Did you know that rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents? They can happen in a split second for any number of reasons. Even the most careful drivers can be involved in accidents, and that is why it is so important that you know what to do when you get rear-ended.
In the United States, six million car accidents take place each year, and can you guess what type of car accident accounts for 40 percent of the six million annual wrecks? You guessed it: rear-end collisions. These jarring statistics come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you need a more detailed comparison of how often these accidents happen, it is noted that rear-end accidents happen every eight seconds in the United States. Injuries sustained from these types of collisions can vary in severity. Although both drivers could be hurt, the driver and passengers inside the car who gets rear-ended are more likely to sustain injuries. The most common types of injuries associated with these accidents are face and head injuries and neck and spinal cord injuries such as whiplash.
What To Do When You Get Rear-Ended
Let’s say that you were driving along the road, and out of nowhere, a pedestrian appears, and you are forced to slam on your brakes, but the driver behind you doesn’t brake in time; this is one example of how a rear-end collision could occur. There are several ways and causes, but before you figure out how it happened, it’s critical to go through the following steps immediately after an accident:
- Make sure everyone is okay – The first thing you will want to do is to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is okay before getting out of the car.
- Check for injuries – After you have made sure everyone is okay, check for any apparent injuries on yourself. If you hit your head at all, call the paramedics so they can make sure you are okay.
- Contact Police – Even if the accident seems somewhat minor, you should consider calling the police to report the incident. Having a police report filed at the scene might be able to help you if you need to file a claim using uninsured motorists.
- Document The Scene/ Take Photos- You are going to want to document the scene of the accident. The best way is by taking photos with your smartphone, but it’s essential to also take pics of the area the incident occurred in and a picture of the other car. It’s also necessary that you are able to describe what happened and what you were doing when the other car hit you from behind.
- Exchange Information with the other driver – Regardless of who is at fault, both drivers should remain calm and collected during this time so they can swap information comfortably. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number, vehicle information, and insurance info.
- Contact Your Insurance Company– Even if you are not at fault, both insurance companies should be contacted and notified of the incident – especially if you or the other person sustained any injuries. If you are in a no-fault state, you will only contact your insurance company. If you are not in a no-fault state, then you will need to provide your insurance company with information from the other driver.
- Go see a doctor – Even if you didn’t feel any pain or notice any injuries immediately after the accident, you should still seek medical attention before any pain or discomfort sets in. If a medical evaluation is not done immediately, the insurance company can potentially deny injury claims.
When to Contact A Lawyer
Knowing what to do when you get rear-ended isn’t something anyone wants to think about, but it’s critical to take the necessary steps for your safety and claim. Many people are reluctant to contact an attorney because they are not sure if a rear-end collision is “severe enough” to seek legal representation. However, if you have sustained any injuries at all, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney about your case. Having legal representation may also be necessary if the other driver denies involvement or denies fault.
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, the Hurt Get Help network can help you find the help that you need fast. We will pair you with a licensed attorney that’s experienced with handling these types of claims in your state. Submit a claim to get in contact with an attorney today!