Two cars with metal damage after a rear-end collision

What to Do After Being Rear Ended

Oleen Law Firm June 7, 2024

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. Whether it happens during your daily commute or while running errands, finding yourself in such a situation can be unsettling. It can leave you dazed, confused, and unsure of the next steps to take.  

We at Oleen Law Firm are here to provide you with a clear and structured plan to follow after such an incident. You should know how to prioritize your safety, properly document the event, and navigate the insurance and legal processes effectively. By following these steps, you can protect your rights and work toward receiving fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained. 

Immediate Actions for Safety 

Your first priority after any car accident should be your safety and the safety of others involved. Here are the immediate steps you should take: 

Step 1. Check for Injuries 

Assess yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately to request medical assistance. 

Step 2. Move to Safety 

If the vehicles are blocking traffic and it's safe to do so, move them to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. 

Step 3. Call the Police 

Even if the accident seems minor, it's essential to contact the police and file a report. The police report will be a crucial piece of evidence when dealing with insurance companies and any potential legal actions. 

Step 4. Seek Medical Attention 

In some cases, injuries from rear-end collisions may not be immediately apparent. It's advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out any hidden injuries such as whiplash or internal damage. 

Step 5. Documenting the Accident and Gathering Evidence 

Proper documentation and evidence collection are vital to support your claims with insurance companies and, if necessary, in court. 

Take Photos 

Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including: 

  • vehicle damage from multiple angles, 

  • license plates of all vehicles involved, 

  • the surrounding area (traffic signs, road conditions, weather), and 

  • any visible injuries. 

Collect Witness Information 

If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information. Witness statements can be invaluable in corroborating your account of the incident. 

Exchange Information 

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). Make sure to note: 

  • full names and contact numbers, 

  • insurance company names and policy numbers, 

  • driver’s license numbers, and 

  • license plate numbers. 

Police Report 

Obtain a copy of the police report or at least the report number, which you can use to follow up later. 

Step 6. Navigating the Insurance Process 

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process: 

  1. Notify your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details and documentation you have collected. 

  1. File a claim. File a claim with your insurance company. They will assign an adjuster to your case who will evaluate the damage and determine the compensation. 

  1. Understand your coverage. Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy's coverage options. This will help you understand what costs will be covered and what you might need to pay out-of-pocket. 

  1. Keep records. Maintain thorough records of all communications with your insurance company, including emails and phone calls. Keep copies of all documents and receipts related to repairs, medical treatments, and other expenses. 

At Oleen Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling car accident cases, including rear-end collisions. Our dedicated team is here to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Step 7. Seek Legal Counsel 

While many rear-end collisions can be resolved through insurance claims, there are situations where legal assistance may be necessary: 

Injuries and Medical Expenses 

If you sustain serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment, an attorney can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Disputed Liability 

In cases where there is a dispute over who is at fault, having a lawyer can be crucial. They can help gather evidence and build a strong case to support your claim. 

Insurance Disputes 

If your insurance company is unwilling to provide fair compensation, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf or take the case to court if necessary. 

Take Your Next Steps Forward 

Being rear-ended is a distressing experience, but knowing the steps to take afterward can help you navigate the situation with confidence. Prioritizing safety, documenting the accident, understanding the insurance process, and seeking legal counsel when needed are all crucial elements in protecting your rights and securing fair compensation. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a rear-end collision, don't hesitate to reach out to Oleen Law Firm. With decades of experience serving the Manhattan and Junction City communities, Bentson Robert Oleen and Kent Ellis Oleen are committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your options. We're here to fight for you.