Rear-end collisions are among the most common and clear-cut types of automobile accidents. If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you'll need to remember a few key points:
1. Make sure all parties involved are safe. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and if it is possible setup flares or reflectors. If you or another person needs medical attention, call for an ambulance.
2. Immediately call the police. The police are necessary to validate an injury claim. They are able to provide legal documentation that is required by all insurance companies to move forward with a claim. Police can also be helpful in keeping communication peaceful and under control.
3. Take photographs of both vehicles and the accident scene.
4. If there are any, get the witness's name and contact information. Witnesses often stop to render assistance. You should always get their name and contact information. Witnesses can often be the deciding factor in determining responsibility for the accident.
5. Call your insurance company.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may have symptoms immediately after the accident. However, it is not uncommon for a person in a car accident to feel fine immediately afterward, only to start experiencing symptoms the following day. If you feel pain after being involved in a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Do not miss your medical appointments as the insurer will assume that your injury is not severe or that you are healed, and will adjust the value of your case accordingly.
Insurance companies often ask that an injured person give a tape-recorded statement describing the accident and your injuries. As a general rule, you should never give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the driver who was at-fault. It will only be used against you. Insurance companies use recorded statements for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of money they pay you.
Most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. Once you have finished treating for your injuries, your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company and the insurance company will respond. Often times it takes the insurance adjuster a month or two to respond. Rear-end collision cases are generally easier to settle than other types of car accidents because liability usually is not an issue in a rear-end collision case.
Rear-end collisions often require professional intervention in order to fully resolve certain damage issues. Contact one of the highly experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure if you have any legal questions or disputes regarding the value of rear-end collision cases. Our attorneys can help examine your case to determine the appropriate damage award. In addition, the attorneys in our litigation department will be able to represent you and help you navigate any trial proceeding.