Frequently Asked Questions - What Happened If A Car Hits You From Behind?
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports: “Out of the 6 million car accidents that happen on US roads every year, over 40% of them are rear-ended collisions.” As common as rear-end accidents are it is important that drivers know how to handle them. If someone hits you from behind, stay calm, get help, call, and document.
Take a deep breath and don't panic.
Stay calm and pull over and get to safety. Turn on your hazards or light flares so other drivers know to stop. Then evaluate the scene and check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, get on the phone with emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help.
Police officers can check everyone involved for injuries and they will also write up a police report that you will need when filing a claim. It is not unusual for companies to take their policyholder's side in cases where no police accident report was made and the fault is not obvious. For this reason, it is very important to document. The police will determine who is at fault for ticketing purposes. Make sure to get a copy of the accident report. Do not leave the scene of the auto accident even if it was not your fault without calling the police. If the police can't come to the scene of the accident, you can go to the closest police station and complete a report yourself.
Document the accident.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the most important information drivers should exchange after an accident is: Full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver's license number and license plate number, type, color and model of vehicle, location, date and time of the accident and contact information for any witnesses. Take photographs of the cars, location, license plates, and any other details. Also, take any statements and pictures of the accident scene. If you can take pictures of the cars as they sit right after the accident it is best. If you had to move due to safety concerns, then take photos of the damage to each vehicle. Furthermore, it can help to hand draw how the accident happened, or at least how the cars were situated if you are unable to take photos of that. In addition, if you have a dash camera be sure to find and save any footage of the accident you have so you can share with the insurance company. That is especially helpful if the other driver does not admit responsibility to their insurance company.
If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident that is considered a hit and run, do not panic. When you are involved in a hit and run accident, you should still follow many of the steps that you would in any other car accident. Call 911 and record any details about the other driver, type, color, and model of the vehicle and if possible get license plate number. The damage may still be covered by your own insurance, even if you never successfully identify the other driver. The damage from a hit and run may be covered by your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Collision coverage can also cover damage to your car after a hit and run. And if you were injured in a hit and run, your personal injury protection or PIP will cover your medical bills as well as other expenses related to an injury like lost wages.
Some states have different penalties for hit and run offenders depending on whether the accident resulted in physical injuries, vehicle property damage, or both. Many states only consider a hit and run accident a felony when someone was seriously injured. However, some states may also consider a hit and run accident a felony if a vehicle sustained significant damage, regardless of injuries.
Most importantly, it is crucial to remember that soft tissue injuries normally do not appear immediately following the accident. The release of adrenaline and other natural hormones temporarily masks the injury and pain symptoms for a day to even weeks. Therefore, it is crucial that anyone involved in a crash still sees a doctor following the accident regardless if you think it is necessary or not. Furthermore, it is extremely important that if you are filing a Personal Injury Protection claim, you start treatment within fourteen (14) days from your auto accident. If you do not, your automobile insurance company can deny your coverage and refuse to pay. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is the type of insurance that will pay cover medical bills up to 80% and 60% of wage loss. These medical expenses must also be “reasonable” and “medically necessary” or a PIP carrier may deny payment for certain services it deems to be unreasonable or not medically necessary.
In conclusion, what should you do when you are rear-ended? Take a deep breath and do not panic, check for injuries. Seek medical attention for those injured. Call the police and report the accident. Take pictures and document the positions of the vehicles. Explain to the police officer how the accident occurred. Get a copy of the accident report. Contact your insurance company and the at-fault's insurance company. Inform the other person's insurance company that you have been involved in an auto accident with one of its policyholders. Relay on the facts of the accident, even if you believe the other driver to be at fault, it is not smart to just say that. Instead, give the insurance company the facts to show their driver is at fault and therefore liable for your damages. An accident can leave even the most seasoned driver frazzled, but following these steps may help protect you from unnecessary worries. That way, you can focus on working with the insurance company to get your vehicle repaired as smoothly and quickly as possible and start medical treatment if necessary.
If you or your loved one have been injured in an auto accident and your insurance is not providing you coverage as specified under your policy, speak to an experienced Central Florida personal injury and car accident lawyer at Trial Pro. Call us at Trial Pro, P.A at-1-800-Trial Pro.