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What to do After Getting Rear-Ended

Posted on September 25, 2014

What Should You Do When You’ve Been Rear-ended

Rear end collisions are the most common kind of car accident, numbering about 2.5 million in the U.S. annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) reports that 29.6 percent of all car collisions are rear-impact crashes.

If you’ve been rear-ended, it is generally not your fault. If the car that hit you hadn’t been tailgating, chances are the accident never would have happened, so proving liability is not too difficult. The presumption is generally that that the driver of any car that hits the rear of another vehicle is at fault.

Injuries from a Rear-end Accident

Although it does happen occasionally, a rear impact collision is the least likely accident type to cause fatalities. They do, however, frequently cause serious and painful injuries, although insurance companies like to contend otherwise. For example, a rear-end accident can cause a herniated disc, an extremely painful injury often requiring neck or back surgery to fuse the vertebrae where the herniation occurred. Painful sprains and strains of the neck and back are also common.

Steps to Take Following a Rear-End Crash

Because you can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make light of any injuries incurred in a rear-end collision injuries and offer little to compensate you for your losses, it is really necessary to have an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you. You’re going to need someone with superior negotiating skills and an understanding of the serious and often permanent injuries that a rear-end collision can cause, along with the legal knowledge and resources to prove to the insurance company or a jury the full extent of the damages you’ve suffered. A top choice in Birmingham is the Drake Law, a dedicated personal injury firm with extensive and focused experience in pursuing all types of car accident claims.

Steps to Take

  1. Call the police; you should always file an accident report.
  2. Get the plate and registration number of the car that hit you, along with the license number, address, and contact information for the driver.
  3. Do not discuss who caused the accident.
  4. Do not apologize. (For some people, this is a knee-jerk reaction.) To do so might be construes at admitting fault. If you were hit in the rear, you were probably not at fault.
  5. Get contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
  6. Use your cell phone to take photos of both cars, showing the point of impact and damage to the vehicles. Include street signs or geographical markers to identify where the crash happened.
  7. If you are in pain, have the police call an ambulance; if not, get yourself to an ER or to your own doctor and get checked over. Tell the doctor you were just in a car accident. Be aware that the types of injuries caused by a rear end accident may not be immediately apparent and may worsen over the next few days, so be prepared for follow-up visits.
  8. Call a well respected Birmingham dedicated personal injury law firm, such as Drake Law, and make an appointment for a consultation.
  9. Do not give the claims adjuster a recorded statement or sign anything—i.e. medical authorization, release, etc. You could harm your case inadvertently. Give the adjuster the name of your attorney. It is important to establish a relationship with a top attorney as soon after the accident as possible.

If you follow these steps and can demonstrate through medical records, employment records, receipts, and other evidence that you have been injured and have suffered real damages, you may have a good case to recover compensation for all of your damages, and your attorney at the Drake Firm will fight to ensure that you get everything you deserve. If necessary, we will call upon medical experts to testify as to the severity of your injuries and your prognosis.

Your consultation is entirely free, and if you choose to hire the Drake firm to represent you, you will sign a contingency retainer, which means you will only pay if we win money for you.

Contact our Birmingham personal injury lawyers today.