What to Do if a Car Hits You from Behind?

Published On: October 26, 2023
Categories: Car Accidents

Involvement in a serious car accident can leave you with many overwhelming tasks and concerns. Between arranging vehicle repairs and considering alternative transportation, always seek prompt medical attention and legal assistance. If you do or remember nothing else after someone hits you from behind, see a doctor and consult an experienced car accident attorney in Spring Hill.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

What to Do if a Car Hits You from Behind

While it might be tempting to believe your injuries will resolve on their own or aren’t severe, undergoing a comprehensive medical evaluation is the wisest course of action.

Delayed Symptoms

Immediate medical attention is paramount to protecting your health and any legal claim you might have after a rear-end accident. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms until days after the accident, highlighting the importance of an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment. When internal injuries happen, delaying a physician’s visit can lead to an entirely preventable medical emergency.

Officially Documentation of Injuries

Additionally, seeking medical treatment establishes official documentation of your injuries, linking them conclusively to the accident. This documentation plays a pivotal role in substantiating the severity of your injuries and their direct connection to the incident. Without this vital proof, insurance companies may attempt to dispute the extent of your injuries or attribute them to alternative causes. Therefore, seeking timely medical attention is crucial to protecting your legal rights and entitlement to compensation.

Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan

Adhering to your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan is equally imperative to seeking initial medical care. This might include filling prescriptions, engaging in recommended physical therapy, adhering to instructions regarding rest or physical limitations, taking over-the-counter medications, and abiding by any advised time off from work or school.

While it may be tempting to skip appointments or deviate from the treatment regimen, insurance companies can use any non-compliance with your treatment plan to undermine your claim.

Following your doctor’s advice diligently is vital to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the rightful compensation under your state’s personal injury laws. You best serve your well-being and legal rights by promptly seeking medical attention and diligently adhering to your treatment plan.

Don’t Wait to Seek Legal Help

Once you are medically stable, your next step should be to seek legal help. Schedule a consultation with an experienced local car accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you secure legal representation, the sooner you begin protecting your rights and maximizing your injury compensation.

Why You Need Legal Help After a Rear-End Car Accident

Here are five crucial reasons to enlist the services of a lawyer following a car accident:

Thorough Damage Assessment

Evaluating the complete scope of your damages post-accident can be involved and complicated. A proficient lawyer will carefully assess every facet of your case, ensuring none of your damages goes overlooked or undervalued.

By working closely with you and examining applicable documents, your attorney can construct a comprehensive overview of your damages, including present expenses and potential future costs like ongoing treatments or therapy.

A seasoned attorney can account for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, guaranteeing that every aspect of your case undergoes a thorough evaluation to secure maximum compensation.

Assessing the Evidence

A car accident lawyer will conduct a comprehensive review of available evidence, including:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Surveillance camera footage
  • Photographs of the crash scene and the vehicles involved

This investigation lays a robust foundation for building your case against the responsible party. By carefully reviewing the evidence, your attorney can determine how the accident happened and who is liable for your damages.

Management of Paperwork

Handling legal paperwork and tangible evidence like bills and medical records can be overwhelming, particularly when you’re on the road to recovery. Engaging an attorney offers the advantage of having someone oversee all necessary documentation while you concentrate on your recovery.

Experienced attorneys possess the proficiency to navigate intricate legal forms and ensure you meet all deadlines for insurance claims or lawsuits. They also gather and organize medical records and bills for your case.

Utilization of Expert Witnesses

Establishing a strong rear-end car accident case frequently requires the support of expert witnesses. For example, accident reconstruction experts can assess the scene, vehicle damage, and sequence of events to determine liability.

Medical experts assess injuries, review records, and provide professional opinions on your medical condition and any potential long-term effects you may experience. A seasoned car accident lawyer is skilled at discerning which experts to hire for your specific case, relieving you of the challenge of locating them independently.

Negotiation with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be a difficult and tiring post-accident task. Car accident lawyers excel in negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.

Insurance companies frequently try to minimize payouts. Still, an experienced attorney is well-versed in their tactics and can effectively counter them. Armed with their knowledge and experience, attorneys advocate for equitable compensation on your behalf.

Representation at Trial

If your rear-end accident claim fails to settle through negotiations with the insurance company and their attorneys, your car accident attorney can represent you at trial. They will prepare a robust and thorough case to prove liability in your accident and link the accident to your damages. In proving these points, they can successfully resolve your case.

When Is the Right Time to Consult a Car Accident Lawyer?

Seek the guidance of a car accident lawyer immediately after sustaining injuries after someone hits you from behind in a car accident. Here’s why:

Statute of Limitations

Different types of personal injuries are subject to varying statutes of limitations. These are legally defined time frames for injury victims to file a civil claim. The statute of limitations is set by the state’s laws where the car accident happened.

In most cases, car accident statutes of limitations range between one to four years from:

  • The date of the injury
  • The date the victim became aware of the injury
  • The date the victim should have reasonably become aware of the injury

Failing to initiate a lawsuit within this legal timeframe forfeits the victim’s right to pursue their claim in court. That may seem like plenty of time, but your car accident attorney will require time to negotiate and prepare your case. The sooner you contact them after your car accident, the better.

Protection Against Insurance Company Tactics

Without the support of an attorney, you are susceptible to the unethical tactics employed by insurance companies meant to deny or devalue your claim. Although their duty is to provide you with fair compensation for your injuries, their objective is to pay out as little as possible or, in some cases, deny your claim altogether.

For example:

  • They may have a claims adjuster contact you and try to convince you to settle for a nominal amount shortly after you file a claim.
  • They might request a recorded statement from you wherein they attempt to get you to say things detrimental to your claim.
  • They may also resort to delaying your claim or unfairly and unlawfully rejecting it.

With a car accident lawyer by your side, you won’t need to engage directly with anyone from the insurance company unless your lawyer is present with you. They manage most, if not all, communications with them, thereby protecting you from making any statements that might jeopardize your claim.

Insurance companies seldom attempt to employ delaying tactics, unfair claim rejections, or present lowball offers when a claimant has legal representation. They know that most car accident attorneys are well-versed in their unethical practices and will hold them accountable.

Preservation of Crucial Evidence

The strength of your case hinges on the evidence you have to prove the liability of the opposing party and your injuries. When you enlist the services of a car accident attorney, they take immediate action to collect and safeguard invaluable evidence for your claim.

If you procrastinate seeking legal assistance, some of this evidence might be lost or destroyed, impeding your ability to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. When you reach out to an attorney early on, they can identify the crucial evidence in your claim that may be susceptible to loss or destruction and will diligently work towards securing it.

Types of Rear-End Car Collisions

Rear-end car accidents can be categorized into two main types:

Simple Rear-End Collisions

These occur when one vehicle is struck from behind by another during a lane change or if a following driver fails to maintain a safe distance and doesn’t brake in time. In some cases, the front driver may suddenly slow down for various reasons, resulting in a rear-end collision.

In such incidents, law enforcement will examine physical evidence like skid marks and the point of impact. They’ll also consider whether the rear driver was traveling at an excessive speed. Statements from witnesses can help.

Unless proven otherwise, the rear driver is typically responsible for most simple rear-end collisions. After such an accident, seek advice from a rear-end car accident lawyer.

Complicated Rear-End Accidents

In today’s congested roadways with a surge in vehicles and a penchant for speeding, complex rear-end accidents involving multiple vehicles are not uncommon. News reports of such collisions are a frequent occurrence in cities everywhere.

Chain reactions can lead to widespread confusion, making it challenging to determine liability. Law enforcement agencies conduct thorough investigations to establish fault. Attorneys may also subpoena relevant data, such as phone logs, to aid in this determination.

In complex cases, the front driver may have contributed to the accident by abruptly applying brakes, making sudden lane changes, or significantly reducing speed without apparent cause.

Car accident attorneys regularly assess the signs and variables that establish fault in these complex scenarios. Their knowledge and skill prove invaluable in discerning who bears the primary responsibility for the accident.

Understanding Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most prevalent type of accidents on the road, accounting for approximately 29 percent of all car crashes nationwide, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To gain deeper insights into the dynamics of these collisions, the NHTSA commissioned the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to conduct an extensive study.

While VTTI’s research looked into various facets of rear-end collisions, several key findings emerged:

  • Speed discrepancy: Most rear-end collisions occur when the leading vehicle is either completely stationary or moving at an exceedingly slow pace. Impressively, around 81 percent of rear-end accidents took place when the lead vehicle was at a complete standstill. In most instances, the trailing driver was tailgating, failing to maintain a safe distance.
  • Environmental factors: Rear-end collisions primarily occur on dry, straight, and level roads during daylight hours.
  • Driver distraction: Alarmingly, in nearly half of all rear-end collisions, the trailing driver failed to respond to the slowed or halted vehicle due to distractions or inattentiveness. Activities such as eating, daydreaming, using a cell phone, or conversing with passengers significantly increased the likelihood of a rear-end collision. Shockingly, the study attributed driver distraction as the primary cause in about 90 percent of these accidents.
  • Age and gender dynamics: Male drivers between 25 and 34 years old were 1.9 times more likely to be involved in a rear-end collision than other age demographics.
Christopher Dyer - Attorney near Spring Hill, FL area
Christopher C. Dyer, Car Accident Lawyer in Spring Hill

These findings underscore drivers’ needs to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and refrain from distracting activities like texting or using cell phones. When drivers participate in these activities and cause accidents, they are negligent and, therefore, liable for the damages they cause.

Did a Car Hit You From Behind? Contact a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney Today

Being hit from behind in an accident can turn your world upside down. However, the most important steps are to get medical care and seek the services of a seasoned car accident attorney. When you prioritize these steps, you protect your health and legal interests. Your lawyer can handle the rest.