What to Do When You’re Rear-Ended
One moment, you’re waiting at a light, and you’re just ready to go home. The next, someone rams your car, injuring you and damaging your vehicle. What do you do in the moment, when another driver has just struck you?
Being rear-ended may not always be as severe as other accident types, but it can still be tough to overcome. Take the following steps to make your recovery after a car accident easier.
Get Medical Attention
When you’re struck by another driver, your first priority is your health. Even a minor fender-bender can cause whiplash and back injuries, which can cause pain and impact your job. Because of this, you may need to call for paramedics as soon as possible.
Getting medical attention now can also help your insurance or legal claim later. If you delay your care because you feel fine now, the insurance company may claim you weren’t really injured in the accident. Seeking help can give you the evidence you need to prove the insurance company wrong.
Getting care now can also prevent injuries from worsening. For example, you may have suffered a back injury and need a brace, bedrest, or other care to help it heal. But it can’t heal if you’re still bending, lifting, and straining your back. That’s risky because what was once a minor injury could become a severe or even permanent change in your health.
Report Your Accident
Once medical help is on the way, you also need to notify certain groups of the accident. First, you may be required to notify the police of your accident. If the property damage totals more than $500, or if there was an injury or death caused by the accident, the police will need to investigate and file a report about the accident.
Your insurance company will also need to know about the crash. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, the insurance adjuster must note the accident on your claim.
But choose your words carefully with the insurance company, or speak with a lawyer about what to say next. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so be sure you simply notify them of the accident, without putting the blame on yourself or getting into details.
Know Your Claim’s Value
Once you’ve taken the above steps, you may be eligible for a settlement. But getting a fair settlement offer isn’t always easy. You need to know what damages, or harm caused by being rear-ended, should be included in your settlement.
All your economic damages, meaning any financial losses you’ve suffered, should be covered by your settlement. That includes things like car repairs, as well as current and ongoing medical care.
You may also be due non-economic damages for the mental and emotional suffering you experienced because of the accident. For example, you may be compensated for the severe pain you’ve suffered. Reach out to your lawyer if you’re unsure what your damages are worth.
Get a Lawyer’s Help in the Courtroom
When the at-fault party refuses to help you recover from your injuries, settling out of court may not be an option. Luckily, you have the option to contact a lawyer at Anderson & Anderson. Our attorneys have tools to represent you, protect your compensation, and help you focus on your recovery.
Ready for a free consultation about your claim? Call 813-251-0072 or complete the following online contact form to begin.