Every year, about six million car crashes occur throughout the US. If you’re ever in a rear-end collision, it’s important to proceed with caution. The steps you follow after the crash can impact your ability to file a lawsuit.
Winning your personal injury claim could help you receive the compensation you need to cover your losses.
Not sure how to react after getting rear-ended while stopped? Read on to discover the steps you need to take after a crash. Prepare yourself and start building your case with these tips today.
Move to Safety
First, try to take a deep, soothing breath. You might feel a little disoriented or emotional. That’s normal.
Try to remain calm as you remember what to do after a rear-end crash.
If your car is safe to drive, move to a safe place near the site of the rear-end collision. Don’t leave the scene of the crash. Otherwise, you could get charged with a hit and run after the fact.
Moving out of the way of incoming traffic can help you avoid another collision.
If your tires were damaged or there’s liquid leaking from your car, move away as soon as possible. Otherwise, wait for the police to arrive if you’re not sure if your vehicle is safe to drive. The police who arrive will let you know if it’s safe to operate.
File a Police Report
Make sure to call the police immediately after the collision.
In some states, you’re legally obligated to file an official police report. Your rear-end collision lawyer can also use the report to build your case.
When the police arrive, don’t make the mistake of embellishing or exaggerating your injuries. Instead, stick to the facts. Let them know exactly what happens before and after the crash.
The police will keep a record of personal injuries, property damages, and traffic citations. In some cases, the citation could indicate who was at fault for the crash. Proving the other driver was at fault can strengthen your rear-end accident claim.
Before leaving the scene of the crash, ask the police officers for their names and badge numbers. Ask if they can provide a copy of the police report as well.
Avoid Small Talk
As you wait for the police to arrive, consider speaking with the other driver.
First, make sure they’re okay. If anyone involved in the crash was injured, call for medical assistance right away.
Try to avoid small talk while you wait for the police to arrive. Instead, gather the details you’ll need to file your insurance claim. For example, you should ask all other parties for their:
- Driver’s license information
- Address, email, and phone number
- Insurance information
- Car make, model, and year
- Car license plate number
Keep these records in a safe place after the crash.
Don’t participate in small talk. Anything you say or do can impact your lawsuit.
Avoid assigning blame or talking out of anger, too. Don’t apologize for the accident, either. In some cases, an apology is viewed as an admission of guilt.
Once you’re done gathering the driver’s information, remain near your car.
Don’t leave the scene of the crash without gathering evidence first. Your rear-end collision lawyer can use the evidence you gather to build your case.
First, take photo and video footage of all vehicles involved in the crash. Make sure to get imagery of your bumper to show you were rear-ended.
Gather footage of the area where the crash occurred, too. Take note of street signs and landmarks nearby. Otherwise, study the road.
Do you notice any road conditions that might have contributed to the crash?
It’s normal to forget specific details weeks or even days after the crash. To avoid forgetting anything, keep a record on your phone. Walk yourself through what happened to avoid forgetting details that might benefit your case.
Make sure to gather evidence after you leave the scene of the crash, too. For example, you should keep a record of:
- Invoices and estimates related to your vehicle
- Day-to-day symptoms you experienced (pain, sleep issues, etc.)
- Receipts for all expenses related to the accident (household services, travel expenses, etc.)
- Pay stubs to show how much you didn’t make due to missed work
- Bills and reports related to medical care
Your rear-end collision lawyer will use this evidence to cover your losses. They’ll also consider non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Visit a Doctor
About three million people sustain injuries after car crashes in the US every year. The average claim is for $15,785 in bodily injury expenses. Regardless of whether or not you think you sustained a rear-end collision injury, visit a doctor.
Only a medical professional can assess your health after a crash. Their official report could help benefit your case.
Make note of any treatments, surgeries, or medications you might need. Keep track of any specialists you need to visit, too. For example, you might need to visit a pain specialist or chiropractor.
Neglecting to keep track of these expenses might impact your ability to fight for the full amount of compensation you’re due.
File the Insurance Claim
Make sure to call your insurance company immediately after the accident. They’ll walk you through how to file your insurance claim. The evidence you gathered at the scene of the crash can strengthen your claim as well.
Call a Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Don’t hesitate to find a rear-end collision lawyer who can take your case.
First, look for a personal injury lawyer who specializes in rear-end auto accident cases. Consider how long they’ve worked in the industry. Then, ask how many rear-end collision cases they’ve handled.
Find an experienced lawyer who has a proven track record you can trust.
Make Your Case: Follow These Steps After a Rear-End Collision
Don’t pay out of pocket after a rear-end collision. Instead, follow these steps after getting rear-ended while stopped. Following these steps will help you gather the evidence you need to file a claim.
With help from an experienced lawyer, you can receive the compensation you need to cover your losses.
Want to discuss your cases with a member of our team? We’re here to help.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.