According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are the number one type of car accidents in the U.S. that involve two or more vehicles. Whether they occur on a busy interstate highway or a rural back road, these all-too-common accidents can still lead to serious injuries. So, what should you do if you are involved in a rear-end collision?
Sometimes fault may be simpler to determine in rear-end accidents than in other types of crashes, though, you should use your phone to document everything you can at the scene if you are not seriously injured. Insurance companies often push back on claims or dispute the seriousness of a person’s injuries. This is because it is often difficult to quickly assess the severity of common rear-end accident injuries, including whiplash, back and spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries can often take weeks or months of physical therapy to heal or determine if surgery is needed.
If you have been injured in a crash, it’s critical to see a doctor as soon as possible. Immediately following the crash, adrenaline may be racing and masking pain or discomfort from an injury. Even if pain does not occur for a few days, you should still see a doctor. Many people with neck or back discomfort put off this step, hoping the pain will go away on its own. Unfortunately, the injury can sometimes worsen. With soft tissue injuries, it can be necessary to see a specialist, not just visit the emergency room. Patients often need complex imaging from professionals with a thorough understanding of the neck and back to properly diagnose and treat the injury.
Aside from the medical necessity of seeking treatment, it will also increase the likelihood of a successful claim. Insurance companies look for delays in treatment, trying to argue that the injury was not really serious, that the person had a pre-existing condition, or that they were somehow injured after the crash. Having medical records from a specialist will help demonstrate the extent of the injuries and their cause.
Finally, if you have been injured in a rear-end collision, it may be necessary to hire an attorney who can help you get compensation for your damages whether they include loss of pay due to being unable to work, out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by your insurance, or pain and suffering you may have experienced.