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What to Do After Being Rear Ended

While sitting in your car and enjoying your favorite radio station in traffic, the last thing you expect is to get into an accident. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to be hit from behind, even if your vehicle is not moving at the time of the collision. This is commonly referred to as a rear-end collision or rear-end accident.

A rear-end accident can range from a mild impact to a severe, devastating high-impact collision. Depending upon the speed of the vehicle that strikes your car from behind, your car may suffer minimal damages or be completely totaled. Often, rear-end collisions result in “whiplash” or soft tissue neck injuries due to the violent forces exerted upon the cervical spine. Regardless of the severity of the injuries or damages, there are a number of steps you can take if you are involved in a rear-end accident in order to protect your rights while filing and negotiating a claim. These steps include the following.

Checking for Injuries

The first step you should take after being involved in an accident is to check on the health and safety of those involved. Do a careful check of yourself and your passengers to see if anyone is hurt. Do not be in a rush and take the time you need. Remain calm and ascertain that you are ok.

If you were injured in the accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if you are unable to identify an injury immediately after an accident, seek the professional advice of a medical professional if you later develop symptoms. Some injury symptoms, like neck pain, headaches, low back pain, shoulder pain, or pain from other injuries will not materialize for days, weeks, or possibly even months.

Collecting Evidence

While at the scene, if possible, it is important to collect as much evidence as possible. Be sure to obtain the insurance information from the driver that rear-ended your car. Other evidence to collect may include pictures and videos of the scene, statements and contact information from witnesses, and medical records that can prove any injuries as well as expenses. While getting pictures and videos of the scene, step back as far as possible and get as wide a shot of the accident. In the event of an accident, having a dash camera can be incredibly helpful.

Any evidence you are able to collect at the scene of the accident will be indispensable in holding the at-fault party accountable and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Reporting the Accident

While they may not always respond, it is important to contact local authorities when you are involved in a car accident. If law enforcement officials are dispatched to the scene of the accident, they will not only provide another source of evidence in the form of a written report but will also ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Take the time to discuss every element of the accident while being cautious to avoid admitting fault or discussing fault directly with the other party. The police may ask you to make a statement at the scene or at the nearby police station. This statement will be included in the police report.

Ask for a copy of the police report to keep as evidence. It will be extremely valuable if you decide to file a claim.

Hiring an Attorney

If you are involved in a rear-end accident, hire an attorney to help you properly file and negotiate your claim for maximum recovery. Even a simple accident can have large legal ramifications. Contact the experienced Jefferson City and Missouri Car Accident Attorneys with Call & Gentry Law Group to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal rights.

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