Sustaining injuries as a result of a car accident that’s not your fault is never a fun or favorable experience to go through. Rear-end collisions can be particularly jarring because victims of these types of crashes don’t often see them coming.
If you’re hurt in a rear-end collision, it’s important you know how to properly handle the situation so that your injuries are taken care of and you don’t go bankrupt as a result. Read on to learn what you need to know.
WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER A REAR-END COLLISION
The immediate steps to take after a rear-end collision are the same as they are for any other type of collision. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Stop and assess the situation.
It’s important to stop and assess the situation after a collision occurs, even if it’s a minor fender-bender with minimal damage. Leaving the scene of an accident prematurely can lead to more serious consequences later.
Step 2: Keep the accident scene as safe and secure as possible.
Do what you can to prevent further accidents from occurring as a result of your collision. Set up flares if you have them and turn your hazard lights on to warn others of the danger.
Step 3: Call 9-1-1.
Alerting the authorities of your accident is a critical step in the process. Skipping this step can be very harmful later on.
Ask the police to come and make an accident report. Having this documentation will be critical to your claim later because it is a vital piece of evidence that will be considered regarding who will be held liable for the crash.
In a rear-end collision, the driver in the rear is typically held at least partially responsible for the crash.
If another driver hits you from behind and you’re injured as a result, having a police report that states you couldn’t have done anything to prevent the accident will be very helpful to your claim.
Step 4: To the best of your memory, provide the details of the crash to the police.
Do your best to provide the most accurate information possible when providing your side of the story to the authorities for the police report. If there are certain elements of the crash you don’t know or can’t remember, tell that to the police rather than speculating on or making assumptions about any details.
The police may ask if you are hurt. If this is the case, and you are unsure whether you’ve sustained any injuries, be honest about that instead of telling the authorities you are uninjured.
Keep in mind some injuries may take time to develop, which means you may not notice any symptoms for hours, days, or even a week after a crash.
Step 5: Take photos of the scene.
Take photos of any visible property damage as well as any visible physical injuries you have sustained. If there are skid marks on the road or any other factors at the scene that are relevant to the crash, be sure to document them as well.
Step 6: Exchange documents with the other driver(s) involved in the crash.
While the responding officers should ask all parties involved in the crash for the relevant personal information, you may also want to obtain it for yourself as well. Be sure to take note of the following information for all drivers and passengers involved in the accident:
- Phone number
In addition, be sure to retrieve the auto insurance information from the driver(s) involved. If any witnesses were present when the crash occurred, ask them for their contact information as well.
You’ll need to ask the responding officer for the police report so you can obtain it when it becomes available.
Step 7: Seek medical care as soon as possible.
If you believe there is a chance you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision, it’s in your best interest to seek medical care as soon as you can after the crash. Having this medical documentation will be very valuable to your claim later because it helps prove the extent of your injuries and damages.
Step 8: Keep your documents organized and in one place.
Having all the documentation related to your accident organized and in one place is one of the most important things you can do to help your claim come to a resolution as quickly as possible.
Step 9: Reach out to a skilled car accident attorney.
Sustaining injuries in a rear-end collision can become rather costly relatively quickly. Having an attorney on your side to help you through the process can not only ease the burden of recovering compensation but can also help free up your time to focus on recovery.
Step 10: With the help of your attorney, contact the insurance company.
Your policy may require that you contact your insurance company after the crash and let them know what happened. If this is the case, be sure to do so with your attorney present so you can avoid saying anything to negatively impact your claim.
IF YOU’VE BEEN REAR-ENDED, WE’RE HERE TO HELP
It is unacceptable to sustain injuries in a rear-end collision or any other type of crash as a result of another’s negligence. If this has happened to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office right away with any questions you may have about how we can help with your case.