Rear-end accidents may be caused by a slippery, rainy road, or because one driver is distracted and hasn’t noticed the traffic coming to a stop. Nobody ever thinks they’ll be involved in a car accident, but it can happen to anyone.
They are the most common type of accident
These particular kinds of accidents can be difficult for all parties. The driver may have hit the breaks that second too late, and you—as the car in front of them—can see what’s about to happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of all car accidents are caused by rear-end crashes.
The aftermath of a rear-end accident can be incredibly emotional and complex. There are a huge number of injuries that can occur in this type of incident, with some leading to legal cases against those at fault.
The most common injuries include whiplash—which can come from the impact, quick movements, or seatbelt trapping. Those who aren’t so lucky to just experience whiplash can suffer facial disfigurement, wrist injuries, or worse. Back and head injuries, and spinal cord paralysis are also listed as the most common injuries caused by rear-end accidents.
What to do on the scene
As with any car accident—no matter how small—there are certain steps you need to take on the scene.
First, check for injuries on you and any passengers you’re responsible for. If these injuries need attention or seem severe, you need to report them.
After you know everyone is okay, it’s worth moving the car out of the stream of traffic to avoid causing obstruction and to keep you safe. Move the car to the side, turn it off, and place the hazards on. You should then wait for help on the sidewalk.
In terms of what information to collect, you need to make sure you take note of the registration number, insurance details, and contact information of the other driver. It’s also worth taking as many pictures at the scene as possible so that nobody can change their story later down the line.
While you’re collecting information, you should also report the accident to the police, who will then come to the scene to determine who is at fault.
Do you need a lawyer?
If you think you might have been injured in the accident, or there’s been significant damage to your car, you could speak to a personal injury lawyer to check out your options. Horst Shewmaker specializes in car accident injuries, so will be able to provide you with all the information you need. They provide free consultations so you can get legal advice with no strings attached and no upfront cost.
When investigating your case, your lawyer will be able to determine how much compensation you might be eligible for. To establish a price, they will likely need to speak to witnesses, your doctor, and any specialist you’ve needed to see. They’ll also need access to your medical fees. Lastly, if you’ve had to take any time off work to manage your injury, loss of earnings will also be considered.
Of course, one task to do as soon as you can is to speak to your insurance. If the incident wasn’t your fault, chances are, the other driver’s insurance will need to cover the cost of any damage. However, if it’s found that they’re less than 50% responsible for the crash, you will have to claim on your own insurance. Whether you claim or get the car fixed out of your own pocket is your decision, but it’s worth remembering that any claims will typically increase your insurance costs at renewal.