipulates that drivers should always maintain a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front.

If you suffer a rear-end shunt you should consult a solicitor who has experience of this type of case.

You may be able to claim compensation for the injury itself, loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses and for any services that have to be done for you such as shopping, housework or driving family members to and from appointments. 

Many insurers now attempt to settle directly with victims very quickly after the accident, which often results in payment of compensation well below the true value of the claim. 

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