While driving near a traffic light and it turns yellow, you begin to slow down. However, the person behind you fails to notice your reduced speed. You eventually come to a stop, but the person behind you doesn't realize in time, and they collide into the back of your car.
Being in a rear-end collision can be a terrifying situation. However, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 29 percent of all crashes each year are due to rear-end collisions. Additionally, they are the most frequent type of accident in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you must know how to handle the situation. Following these steps can ensure your safety and rights are protected.
Stay calm - When you are involved in a car accident, you might start to panic. However, it's best to take a deep breath and remain calm.
Check for any injuries - Ensure you haven't been injured from the accident. At this point, you might be experiencing an adrenaline rush. This can mask the feeling of pain, so even though you don't feel anything, you could still be injured. Examine yourself for any apparent wounds and seek medical care if needed.
Call 911 - You will need to report the accident to the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report documents the crash that insurance companies can view for claims.
Gather information - Write down the other party's name and number, and their car's license plate, car make, and model. Take photos of the accident from several angles. This information is essential for making your insurance claim. By documenting this information, you have physical evidence relating to the crash, which is crucial if you have any injuries, no matter how minor or severe they are.
Do not claim fault - You might want to apologize to the other driver, even if it wasn't your fault. However, this is unwise to do. Saying sorry could potentially be viewed as admitting fault. Additionally, don't make any statements or sign any documents until you have consulted with your lawyer.
Notify your insurance company - After everything has been taken care of at the scene of the accident, contact your insurance company. They will be able to explain your insurance policy to you and let you know what is covered. If you wish to use the other party's insurance company, fault will need to be established.
Contact an attorney - If the insurance company refuses to pay for the accident, or the other party refuses to pay, it is wise to seek out legal assistance. You will need to prove the other driver was at fault in order to proceed with your claim. By having an experienced attorney on your side, the process will go by a lot smoother. Without a lawyer, you may not receive the proper compensation you deserve. Therefore, the assistance of a Rapid City personal injury attorney can defend your right to compensation.
Seek Help in Proving Fault in a Rear-End Collision
At Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP, we are committed to examining all of the facts and evidence of your case. We will review the accident reports, photos from the scene, medical records, and any other relevant evidence. Our Rapid City car accident lawyers will use this evidence to build a personal injury case that proves the accident was the other driver's fault. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, we are here to support you.
Call Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP at (605) 519-6136 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your consultation.