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What Should I Do after a Rear-End Collision?

Car accidents involving rear-end collisions in cars and trucks are actually quite common. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end car accidents make up almost 30 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Nearly seven percent result in death. Rear-end collisions may be minor and not result in extensive damage or personal injury. However, in more extreme cases, there can be catastrophic injuries. These can result in huge medical bills and costly vehicle repairs or replacements among other damages.

It is important to understand that although most rear-end collisions do not result in death or serious injury, the risks are very real. This is especially true when it comes to accidents involving large commercial trucks. Any collision, however, must be taken seriously. When a car collides with another from behind, it can be a terrifying experience and is often completely unexpected. There is great potential for physical injury as well as mental and emotional distress. Before hitting the road, it is a good idea to be prepared and to know how to respond in the event of a rear-end accident.

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision is when the front bumper of one vehicle impacts the rear end of another driver’s vehicle. These rear-end auto accidents may occur for a variety of reasons, including distracted driving, driver intoxication, unusual road conditions, faulty traffic lights or street signs, and inclement weather. Regardless of the cause, these accidents can result in life-long physical and mental trauma.

It is also important to note that even if an accident seems minor, drivers and passengers can still suffer significant injuries. It is possible for victims to suffer a debilitating spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. These injuries will affect a victim for a lifetime. The most common cause of these accidents is negligence. Therefore, it is important for drivers to be sure that they are attentive when driving and to understand how to deal with negligent drivers they encounter on the road. All drivers are responsible for the safety of others on the road. When someone is injured because of the negligence of another, the victim is entitled to compensation. However, proving negligence can be tricky and depends on the specific circumstances of the accident.

Causes and Types of Rear-End Collisions

Tailgating accidents. Tailgating is when a driver follows another from too close behind. This is very irritating for drivers, but it is important to remember that it is also very dangerous. There are recommended guidelines for the distance to follow other vehicles for a reason. When a driver is too close behind another car, they do not have time to stop in the event the car in front has to apply its brakes. The driver behind will not be able to stop in time and will hit the car in front. Tailgating is a real problem. In a legal case, however, there may be other factors, such as what was happening at the time and why the driver in front suddenly hit their brakes.

Slow speed/low impact accidents. Sometimes called fender-benders, these accidents are very common. This is the sort of thing one would see in parking lots or other areas where drivers are moving at a lower speed. In some instances, they might even do no harm to either vehicle. It might just be a small bump that leaves no lasting damage. In other instances, they might leave a dent or scratched paint. However, even small accidents can result in whiplash or other head and neck injuries.

Multiple vehicle pile-ups and serious car accidents. These can be deadly. This is the type of accident a motorist would most likely see on a highway or other major roadway. When one vehicle collides with another from behind, it can cause a domino effect, pushing one vehicle into another and then into another, and so on. These can lead to multiple extensive injuries and can also be difficult to investigate and determine fault because of the number of vehicles involved.

What to Do after a Rear-End Collision Occurs

Rear-end collisions can be scary and disorienting for victims. A car accident victim may be confused and not know what steps to take next. There are a few important things to keep in mind. It is important to not leave the scene and to follow these steps:

  • Come to a complete stop in a safe location, pulling off to the side if possible. Turn on hazard lights and ensure the vehicle is not impeding traffic.

  • Examine driver and passengers for any injuries. Do not try to move seriously injured people, and contact emergency services as needed.

  • Report the incident to the police.

  • Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved. It is also important to get information such as phone number and contact information.

  • Document the accident as much as possible, including taking notes and pictures of any damages or injuries. If possible, get information from any witnesses.

  • Seek medical attention. Even if it seems like there are no injuries, they can present later, and it is best to have any injuries identified by a health care professional soon after the accident.

  • Contact a lawyer prior to making any statements to an insurance provider.

  • Avoid making statements assuming responsibility or claiming fault to police, insurance, or other drivers or witnesses.

New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Recover from Their Accident

The New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr understand how rear-end collisions can dramatically impact a victim’s life. We are here to protect your rights and advocate for you. Drivers encounter many dangers on the road, and accidents do happen. If you were recently injured in a car accident, we can help you find the best way to proceed with your case. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.

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