These accidents are so common; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that around 29% of all vehicle accidents involve a rear-end crash. It’s easy to think of a “fender bender” with no serious injuries when someone hears of a rear-end accident, but the fact is these are more serious than you might think. Depending on the speed of the vehicle(s), rear-end collisions can result in damage as light as a ding or damage as severe as a car trunk being completely destroyed.
YOU’VE JUST BEEN HIT FROM BEHIND – NOW WHAT?
When two cars are involved in a rear-end accident, there is a strong presumption of fault for the driver in the back. What this means is that if you were the drive in the front vehicle (the victim who was hit), then it is going to be up to them to prove it wasn’t their fault. Even though it is not likely, there are ways for the other driver to point the blame to someone else.
Here are a few simple steps to make sure the person who hit your car takes ownership of the accident they just caused:
- Take a quick look through your rear view mirror: It is a natural reaction to look back at who hit you, but you should try as best as you can to see if there are any other cars involved in the impact and where they are at the time of the collision. This is good to do because when there are multiple cars involved, a blaming game often starts with the two or more cars in the back as they argue over who is at fault. Even though you are clearly the victim, it is good to have an idea of where the cars were at the time of the accident in case everyone wants to point the finger at each other.
- Call the police and let them know your location.
- Take pictures: Take pictures of the cars, their locations and the damage done to your car. There are some cases where a person is hit from behind and the driver that causes the accident claims they were hit by another car, but it drove off. Even though a story like this can be easily debunked by signs of no damage to the car behind you, there have been cases where the car that hits you was already in bad shape. Don’t worry if this happens. Simply look at the ground and check for any signs of broken rear light glass or other indications of a collision that just happened. Make sure your photos include these images.
- Make sure the police fill out a detailed report and try to get them to issue a citation.
- Talk to Eyewitnesses: Get their names and contact information. Also make sure to take their statement of what happened. Remember that as time goes by, people will forget what they saw. This will help us remind them.
- Seek medical attention: Don’t shake it off and tough it out. Remember, adrenaline wears off. You might wake up the next day and feel more like you’ve been in an actual accident.
- Contact an attorney: Our Ft. Lauderdale office helps car accident victims throughout the state of Florida. Contact us for your free consultation and find out more about getting the compensation that you deserve for the accident.