Four Steps to Take If Involved in a Rear-End Collision

What should you do when you’re slowing down to make a turn or sitting at a traffic light and you get hit from the rear by another driver?  In this age of cell phones and text messaging it has never been more common. Whether you are the driver or a passenger, you may have grounds for legal action against the driver that struck you.

In this Low-Cost Legal guide, we will discuss the steps you should take if your involved in a rear-end collision so you can protect your legal rights.

Determine whether you or others in the vehicle are injured

If you or anyone is injured in an accident, call 911 and seek emergency medical help immediately. If no one is injured, ask 911 to just send the police. Do not leave the scene until police arrive. A police officer on the scene will be able to assess the situation much more effectively than the one you speak to later.

Exchange information with the other driver

Ask to see his or her driver’s license and take down the information straight from it. Maybe a cell phone picture would be a good option so that you are sure you get all the information correct. Also get a copy of the insurance card. Look at the back of the license, because a change of address to a new location is often listed there on a sticker. Don’t let the other driver simply recite information to you. You’ll have no way of knowing whether or not it is truthful. Take a picture or write down the other driver’s license plate number also.

During this step, also note how many other people were in the driver’s car, if any, what their general ages were and any other information that might be useful to know. Was the car full of teenagers?  Was the radio on very loud?  Did you see alcohol containers or smell it on anyone?

If the driver says anything to you, write it down as soon as it is convenient. At that moment, drivers are often more truthful than they mean to be. They may tell you they were on the phone, sending or reading a text message, talking to the person next to them, looking to the side of the road for a street address or doing something else that shows they were acting with negligence.

If you were a passenger in a car involved in a rear-end collision, all this information might be just as important to you, especially if you were injured in the accident. Keep notes and use your phone to text yourself and take pictures. Maybe you can even voice record some conversations for later use if it is legal to do so.

Contact your insurance company

Unless the damage is very minor, you may want to file an insurance claim. This will allow you to have your car repaired. If you or others in your car were hurt, medical bills not paid by health insurance might also be covered by car insurance.

See a doctor about any injuries you sustained

This is important if you were the driver or a passenger. Make sure your injuries are documented in your medical records.

These are the 4 steps to take if involved in a rear-end collision. If your car has been damaged, or if you have injuries resulting in loss of wages, medical bills or ongoing pain and suffering, you may have the basis for an accident injury lawsuit.

Discuss your case with personal injury lawyers, that typically offer free consultations. Many of them provide low-cost legal help also. They might also take your case on contingency, so you won’t have to pay them unless you receive a settlement or judgment. Most attorneys are willing to provide low-cost legal help for clients who are involved in a car accident.