Causes of Rear-End Collisions
It's a common misconception that the driver in the back is always to blame in a rear-end collision. Yes, there are instances where the driver in the back is clearly at fault, such as texting while driving, tailgating, or speeding, for example. But there are also situations where the front driver may share some responsibility. Unexpected stops, failure to use turn signals, or reversing without warning can all contribute to a rear-end collision.
Common Injuries from Rear-End Accidents
The injuries sustained in a rear-end collision can vary greatly, from whiplash and concussions to broken bones and even spinal cord injuries. It's important to remember that even if you don't feel immediate pain, you should still seek medical attention. Some injuries, like whiplash, might not show symptoms right away.
Steps to Prove Fault in a Rear-End Collision
Knowing what to do after a rear-end collision is crucial, as it largely determines who may bear the financial responsibility for the damages caused. Here is what you should do to prove fault:
Collect the accident report: Obtain a copy of the police accident report, which contains essential details such as the officer's notes, diagrams of the accident scene, and any traffic law violations made by the other driver.
Gather witnesses' testimonies: Witnesses can provide an unbiased account of the incident. Make sure to collect contact information from any bystanders who witnessed the accident.
Photograph the accident scene and damage: Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and any visible injuries you've sustained. These can serve as visual evidence to support your claim.
Follow your healthcare provider's advice: It is crucial to adhere to all medical advice and treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Keep a record of medical treatments: Document all medical procedures and treatments you've undergone. These medical records are vital to demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Compile all documentation: Gather all the collected evidence (the police report, witness testimonies, photographs, and medical records) to build a compelling case. This collection of evidence can effectively demonstrate that the other driver's actions caused the accident and your resulting injuries.
With the right support, clear understanding, and admissible evidence, you can effectively prove liability and claim the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take If You've Been in a Rear-End Collision
If you've been involved in a rear-end collision, it's essential to take the right steps to safeguard your health and legal rights. These steps, if taken promptly and appropriately, can significantly aid your recovery process and strengthen your case if you decide to seek compensation. Let's examine these crucial steps further:
Stay Calm: Right after the accident, take a moment to breathe and calm yourself. This is important to ensure you're thinking clearly about the next steps.
Check for Injuries: Assess yourself and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries. Call an ambulance if necessary.
Move to Safety: If it's safe to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic.
Contact Authorities: Dial the non-emergency police number to report the accident. An official police report can be crucial when dealing with insurance companies.
Collect Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Do not discuss fault or apologize as it could be used against you later.
Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene and any damage to vehicles. Write down details about the accident while they're still fresh in your mind.
Gather Witnesses: If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information. They could be helpful if there’s a dispute about what happened.
Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, it's important to get a medical check-up following the accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Notify Your Insurance: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be honest about the incident and provide all the necessary documentation.
Consult a Lawyer: If you sustained injuries or significant damage to your vehicle, it might be beneficial to consult with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
It's crucial to take immediate steps like seeking medical attention, documenting the scene, and consulting legal counsel.
Rear-End Collision Attorneys in Southern California
If you've been involved in a rear-end collision in Southern California, reach out to us at the Law Offices of Steven Zwick. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help. Give us a call for a free consultation; we're ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.