What Should I Do if I'm Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident?

What Should I Do if I'm Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident?

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What Should I Do if I'm Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident?

Being involved in a car accident is a frustrating and scary experience. In some cases, it can be incredibly traumatic. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident where you suffered injuries, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While lawsuits and lawyers may not be the first thing on your mind after a rear end accident, it’s important to start thinking about it as soon as you feel healthy and well enough to do so. If you have to miss work or you have significant medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. 

If you’re looking for an attorney, Morgan & Morgan is always here to help. As America’s largest personal injury firm, we can help you with your accident no matter where you’re located. We have attorneys all across the United States, so we can match you with a qualified and dedicated personal injury attorney right away. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, you’re choosing a firm that cares as much about your case as you do. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Rear-End Car Accident - FAQs

  • What to Do When Involved in a Rear-End Car Accident

    Car accidents are annoying at best and devastating at worst. If you’ve been involved in a rear end accident, it’s important that you know what your next steps should be. The following are some actions you should take immediately following a car accident:

    1. Call the police

    If you were involved in a car accident, you should contact the police right away. It’s important to file a report so that there’s a record of everything that occurred. The police will examine the scene of the accident and they will find out who was involved. They will look at all of the vehicles and determine as best as they can how damaged the cars are, and then they will file an official police report. This is important and can help you collect any compensation you are entitled to, whether it’s from an insurance company or by suing the defendant in court. The more documentation and the more proof you have, the better. 

    2. Make sure you’re safe

    It’s crucial to make sure you’re safe. If you had an accident on a busy road, make sure you get onto the shoulder or somewhere else safe where there’s no chance you could accidentally be hit by a car. Leave your vehicle where it is so the police can see exactly what happened and so you can take photos of the scene in a way that is as accurate as possible. 

    3. Gather information

    If you’re healthy enough to do so, you should gather information from anyone else involved in the accident. This means getting their names, contact information, insurance information, and any documentation that you think might be important. Additionally, you should try to get names and contact information from witnesses as well. If there were people who saw the accident, they may be helpful in the future should you decide to file a lawsuit.

    4. Take photos and make notes

    Take photos of the scene of the accident so the exact situation is documented. You should also take photos of your car and any damages that occurred, and photos of any other cars involved in the accident. It’s also important to take photos of any visible injuries you have. Your injuries and medical records will be very important in the event that you decide to file a lawsuit in the future.

    It’s also important to take notes about everything that took place so you can have this information available in the future. Notating all this information while it’s fresh in your mind right after the accident is helpful because memories fade quickly and can change over time. It could be months or years before your case goes to trial, and if you’re relying solely on your memory, not remembering something important could hurt your case. Take as many notes as possible so that you have something to review should you decide to file a lawsuit. 

    5. Don’t speak to anyone/don’t admit fault

    After a rear end accident, many people are tempted to speak to the other parties or witnesses about what happened. It’s important to remember that if you file a lawsuit in the future, anything you do or say to the other party or witnesses can be used against you once your lawyer enters into negotiations or the case goes to trial. Even if you think it was partially your fault, keep it to yourself. 

    6. Seek medical attention 

    Anytime you’re injured, you should seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you have any visible injuries, it’s important to have a medical professional examine you. Car accidents often result in internal injuries that can’t be seen, and the only way to know for sure that you aren’t seriously injured is to have certain tests and scans performed. 

    7. Contact a lawyer

    Contacting a lawyer is one of the most important steps you can take. Many people are inclined to try to handle the situation on their own, but this usually doesn’t work out in their favor. Before contacting your insurance company or the insurance company of the other party, you should seek legal representation so that they can handle these conversations. Insurance companies typically try to offer low settlements in order to resolve the case quickly and inexpensively, but this could mean you are leaving a lot of money on the table. With legal representation, it’s much less likely that the insurance company will try to take advantage of you after a rear end accident. 

  • What should I do if the accident was at least partially my fault?

     If you believe the accident was partially your fault, you should do nothing and say nothing. If you decide to file a lawsuit, this is information for the judge or jury to decide. Anything you say will likely be used against you at trial, so it’s best to say nothing at all. In some states, you can’t recover any compensation if you are deemed to be even one percent at fault. Other states allow you to collect compensation as long as you are less than 50 percent at fault. Then there are other places where you can recover compensation even if you’re 90 percent at fault, but your award will be decreased based on the percentage you are deemed to be at fault. For example, you are awarded $100,000. It’s determined that you are 90 percent at fault for the rear end accident. You will still be able to take home $10,000. With all these confusing liability issues, you need an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.

  • In a rear end accident, is it always the fault of the person who hit me?

     Typically, it’s presumed that the car who rear ends someone is at fault. However, this isn’t always the case. If the front car is driving erratically or the driver is distracted, texting, or drunk and stops too suddenly, it’s possible that the driver who is rear ended could be considered at fault. These rules are also state-specific, so it may vary depending on where you’re located.

  • Do I have to file my rear end accident claim within a certain timeframe?

    Yes. The statute of limitations is the deadline by which you need to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file the claim by that deadline, you will be barred from filing it or the defense will move for a motion to dismiss and the case will be thrown out. This means you will miss out on any compensation that you otherwise would’ve been legally entitled to. The deadline to file your case varies from state to state, so it’s important to consult with a lawyer so they can advise you on the time limit. It usually ranges from one to four years as a general rule. This might sound like a long time, but the sooner you consult a lawyer and get your case initiated, the better. It gives your lawyer more time to investigate, and it hopefully allows you to recover compensation sooner. 

  • What are the most common causes of car accidents?

    Car accidents happen all the time, all over the world. Some of the most common reasons accidents happen are due to human error. When people text and drive, speed, or drive under the influence, it’s inevitable that an accident will occur. Bad weather and poorly marked roads also play a part in many car accidents. 

  • Contact Morgan & Morgan if You Were Involved in a Rear End Accident

    If you or a loved one is involved in a rear end accident, you should consider hiring an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, you can be certain that we will do our best to get you a successful outcome. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we never get paid unless you get paid. Since you never have to come up with any money up front, we’re able to offer quality legal representation to anyone who might otherwise not be able to afford an attorney. We have been handling car accident cases for decades, and over the course of our careers, we have recovered more than $20 billion dollars for our clients. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation. 

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