Rear-end accidents are scary and often cause serious injuries. Even if the accident was only a minor fender-bender, you should act quickly to preserve evidence and protect your rights.
First, move to a safe place and turn on your hazard lights. Then, take pictures of any damage.
1. Call the Police
It is important to call the police right away after a rear-end accident. This can help ensure that the accident is documented and that you have a record of your injuries, car damage, and other relevant information for future injury claims.
Additionally, the police will be able to check on your injuries and ensure everyone is okay. They will also be able to write up an official police report that you can then use for your insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
While you wait for the police, be careful about what you say to the other driver and anyone else at the crash scene. It is best to wait to give any accident details to the other driver until you are away from the scene and have time to calm down.
2. Gather Evidence
The evidence you gather after a rear-end accident is crucial to winning a claim for damages. Suppose you can prove the other driver was negligent by a preponderance of the evidence. In that case, you will likely earn compensation for property damage to your vehicle, medical costs, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Take photos of the cars at the scene and document, as closely as possible, their positions after the accident. If there are witnesses, request their names and contact information at the scene so they can give a statement later.
It is important to get medical records showing how the crash injured you. Insurance companies are suspicious of whiplash claims and look for excessive tests and questionable repeated treatments. This evidence will help rebut any accusations the other driver may make.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Often, individuals do not seek immediate medical attention after a rear-end accident because they believe they are fine. However, they do not realize that traumatic brain injury, whiplash, broken bones, sprains, and other injuries can have lasting effects.
Additionally, an adrenaline rush from a car accident can mask symptoms of serious injuries. Seeking medical attention immediately creates an immediate record of your injuries and ensures that you are treated properly, preventing complications.
Moreover, if the accident occurs on a busy road, try to move your vehicle out of traffic and put on your hazard lights so that other drivers can see it. Also, get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash and any witnesses.
4. Report the Accident
This step makes it difficult for the other driver’s insurance company to say the crash did not occur. Injuries from rear-end collisions can be severe. They often lead to inflated medical bills and missed work, resulting in lost income for victims.
The best way to prove that a collision occurred is to have a police officer visit the scene and write an accident report. Even if the property damage is low, this is important because it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny personal injury claims by saying no accident occurred.
Be sure to politely and calmly exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved in the collision. Also, remember to check your car for injuries even if you don’t feel anything. Adrenaline rushes can mask some symptoms, such as neck or back injuries.
5. Contact an Attorney
Despite what most people believe, the vehicle driver who hits you is not always to blame for the accident. Even if the rear-end car accident seems like the other driver’s fault, many things could have led to the collision.
It’s important to contact an attorney immediately after the crash, regardless of how minor it may seem. A personal injury lawyer will examine your medical records, take photos of the scene, and collect all evidence in your favor. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), they will send a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This will include your hard costs and proof of your pain and suffering.
Rear-end collisions, regardless of their apparent severity, carry the potential for serious repercussions both in terms of injury and subsequent legal complexities. The moments immediately following the accident are pivotal. By ensuring safety first and then meticulously documenting the scene, individuals can help preserve critical evidence. Immediate medical attention is not just crucial for health, but it serves as a documented record of any sustained injuries.