Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in the United States, with close to two million occurring every year. Rear-end collisions can be caused by a variety of different factors, from tailgating or inclement weather to distracted or impaired driving. These accidents can be the fault of the front or the back driver, and they frequently cause injuries to either or both parties. Read on to learn what you should do in the event that your vehicle is rear-ended by another driver.
Remain at the Scene
Whenever you get into any type of car accident, the first thing you should do is turn on your hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road if possible. Both you and the driver who rear-ended you should make sure your cars are safely out of traffic’s way. Stay at the scene of the collision; if either of you drive away, that could be a violation of hit-and-run laws in some states even if no one got hurt in the accident. Check if anyone, either driver or passenger, was injured in the collision, and call 911 if someone is seriously injured.
Call the Police
As with any car accident, you should call the police from the scene. The police will facilitate the exchange of insurance information between you and the driver who rear-ended you, as well as file a report with all the details about the collision. They will speak to both of you to go over what happened to cause the accident, ask about injuries either of you may have sustained, assess both vehicles for damage, and try to determine who was at fault for the accident.
Taking photos is an important step after being involved in any type of collision. Luckily, the pervasiveness of smartphones makes it quick and easy to take high-quality photos, no matter where you are when you get rear-ended. You should take photos of the accident scene and any damages to your vehicle, as well as photos of your own injuries. These photos will act as evidence to help you get proper compensation for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle when you file an insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After you have spoken with the police, exchanged insurance information with the driver who hit you, taken all the necessary photos, and gotten medical attention if needed, it is time to begin the insurance claim process. Your insurance agent will walk you through the claim process and explain what documentation you will need, including the other driver’s contact information, the photos you took at the accident scene, and a copy of the police report.
In rear-end collisions, the insurance company of the driver who hit you will typically pay for any damages to your vehicle. However, you should always contact your own insurance company as well, especially if you were injured in the accident or if the other driver does not have liability insurance. In the event that the driver who hit you is uninsured, your own policy might include uninsured motorist coverage that could help cover your accident-related expenses.
Call an Attorney
There are many instances when you might want to contact a car accident lawyer after being rear-ended. If you were seriously injured during the collision, if you are having difficulty filing your insurance claim or communicating with the insurance company, or if the accident occurred in a work or school zone, working with an attorney is extremely helpful.
A car accident attorney can handle the insurance claim process for you and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle, while you focus on recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of the collision.