What to Do If You're Rear Ended by Another Car
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If you’re rear-ended, the first thing to do is pull over to a safe location and make sure no one is hurt.
Being in a car accident is a horrible experience, especially if you’re not at fault. And in the case of a rear-end car accident, there’s very little you can do to prevent the car accident. Fortunately, if you find yourself rear-ended by another vehicle, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you’re covered.
If you are hit from behind, chances are the other driver is at fault. So, it is important that you keep a clear head and get all of the information you need to file a car insurance claim.
For starters, it’s important to have a good insurance company that will look out for your best interests and try to get you back on the road as soon as possible. Read on to find out what you should do if you are involved in a rear-end collision and how to make sure that you and your vehicle are taken care of.
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I just got rear-ended. What should I do?
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), accounting for around 29 percent of car crashes. The types of auto accidents can cause serious injuries (including traumatic brain injury), lost wages, pain, physical therapy, and fatalities that result from them.
If you are involved in a rear-end accident, immediately take these steps to ensure that both you and your vehicle are taken care of:
- Get to a safe place: Before doing anything, pull over to a safe place, if possible. The worst thing that could happen is to get hit by another car by getting out of yours on a busy roadway. Pull into a nearby parking lot or as far over as you can on the shoulder of the road before exiting your vehicle.
- Contact the police: Next, one of the parties present should contact the police. If there are injuries, 911 should be called so that they can send an ambulance. Whatever you do, do not leave the scene of the accident if the police have been called. This is against the law.
- Gather information: While you wait for the police to arrive, take some photos of both vehicles and any debris that is on the ground, but only if it is safe to do so. You should also take photos of any damage inside of the cars involved, as well as the license plate of each vehicle.
- Get contact information: Also, make sure to get all of the other driver’s pertinent information, including their name, driver’s license number, and insurance provider. You should also get any contact information for any witnesses at the accident scene. Chances are the police will get this information for their report, but you should get it just to make sure that you have it for your car accident case with your insurance company.
- Contact your insurance company: Once you have gathered all of the information and dealt with anyone who is injured, you should contact your insurance company. Be ready, because they will have a lot of questions, including the time of day, the weather conditions, and where the accident occurred. Your insurer will also ask for the information you got from the other party.
How to file a car insurance claim for a rear-end crash
Many insurance companies will do all of the leg work for you, though the insurance for the person at fault will more than likely handle the claim.
Your insurance will probably only step in if the other party’s insurer is slow in responding or the other person does not have insurance.
If you have any questions, contact a representative at your insurance company.
What to do if there are injuries in a rear-end crash
One of the downsides of a rear-end crash is risk of injuries, including concussions, injuries to the soft tissue, broken bones, and even traumatic brain injuries.
If you or the other party in a rear-end collision show a visible injury or feel like they might have been injured, seek medical attention immediately.
You may also want to contact a law firm, car accident lawyer, or personal injury attorney, most of which will provide a free consultation and will have experience dealing with the most common injuries.
How to negotiate a rear-ended car accident settlement
In order to make sure that you receive fair compensation for a rear-end collision you were involved in, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This gets the car-repair process moving and ensures that you receive the compensation that you deserve, especially if you are injured.
It is also easier to recall details if you call your insurance company right after the accident.
The other party’s liability coverage should kick in if they are at fault. However, you should make sure to have uninsured motorist coverage to ensure you’re protected if the other party is driving without car insurance.
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I got rear-ended. How much money will I get?
There’s no set amount of money you will get. If the other driver is completely at fault, their insurance should pay for your necessary repairs and injuries. However, you may be partially at fault.
Let’s say your brake lights weren’t working and you didn’t know. You were negligent, so the court may decide you’re 25% at fault for the accident. If the necessary payout is $75,000, you’ll be responsible for 25% of that.
Should I file a claim if I got rear-ended?
Yes, you should absolutely call your insurance company and file a claim if you are rear-ended. Follow the steps listed in this article to make sure that you have all of the necessary information for your carrier.
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