Rear-end automobile collisions occur with alarming regularity throughout Connecticut. In 2021, 33,852 rear-end collisions occurred, according to the Connecticut Crash Repository. At Carter Mario, our personal injury attorneys are dedicated advocates who will fight to get you the monetary compensation your injuries deserve.
In this guide, we outline the steps you should take if you’re ever in or have recently been involved in a rear-end collision.
9 Steps to Take After Being Rear-Ended
The time following a rear-end collision is critical. Whether you were rear-ended or rear-ended another vehicle, doing or saying the wrong thing following the crash may make it more difficult to assert a successful claim. Stated simply, an honest mistake can strengthen a defense an insurance company intends to assert.
The general steps you should take after getting rear-ended are:
- Check for injuries & seek immediate medical attention
- Move to a safe location
- Call the police
- Document the accident
- Exchange insurance information
- See a doctor
- Get a copy of the accident report
- Contact your insurance company
- Talk with a car accident attorney
1. Check for Injuries & Seek Immediate Medical Attention
A car accident is a startling event. Due to the resulting adrenaline, you may not be aware of your injuries. As such, you should check your body for physical injuries and seek prompt medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care center.
2. Move to a Safe Location
Many rear-end collisions involve stopped vehicles. To avoid further injury, move to a safe location such as the shoulder, sidewalk, or nearby parking lot. However, you should not move your vehicle as the positioning of the vehicles often plays a role in how insurance companies evaluate the issue of fault.
3. Call the Police
You should contact the police to report the collision however you should not say anything which could be interpreted as you admitting fault. By contacting the police, you increase the chances of a crash or incident report being prepared by the responding officer. A police report makes it more difficult for the other driver’s insurance company to dispute a collision occurred.
4. Document the Accident
Insurance companies frequently deny personal injury claims by arguing no collision occurred. This argument can be overcome by presenting extrinsic evidence. Evidence of a crash is often readily available immediately following the accident.
4.1 Take Photos of the Vehicles
Photographs are powerful evidence in car accident cases. Specifically, photographs can demonstrate the severity of the impact. In addition to proving a collision occurred, property damage photos also make it more difficult for insurance companies to argue victims suffered no injuries.
4.2 Check for Witnesses
Despite the seemingly straightforward nature of rear-end collisions, insurance companies disclaim fault for non-sensical reasons. As such, you should obtain the names and contact information of individuals who may have witnessed the crash. Testimony by an independent witness can prevent a denial and help strengthen your case.
4.3 Look for Key Details
In rear-end collisions, insurance carriers sometimes argue victims suddenly changed lanes or suddenly stopped. As such, it is important to note and capture key details surrounding the accident, such as traffic control devices including signs and lane markers, road and traffic conditions, weather, and lighting. Stated simply, taking photographs of the scene of the accident and key details can help you overcome possible defenses.
5. Exchange Insurance Information
Following a car accident, you should calmly and politely exchange insurance information with the other driver. Additionally, you should obtain the other driver’s name, address, contact information, and license plate number. Do not discuss the collision.
6. See a Doctor / Get Further Medical Treatment
Injuries are sometimes not immediately apparent, even if victims obtain emergency medical care. It is important to seek follow-up medical attention from your primary care provider or at an urgent care center. Many injuries take time to heal, which is why you may need additional treatment, such as physical therapy.
7. Get a Copy of the Accident Report
The main benefit of calling the police is the creation of an accident report which will contain the other driver’s name, address, and insurance information, along with the names and contact information of potential witnesses. Additionally, accident reports often have a narrative of how the collision occurred along with the driver the officer considers to be at fault. This independent conclusion is often persuasive evidence for insurance carriers.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company
Following a collision, you should contact your insurance company. Your policy may include MedPay coverage which can pay for your medical expenses. You may also have rental and property damage coverage for your vehicle.
9. Talk with a Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are unexpected events which severely disrupt the lives of injured victims. As a result of this stress, many victims make the mistake of not obtaining legal advice. A car accident lawyer helps ensure the facts of your collision, the severity of the impact, your injuries, medical treatment, financial losses, and pain and suffering are properly presented to a judge or jury via strong evidence such as testimony by your treating physicians in the event of a lawsuit.
The Connecticut car accident attorneys at Carter Mario offer free and confidential case evaluations.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Due to their nature, rear-end collisions are often avoidable. Sadly, human negligence is the root cause of rear-end collisions. Accordingly, rear-end crashes are usually caused by drivers who:
- Fail to pay full-time and attention to their surroundings
- Follow too closely
- Fail to brake or slow down
- Drive while using their cellular phones
Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
Victims of rear-end collisions suffer a variety of injuries. Common injuries include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Muscle strains
- Internal organ damage
The severity of these serious injuries often requires victims to seek extensive medical treatment, which usually leaves them deeply in debt.
Summary of What to Do After Getting Rear-Ended
Immediately following a rear-end collision, you should take steps to protect your safety and obtain medical treatment. You should also contact the police and take steps to collect evidence. Finally, it would be best if you did not speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
Talk with an Attorney at Carter Mario Law Firm, CT’s Firm for the Injured
At Carter Mario, our attorneys have been representing injured victims for over 30 years. We have earned numerous awards and also obtained over one billion dollars for our injured clients. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn how you can use our reputation to your benefit.
If you were in involved in a car accident, reach out to our car accident lawyers in Hartford, Milford, Bridgeport, New Britain, North Haven, Waterbury, Norwalk, Stamford, or anywhere else in Connecticut. Carter Mario Law Firm can help!