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With distracted driving and aggressive driving often happening on the roadways, rear-end accidents occur regularly.
If you have been involved in a rear-end crash, the first thing you should do is make sure that you and your passengers are safe. Be sure to get everyone checked out by emergency medical technicians.
After medical techs have cleared you, the next step you should take is to consult a personal injury lawyer or a car accident attorney. Hiring an experienced attorney from the beginning can help the insurance claims process go as smoothly as possible.
LegalFinders can assist you in finding the best car accident attorney in your area and set up a free consultation for a case evaluation.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a fender-bender, it can be confusing to know what to do next. The following are steps you can take immediately after a rear-end collision.
The very first thing that you should do after being involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are generally called to any auto accident to provide immediate medical care for mild and serious injuries.
Common injuries that may occur during a rear-end car crash include the following:
Whiplash and soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries that occur in rear-end accidents.
Many types of injuries can take time to develop symptoms. While you must be checked out immediately following an accident, you should also plan on following up with your primary care physician if you do not have serious injuries.
When you are given medical treatment, whether it is in the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician, you need to keep any medical expenses and medical bills you receive. These medical bills and records will be important when you file your injury claim.
If you are physically able and the car is not damaged beyond movement, you need to try and safely move it to the side of the road so that it does not block traffic. However, you need to take pictures of the scene of the accident before you move your car.
Once your car is out of the way, turn on your hazard lights, especially if the accident has occurred at night — this helps other cars see you.
After making sure that everyone is okay and you have moved your vehicles out of the roadway, you will need to contact the police and report the accident. Contacting the police will generate an accident report, which will be important for your insurance claim and attorney.
In most states, you are legally required to report any accident that involves bodily injury or property damage (damage to a vehicle).
Gather as much evidence as possible while you are still on the scene of the accident. An important way to document any injuries and property damage is by taking photographs and videos.
Take as many pictures and videos as you can from different angles. Having a wide variety of videos and pictures will be crucial in bolstering your insurance claim by showing the extent of vehicle damages, demonstrating how the crash happened, and showing injuries.
After you have gathered evidence and had medical attention, you will need to call your insurance company to report the accident. You will need your insurance policy number and contact information on hand when you call.
Be careful with what you say when you are talking to an insurance agent or insurance adjuster. Do not say anything that indicates you are the at-fault driver or that you were in any way responsible for the accident.
If the police have been called to the scene, they will thoroughly investigate the accident. They will be able to determine what happened based on skid marks, cameras in the surrounding areas, and witness statements.
In the next few days, they will put this information together into a police report. They will call you and let you know when the police report is available. This can be helpful when you file your insurance claim.
While you are still at the scene of the accident, you need to make sure that you get the contact information from the at-fault driver. Information you should write down includes:
Get the testimonies of any witnesses who were present for the accident. You will also need to get their contact information, as this information is important for your lawyer when developing your personal injury claim case.
You may have to give your account of the car crash more than once. Police officers will have you repeat it more than once in order to check the facts and make sure your statement is the truth as you know it.
It will also be important for your personal injury attorney to have your statement recorded while they prepare to file your claim.
It is possible to do all of this yourself and to file your personal injury claim with your insurance company on your own. However, you have a greater chance of successfully resolving your claim if you hire a car accident lawyer.
Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations and free case evaluations for car accident victims. During this consultation, you can explain what happened, and the evidence you have, and the attorney will let you know if you have a case to pursue.
Now that you know what you should do immediately following a car accident, the following things are what you should not do after a rear-end accident.
Under no circumstances should you admit fault for any portion of the rear-end accident. This means you should avoid confessing fault to the police or even apologizing to the other driver.
Bottom line: Admitting fault could make you financially responsible for the accident.
Injuries can continue to show up days and weeks after any accident. Getting medical attention after an accident is the only safe way to make sure you are not injured.
Bottom line: Adrenaline often hides injuries.
Your insurance company may be very insistent that you make a recorded statement. However, if you claim you do not have injuries during a recorded statement and later find out that you did sustain injuries in the accident, they can use your statement to avoid paying your claim.
Bottom line: If you do have to make a statement, tell your insurance agent that you are seeking medical attention in the next 24 hours to ensure that you are clear of any injuries.
If you attempt to file a car accident lawsuit on your own, you have a chance of losing your settlement due to not understanding car accident laws such as statutes of limitations. You could also fail to present clear and substantial evidence.
Bottom line: Car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers know the ins and outs of car accident lawsuits, and they know how to get the best possible settlement for you.
It is important not only for your insurance claim or lawsuit but also for your health that you do not miss your medical appointments.
Bottom line: Your insurance company or opposing counsel could claim you are not as injured as you claim if you skip appointments.
Answer: Car accident victims can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or your own — this depends on the state’s at-fault laws.
However, if you have injuries that exceed your insurance coverage, or if the at-fault party is uninsured, you can file a car accident lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit in order to seek damages.
There are several different kinds of damages, both financial and nonfinancial, that can be claimed in a rear-end accident claim. Damages can cover the cost of replacing and repairing your vehicle, medical bills, time missed from work, and other accident costs.
Some of the damages you can claim in a rear-end accident can include the following:
Settlements for rear-end accidents can change from case to case, but generally, the more serious your injuries and damages are, the higher your settlement will be.
Factors that can affect your settlement amount can include:
When you or your lawyer are preparing to file a rear-end accident claim, some laws will affect your claim.
States have differing fault laws regarding car accidents. In states that have at-fault insurance laws, car accident victims file their claims with the insurance company of the person found to be at fault for the accident.
In no-fault states, each party involved in the accident files their claims with their own insurance companies.
A personal injury statute of limitations refers to the amount of time car accident victims have to file a personal injury claim for a car accident. Failing to file your claim by this deadline means that your claim will automatically be dismissed.
In general, most states have set the personal injury statute of limitations at two years. However, some states have set different statutes of limitations. Maine, for instance, gives car accident victims six years to file a claim, while Tennessee only gives accident victims one year.
In the US, negligence laws will affect how much compensation you can receive for your damages. Each state has differing laws regarding negligence, but they fall into the following categories:
If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end car accident with someone who is uninsured and has not paid for your damages, you will need to file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can be very helpful and beneficial for your case for the following reasons:
If you need to find a law firm to handle your rear-end accident lawsuit, LegalFinders can connect you with a top-rated lawyer in your area.
If you or a loved one have been injured and have had your property damaged in a rear-end collision, you are probably feeling stressed and frustrated. The claims process can be tedious, but hiring a car accident attorney at the start can alleviate this stress.
If you are searching for a rear-end collision lawyer near you, LegalFinders can help.
We have an extensive network of law firms and attorneys covering many areas of practice, including personal injury law, insurance law, car accident lawyers, and more.
To schedule your free consultation with a rear-end collision lawyer, contact LegalFinders today.
The following are the most frequently asked questions of rear-end car accident victims.
The first thing to do is ensure your safety by checking for injuries and moving to a safe area out of traffic. Report the accident and file your insurance claim based on the laws in your state.
After a rear-end collision, the most common medical issues faced by car accident victims are whiplash and other soft tissue damage. Damage to your vehicle can include alignment issues, it can compromise the engine, suspension problems, and electrical problems.
One study has shown that rear-end accidents make up 29% of all car accidents in the United States. The study also shows that rear-end collisions are responsible for over 7% of car accident fatalities.
In most cases, the driver who was behind the car that was hit is usually considered to be responsible for the accident. The person who is found to be at fault is typically liable for paying for damages resulting from the accident.
However, each case can vary from the next, and fault is a complex consideration. If you need help determining who is at fault in the accident, LegalFinders can help.
This depends on the laws regarding car accidents in your state. Generally, the insurance company of the person who hit the car in front of them will be responsible for covering damages in a car accident. However, your insurance policy could also cover the damages.
North Carolina Department of Insurance. “After an Accident.” Retrieved from: After an Accident | NC DOI
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Analyses of Rear-End Crashes and Near-Crashes in the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study to Support Rear-Signalings Countermeasure Development.” Retrieved from: Analyses of Rear-End Crashes and Near-Crashes in the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study to Support Rear-Signaling Countermeasure Development | NHTSA
Universal Technical Institute. “Damage to Look For After a Rear-End Collision.” Retrieved from: Damage to Look For After a Rear-End Collision (uti.edu)
California.gov. “So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next?” Retrieved from: So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next? (ca.gov)