Every year, approximately six million car accidents take place on US roads and highways. Of those, rear-end collisions are by far the most common. Given how frequently rear-end crashes occur, it is vital that drivers understand how to handle them.
If you are struck from behind by another vehicle, the following steps should help you ensure that everyone is safe and that you are properly compensated for your damages:
Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention as Needed
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, your first priority should be the health and wellbeing of everyone in your car as well as those in the other vehicle. If anyone needs immediate medical attention, take out your phone and call for an ambulance as quickly as possible.
If emergency medical care is not needed, everybody who was involved in the accident can stay on the scene. You can then take a trip to your family physician to address any minor cuts, scrapes, or other injuries once the on-site formalities have concluded.
Of course, when considering post-accident health concerns, it is important to remember that not all injuries will be immediately evident. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, can often take weeks or even months to present themselves. If you are in pain or are otherwise feeling sick a few weeks after your crash, you should seek additional medical attention at that time.
Report the Accident to the Police
Once the healthcare needs of everyone who was involved in the crash have been taken care of, you will next need to report the accident to the police. Doing so will ensure that an official record is made of the incident.
The process of reporting an accident to the police is usually fairly straightforward. Once you give them a call, they will dispatch an officer to your location. The length of time that it will take them to arrive on the scene will depend on how busy they are and how serious your crash was.
When the officer turns up, they will almost certainly ask you to provide a statement of events. They will also speak with the other driver and any other witnesses. Once they have gathered the information they need, they will compile it all into an official crash report.
Gather Evidence from the Scene of the Crash
When you are involved in a rear-end collision, the police should not be the only ones gathering evidence. If you plan to file a personal injury or personal property compensation claim against the other driver, you should be compiling your own body of proof. The evidence that you gather will be invaluable as you work through your lawsuit.
Visual evidence tends to be the most useful during a fight for compensation. As such, you should be sure to take plenty of pictures of your car, the other driver’s car, and the entire accident scene. You can also choose to create a video of the accident scene if you believe it may be helpful.
Hire an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer
With your evidence in hand, you are almost set to begin fighting for the compensation you deserve. Before you start your lawsuit, however, you will need to enlist the services of a skilled accident attorney.
Your attorney will be able to use their knowledge of the law and experience in the industry to guide you through your suit seamlessly and efficiently. They will also be able to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to land you the best possible settlement.
Donald Kudler is a personal injury attorney and trial lawyer based in Las Vegas. He has been advocated for the rights of injured victims since he became a lawyer in 1993 and as a partner of the personal injury law firm Cap & Kudler since 2004.