Rear End Car Accidents: What You Need to Know
We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road on a rainy Monday morning, already late for work. The driver behind you is bombarded with distractions – a screaming toddler, an incoming text or an adjustment to the AC. Maybe his attention is on a podcast or he’s simply lost in thought. A car accident is the last thing on either one of your minds. But, it happens. The distracted driver behind you hits the breaks too late and slams into you.
Rear end car accidents can be frightening for everyone involved. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the number one type of car crashes. They’re responsible for roughly 29 percent of all car accidents nationwide.
What Is a Rear End Car Accident?
The definition of a rear-end collision is when a vehicle crashes into the one in front of it. Pretty straightforward, however the aftermath can be complicated – from injuries and expenses to navigating insurance policies and the legal world – and it can seem overwhelming. The first thing to know is what to do when it happens.
Five Steps to Take in a Rear-End Collision – Regardless of Who’s at Fault
- Step 1: Remain calm. If there are injuries seek immediate medical attention and report them to first responders.
- Step 2: Call the police.
- Step 3: Gather information. Name, phone number, address, as well as insurance information (company name and policy number). Also get witness statements and contact information, if able, and always document the scene with videos or photographs.
- Step 4: Contact insurance companies to update them on the situation.
- Step 5: Consider hiring an accident attorney to help with injury claims and to discuss legal options.
Read more on interacting with the police at the scene of the accident, as well as speaking with insurance companies.
There are an array of possible injuries in a rear-end collision. You may have neck pain or headaches, all symptoms of whiplash. According to Wikipedia, “A typical medical consequence of rear-ends, even in collisions at moderate speed, is whiplash. In more severe cases, permanent injuries such as herniation may occur.” Injuries can range from minor to more severe. Whiplash may be the most common type of rear-end collision injury, but depending on any number of factors, harm can be more severe.
Seven Most Common Types of Rear-End Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Paralysis
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Facial Disfigurement
- Wrist and Arm Injuries
- Seat Belt Injuries
Now that you are aware of the steps to take in a rear-end accident and the injuries that can accompany this unfortunate event, it’s time to discuss what happens if you are NOT at fault.
Some of the questions running through your head might be, “Who pays financially for the damage to my car and my medical bills?” And, “How do I go about seeking compensation for medical bills?” Hiring an attorney can help with this process. According to Georgia law, if someone is injured in an accident, he or she can sue the party at fault in court. The amount for which the case settles depends on medical expenses, lost wages and the pain a person has suffered due to the rear-end collision. But, how do you know if your accident warrants a call to an attorney?
When to Hire an Attorney
Let’s go back to that rainy Monday morning. You’ve just been rear-ended by the guy behind you who was following too close, distracted by his car stereo system. You get out of the car and, remaining calm, check for injuries. Your neck hurts pretty badly, but your pain is not severe enough to call an ambulance. The distracted driver wasn’t injured.
What next? Very civilly, both parties involved agree to call the police and you trade insurance information. You try to only speak about the facts of the accident.
Fast-forward half an hour and your car is being hauled away by a tow truck. You spend the rest of your morning dealing with your insurance company and getting a rental car. All the while, your neck pain is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse. Along with a headache, the pain has spread to your shoulders and upper back.
That night, lying in bed, the pain is radiating but you’re hoping that a good night of sleep will help. If only it were that simple. You wake up and it’s even worse – so you begrudgingly make the decision to see a doctor.
A few months pass and you’ve seen multiple doctors, completed a month of physical therapy and had a spine injection. You submit all your medical claims and bills to your insurance company. Unfortunately, they only pay for one doctor visit. Not what you wanted to hear. Your physical therapy sessions are scheduled for another six months and your doctor suggested having another two to three spinal injections. The bills are piling up and you are having a hard time navigating the legal world to determine if you have a case. Bottom line – you’re stressed. You don’t want to be difficult, but you’re out of options.
This is when you call an attorney. You contact Horst, Pirkle & Shewmaker (HS), personal injury trial lawyers with over 30 years of combined experience. You find out that the first consultation call is free. And, with this one phone call you have a better understanding of whether you can seek compensation for your growing medical bills and time away from work. You feel immediate relief because an experienced lawyer, fully absorbed in Georgia law, is listening and has dealt with your same situation before.
Don’t stress. Call HS.
Call Horst Shewmaker, Personal Injury Trial Attorneys
If this scenario hits home, then contact HP=S to walk through your options. Schedule a free consultation online or call 404-400-1175. HS attorneys pride themselves in knowing the car accident legal process best, especially in the state of Georgia.
For more information, check out our frequently asked car accident questions. Read more about our experienced legal team here.