Hundreds of rear-end collisions occur daily. If you don’t know your rights, you could suffer unnecessary losses and damages. Therefore, it pays to be armed with the knowledge of what to do if it happens to you. One of the most important pieces of advice is to call a personal injury lawyer. This should be done immediately after reporting the accident to the traffic authorities but before talking to an insurance company. The lawyer is a legal professional who would have dealt with similar cases. He or she knows how to handle the situation with your best interest in mind.
If your vehicle was hit from behind, more than likely it was due to one of the following reasons:
- Driver distraction or not paying attention to the road
- Tailgating, which is driving too closely from behind
- Stopping suddenly due to a panicky situation
- Reduced traction caused by the weather or worn pavement
- Rail accident, in the case of trains
In any event, the overall cause is due to the driver in the back of you not leaving enough stopping distance. Stopping distance between two vehicles is a rule of the road, which means that the law requires it. Failure of the other driver to adhere to this rule means two things for you:
- You were not at fault. Consequently,
- It puts you in a position of power.
If you are unaware of the above, you may fall victim to taking the blame for the accident. Once the driver, who is responsible for the incident, realizes you are ignorant of your rights, you may be trapped. On the other hand, by knowing your rights, the other driver can then be made accountable. Unfortunately, proving your case can sometimes become a daunting and stressful task.
To bring closure to the case, you may have to file a lawsuit. Otherwise, you may never be fully and fairly compensated. The initial process involves gathering solid facts about the accident and examining them, which may include questioning witnesses. To get the justice you deserve, the case must be presented in a court of law. Without the proper representation, your chance of winning could be very slim, if any at all. To attempt self-representation in this instance is not a wise move; it requires a lot of legal skills, knowledge and expertise.
Rear-end collisions can result in adverse circumstances, such as:
- Permanent injuries
- Wrongful death
- Damaged vehicle
All of the above can cause undue stress, pain and suffering. If you receive physical injuries, it means having to see a doctor. In any event, you should always see a physician following a collision. He or she can better determine the extent of your physical injuries. Furthermore, the medical report will be needed for court evidence by your personal injury lawyer. The evidence, when presented to the judge, will help to determine how much compensation you are due.
Financial burden is another aspect of a rear-end collision. It will incur medical expenses you could have avoided, otherwise. Since you may not know the extent of your condition right away, you will not know how many trips will be required to your doctor. Also, you will not be aware of how many other medical practitioners you must see. If someone in your automobile dies as a result of the accident, which sometimes happens, there go burial expenses. The driver who is responsible for the accident should be held accountable.
In addition to paying for medical expenses, you must repair your damaged vehicle. If the insurance company does not cover all of your expenses, you are forced to pay out-of-pocket. Of course, you may not be able to afford it, and even if you can, you should not have to. Most times when insurance companies agree to pay, they try to settle for as little as possible. This is because they are there to protect their own interests, not the claimant’s. Unless the claimant is represented by an expert who knows the tricks of the insurance trade, there will be unfair settlement, resulting in little compensation.
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you need to know your entitlements. Uncertainty of your legal rights could cost you more than is necessary. You may not even know whether you are at fault or not. This is no time to play the guessing game. Also, you should never trust an insurance company to make the decision for you because you will come up short every time. The best thing you can do for yourself is consult with a personal injury lawyer. He or she will help you get fair compensation.