Rear End Car Accident – What Should I Do?

A rear end car accident is a common occurrence.  Rear end car accidents often occur at a red lights, stop signs, or when traffic slows.

Generally, the operator of the vehicle that hit you in the rear will be at fault for causing the crash. There are, however, exceptions to that general rule and there are always two sides to a story. Dealing with the aftermath of being struck in the rear can be very overwhelming. Below, is information everyone should know in the event they are involved in a rear end car accident.

The First Steps After a Rear End Car Accident

If the accident is not your fault, taking certain steps can help document the crash,

Right After the Rear End Car Accident

Getting immediate medical assistance should be your priority. Checking on others in your car and the other vehicles involved in the crash is also a good idea. Please note that if someone is injured, do not move the injured person unless you have no alternative to keep them safe.

Necessary Information to Get at the Scene of a Rear End Car Accident

If the driver who struck you in the rear is definitely at fault for the accident, you will want to make sure you get information from them regarding their insurance coverage and driver’s license. Many people assume that because it’s the other person’s fault, they will handle contacting their insurance company and be honest about the situation. Getting the information upfront can save many headaches later on in dealing with a claim.

The following is the minimum information you should get at the scene if you are able:

  • A photograph of the insurance card for the other driver
  • A photo of the other driver’s license
  • The telephone number of the other driver
  • The name and phone number of any witness to the collision
  • Photographs of the vehicles resting position and damage

Call the Police after a Rear End Car Accident

Contacting the police to document the crash can save hours of time dealing with an adverse insurance company.  Handling accidents without a crash report are often more challenging to settle reasonably than those documenting the crash and showing fault. Individual portions of the police report will be admissible in a court of law, and other parts may not be.

At the Hospital

If you are transported by ambulance to the hospital or if you otherwise go to the hospital after the accident, you should communicate every area of injury even though some areas may be worse than others. Often, we focus on where the pain is the worst, and it masks pain in other parts of our body. Sometimes, areas that don’t hurt on the day of the crash turned out to be chronic injuries.

People should understand that hospital emergency rooms are for treating emergencies. If your injury is not life-threatening or require immediate surgery, you will most likely be discharged with instructions to follow up with another doctor. Being released from the hospital does not mean you are okay.

If you don’t go to the hospital but have pain that does not go away in a day or two, you should seek medical treatment. Toughing it out is something that we frequently see from car accident victims and it not only hurts their recovery, but it damages their injury claim.

The longer you wait for the necessary treatment, the more defense you are giving to the insurance company for the other driver.

Following your Physicians Orders

You should always follow your doctor’s orders. Following your doctor’s advice not only protects your health but it defends your potential claim.

Dealing with the Property Damage after a Rear End Car Accident

Dealing with an adverse insurance company regarding the property damage claim can be a very frustrating situation. If the other insurance company has “accepted liability” and your car can be repaired, it is often best to choose the repair shop you trust and let them deal directly with the adverse insurance company regarding paying for the repairs.

If your vehicle is a total loss, immediately research the fair market value of your car and be prepared with a number when discussing the property damage claim with the insurance company. It should be noted that the insurance carriers do not care if you are upside down financing wise on the vehicle. Likewise, it is not the insurance company’s problem if you feel you cannot replace your vehicle with the comparable one. All that the insurance company must pay is what the cars worth on the day of the crash.

Sometimes it is a better choice to deal directly with your own insurance company regarding the property damage and let your insurance company collect their money back from the other driver’s insurance company. While many people don’t want to go this route due to worries about their insurance rates, often it is the best choice to make.

Factors to Know on Making a Rear End Car Accident Liability Claim

Most of the time with rear-end car or trucking accidents, the insurer for the driver who struck you from the rear will fix your vehicle or pay its fair market value. Sometimes, however, the insurance company may hire a lawyer and come up with a defense giving them excuses to undercut. Insurance companies in Pennsylvania do not owe duties to their non-policyholders or non-insureds. With an adverse insurance company, it is not about what is fair; rather it is about what must they pay. If an insurance company can keep their money or delay a claim that is what they will try to do.

(6) Factors Everyone Making an Injury Claim Should Know:

  1. Quick settlements = Cheap settlements.
  2. Do not settle the injury portion of your claim until you are done treated medically.  More likely than not, you will not know the full extent of your injuries.
  3. How the vehicles look damage wise matters in the personal injury claim (according to the adverse insurance company).
  4. Reasonable settlements take more time than you might think.
  5. A lawsuit is often necessary to obtain a fair settlement offer from the insurance company.
  6. You must consider health insurance subrogation liens.

After a rear end car accident, insurance companies like to reach out early with a lowball offer. Quickly settling an injury claim works well for the insurance company and saves them money. However, if you agree to a settlement and you later learn that your injuries are more substantial than you originally thought, you are out of luck.

The amount of property damage is a factor that insurance companies consider when making offers of settlement on injury claims. Getting photographs of the damaged vehicles is a good idea. If the impact does not look bad on the vehicles, it will be a fight for a reasonable settlement.

Contact Attorney Jason P. Provinzano to Evaluate your Rear End Car Accident Injury Claim

Attorney Jason P. Provinzano has recovered MILLIONS for victims involved in motor vehicle crashes!  Contact JPPLAW now for a free consultation and case evaluation!