Car accidents can happen at any time and occur in several ways. The scenarios can range from minor to severe collisions, and these collisions can happen when you least expect them.
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. In fact, they account for almost a third of all car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Being rear-ended can be very stressful. Knowing where to begin and what to expect after the accident can be challenging. If you’ve been rear-ended, you may not know what to do next. In the guide below, learn what to do if you’re in a rear-end collision.
Following a rear-end collision, you may experience various emotions, including shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, and anger. These emotions are all normal to feel after an accident. But, you will be better prepared to handle the situation if you remain calm. To relax, try taking a few deep breaths or counting to ten.
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Check for Injuries and Receive Medical Attention
Take a moment to ensure you are not injured. Whenever you experience injury symptoms following a car accident, seek medical attention. Remember that not all injuries are visible. Car accident injury symptoms can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
Be sure to receive medical attention immediately and listen to your doctor. Failing to do either of these can affect not only your health but also your insurance claim. Your insurance company may claim that your failure to seek treatment or listen to your doctor shows that you are exaggerating your injuries. In this case, an attorney may be able to help.
File a Police Report
Even if the accident seems minor, you should still file a police report. Reporting the collision with the police may be able to help you file a claim as well as save you money and time.
You can file a police report using the DOAS MVA Self-Report Form. It must be filed no later than 48 hours after the accident.
Exchange Information With the Driver Involved With the Accident
Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the read-end accident. This includes the driver’s:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- License plate number
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Do Not Admit Fault
Even if the accident was not your fault, it might feel natural to apologize to the other driver after being rear-ended. But it would be best if you never admit responsibility or say anything that sounds like an admission. It may be more challenging to file a claim and recover compensation.
You should also be careful what you share with family and friends as well as on social media. What you share could be misconstrued to be used against you. Courts and insurance companies can use that information to dismiss your claim.
Document the Scene
If the accident is minor and you don’t require immediate medical attention, try to take photos and write down details about the collision. Detailed notes and photos of the scene could aid a claim. Document the vehicle and take pictures of the collision. Make sure to also document the date, time, and weather and talk to witnesses.
Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as you are able, contact your insurance company to report the rear-end collision. Your insurance company will also provide you with instructions on what documentation you must submit. This means giving your insurance company all the evidence you gathered and filling out insurance claim forms. Make copies of all evidence and documents you fill out for your records.
Dealing with claims for car insurance companies can be complex. Your insurance company may require a recorded statement of the accident or the accident report to determine who is at fault. You may want to contact an attorney in this case.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
After a car accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can be beneficial in analyzing and navigating insurance claims and injury settlements.
A lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit and can walk you through the laws and regulations that apply to your case. They can also prepare your case for trial, if need be, and level the playing field against insurance companies.
But remember that you have two years after the date of the rear-end collision to file a claim in Georgia, according to GA Code § 9-3-33 (2020).
Get a Free Rear-End Collision Consultation Today
Were you in a rear-end car accident? The Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help. We take pride in our ability to fight for maximum compensation for our clients. We may be able to do the same for you.
Contact us for a free consultation today.