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What Should I Do After a Rear-End Car Accident?

October 29, 2021

rear end accident

A rear-end accident can be a dangerous situation. If you are driving and struck from behind, your back and neck are vulnerable to damage. That is why virtually all vehicles have headrests that protect necks during rear-end collisions. The jarring blow from a rear-end collision is much worse when the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident.

Motor vehicle accidents can occur in many ways, but rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that about 29 percent of all traffic accidents are rear-end collisions. Although many rear-end collisions are minor, they can still cause significant injuries and even fatalities.

According to the NHTSA, rear-end collisions account for about 29 percent of all traffic fatalities. Even when it is not deadly, a rear-end collision still causes many people to get an ambulance ride to the emergency room.

A rear-end collision has many variables that could make determining fault complicated. For this reason, it is important to know what you should do after a rear-end collision. Listed below are steps to follow a rear-end accident.

Obtain Medical Treatment, Even if You Feel Okay

Neck and back injuries are among the most serious injuries you could suffer in a rear-end collision. Those injuries are not always apparent immediately following a jarring rear-end collision. When the injury does become apparent, an extreme amount of pain often continues until the injury is treated.

A combination of stress, adrenaline, and shock can mask all types of injuries when a car accident occurs. You might go home feeling sore but relatively fine and then wake up with extreme pain.

You need to see a doctor right away to affirm you do not have hidden serious injuries. A medical professional can assess your health and give you a medical record. By going to a doctor, you will also have medical bills, which shows that the injury was caused by the accident. If you skip getting medical treatment right away, you might have issues if you wish to pursue damages.

An insurer or opposing legal team could argue that not seeking medical treatment right away is proof that the accident did not cause your injuries. A lag in treatment also could show the pain was not severe and the extent of injuries are relatively minor. Instead of taking chances with your health, as well as a potential legal claim, you need to get medical treatment right away, even if you feel okay after the accident.

Document the Accident, and Get Contact Information from Witnesses

A rear-end collision usually leads to obvious property damage. The vehicles also could be positioned as they were during the time of impact. A few photographs from a cellphone could help show the accident scene and damages.

If there are any witnesses and they are willing to support your claim, you should obtain their contact information at the accident scene. If you are injured and need to go to the hospital, that might be impossible to do. However, passengers could help your claim and provide witness statements that support your version of events.

Your vehicle could become a useful tool for proving your claim. Most modern vehicles have onboard computers that record driver inputs. You might even have an insurance app that tracks your driving so that you can earn safe-driver discounts. That kind of information could help show how fast you were traveling and in which direction when your car was hit. If you were stopped at a red light when your vehicle was struck, onboard information might help prove your case.

Record Poor Weather Conditions

A rear-end collision is more likely to occur in poor weather conditions. You might be stopped while awaiting a traffic signal or possibly traveling at a relatively safe speed when an offending driver slams into your car from behind. Weather conditions do not excuse poor driving behaviors. In inclement weather, every driver needs to be more careful.

All drivers have a duty of care to adjust their travel speed to match road conditions. If the road is wet, snowy, or icy, a motorist traveling at a high speed might lose control while trying to stop and wind up hitting your car. Fog could make it impossible to see your taillights or brake lights until it is too late.

If a motorist is driving too fast and causes a car accident, they are likely at fault, even in poor weather conditions. Recording the weather and road conditions could help prove that the offending motorist drove irresponsibly and caused your accident.

Speak to a Lawyer About Your Options

You should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible following any accident that results in significant property damage or injuries. The sooner you obtain legal representation, the sooner you can refer insurance adjusters and the opposing legal team.

You still need to undergo a deposition that gives you the chance to give your side of the story while responding to questions from your insurer, as well as the other driver’s insurer or lawyer. Your lawyer can arrange any depositions while also deposing the other driver. Your lawyer provides an effective buffer between you and opposing insurers and legal representatives.

Your lawyer can also help guide you on responding to questions and avoiding any traps by the opposing insurer or lawyer. They might try to get you to say something that hurts your claim. Your lawyer can also help defend any false claims made by the other driver.

There are many possible causes of rear-end accidents, and it may be difficult to determine who is exactly at fault. Broken or faulty taillights or headlights might be involved. The other driver could have been drunk or extremely fatigued at the time of impact. An aggressive driver could have tailgated your car and slammed into your vehicle. No matter the cause, a lawyer can help you determine the liable party. For this reason, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after any type of car accident, especially since the statute of limitations is working against you.

Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Those Who Have Experienced Severe Rear-End Collisions

If you have been injured in a rear-end car accident, you should get legal assistance. One of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers can help you build the best possible case. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we help personal injury clients pursue legal cases against negligent parties. You can contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

Areas We Serve

Our law firm proudly serves clients injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina on personal injury claims, including cases with traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injury, wrongful death, and more serious injuries. As Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys with many years experience, our team of lawyers will be ready to fight for you. If you were injured on the job, our Virginia Beach Workers Compensation lawyers are ready to serve you.

Call 757-352-2237 or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation about your personal injury, workers compensation, or other attorney services. Our firm adopts a team approach to every case, so while one primary lawyer will be assigned to your case, you have the benefit of an experienced team of lawyers, all working on your side. We are located in Virginia Beach, VA, and serve clients who were injured anywhere in Virginia or North Carolina.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-994-8910