What to Do if a Car Hits You From Behind

If a car hits you from behind, the motorist who hit you is likely liable for your accident-related damages. You should seek the compensation you deserve by hiring a car accident lawyer to lead your case. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible, as this will protect your health and benefit your case.

You may be facing a long road to recovery, and you should do everything you can to promote your healing. Hiring a car accident attorney will spare you from the stress and physical demands of your case and can be a key step in recovering as quickly as possible.

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What Not to Do After a Car Hits You from Behind

What to Do if a Car Hits You From Behind

Knowing what not to do after an accident can spare you from several avoidable problems.

Victims of rear-end car accidents should not:

  • Deal with insurance companies on their own
  • Apologize to anyone, including other motorists or insurance representatives
  • Wait to get medical attention
  • Accept any financial settlement without first consulting a lawyer
  • Get rid of any evidence or documentation related to your accident

Some injuries associated with rear-end accidents, including whiplash, do not always cause immediate symptoms. You should operate as if you have injuries, as this will benefit both your health and your case for compensation.

Let a Lawyer Communicate with Insurers After Your Accident

Dealing with insurance companies is a vital part of the post-accident process.

You should consider hiring a lawyer to oversee your insurance claim because:

  • Insurance companies may use bad-faith tactics during your claim, and your lawyer will ensure such tactics do not sink your claim.
  • You may need to give recorded statements to insurers, and the slightest slip-up can cost you compensation.
  • Your health needs to be the priority after your accident, and dealing with insurers may distract from your recovery.

An experienced car accident lawyer will have dealt with insurers many times. They may be familiar with the specific insurers involved in your case and can handle your claim in an efficient, professional manner.

Essential Steps to Take After Your Car Accident

Now that you know what not to do after your accident, consider the steps you should take after the rear-end collision.

You should:

  • Get treatment for all accident-related injuries: You should never wait to see a doctor after an auto accident. You may have physical injuries that require immediate care. You also need to document your injuries in advance of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Seeing a qualified doctor can protect both you and your case.
  • Find a lawyer worthy of leading your case: Hiring an experienced car accident attorney should be at the top of your priority list after your collision. The sooner you hire your lawyer, the sooner you can focus on your health without facing the stress of your case.
  • Follow your doctors’ and lawyers’ advice: Having qualified doctors and a proven lawyer takes the thought out of your case. Simply follow these individuals’ advice, and you may recover both physically and financially.

If you do your due diligence in finding the right attorney, they will fight for (and possibly secure) the entire financial recovery you are entitled to.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

The cost of a car accident can reach six or seven figures, or even more, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries. You should obtain every dollar you deserve, and your lawyer will do that for you.

Your car accident lawyer will oversee the insurance process and any necessary lawsuit. A lawyer’s duties in motorcycle accident cases include:

Finding the Cause of the Accident

Though rear-end accidents often happen because of driver negligence, other possibilities exist.

Your lawyer will investigate the collision and secure any evidence that helps prove fault, which may include:

  • The police report
  • Eyewitness accounts of the accident
  • Your account of the accident
  • Video footage of the collision
  • Photographs of the accident scene

Your attorney will bring together all useful evidence to present a convincing case for fault.

Identifying Liable Parties

Those responsible for a rear-end accident can include:

  • The motorist who struck your vehicle in the rear
  • The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle component
  • A municipality responsible for dangerous roads
  • An employer whose employee struck your vehicle

If any party’s actions contributed to your rear-end collision, your attorney will document their negligence.

Documenting and Calculating the Client’s Damages

Your legal team will identify how your rear-end car accident has harmed you.

They will secure documentation of your damages, including:

Your attorney will also gather any medical records and images detailing your injuries.

Negotiating with Auto Insurance Companies

Negotiating with Auto Insurance Companies

Most car accident victims receive compensation through a settlement. Your lawyer will represent you in negotiations with insurers.

Even though an insurance company may know it owes you money, you may face:

  • An unjust denial of your claim
  • An accusation that you caused the rear-end accident
  • Undervaluation of your accident-related losses
  • One or more lowball settlement offers
  • Contentious settlement negotiations

Insurance companies sometimes handle rear-end accident cases transparently. However, insurers sometimes place their own financial welfare over the accident victim’s.

Whether insurers handle your claim in good faith or not, your lawyer will demand the settlement you deserve.

Filing a Lawsuit on the Client’s Behalf (If They Choose To)

When insurers and other liable parties won’t pay a rear-end accident victim fairly, the victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit. If your case reaches an impasse where a lawsuit is on the table, your lawyer will discuss it with you.

As the accident victim, you have the power to accept a settlement or let your lawyer pursue a lawsuit. Your attorney will provide honest advice but ultimately defer to you.

Completing a Trial, if Necessary

If you have your lawyer lead a lawsuit and your case goes to trial, your attorney will:

  • Explain what lies ahead
  • Accompany you to any depositions
  • Organize all case-related materials for court
  • Make opening and closing arguments
  • Question witnesses
  • Present and critique evidence
  • Oversee every other detail of your court case

While trials generally take longer than settling, the financial reward of a trial can be significant. Your lawyer can advise if going to trial is right for you.

Can I Handle My Own Rear-End Accident Case?

If you don’t hire a qualified car accident lawyer:

  • Case demands may overwhelm you: Insurance claims and lawsuits can be rigorous obligations. Between traveling to case-related sites, dealing with insurers, and preparing your case, you may become overwhelmed by the demands of securing a financial recovery.
  • You may struggle to fund a successful case: The strength of your case may depend on the financial resources invested in it. A law firm can invest heavily in cases because of their existing resources. Left to pay for your own case, you may struggle to pay for case-related resources like expert testimony.
  • Find yourself at the mercy of insurers: When you deal directly with insurers, you face a host of risks. You might make a verbal error that indicates you were at fault for the accident. You might also accept a settlement that proves to be less than you deserve. With a lawyer, you won’t have to deal with insurers.
  • Fail to obtain the amount of compensation you deserve: If you do not present a strong case and negotiate effectively, you may not secure the amount of money you deserve from insurers. Such a failure can cause long-term harm to your financial security and quality of life.
  • Compromise your health: If you do not focus primarily on your recovery after the accident, your health may suffer. By allowing an attorney to handle your case, you may have more time to rest and seek the treatment you need.

You can avoid all of these risks by hiring a car accident lawyer.

Your Attorney Will Demand Fair Compensation for Your Damages

Your legal team will band together to secure all of the money you deserve.

Your lawyer will consider both economic and non-economic damages, which may include:

  • Medical costs, including emergency transport, emergency care, medical imaging, surgery, hospital services, and all other accident-related medical care
  • Pain and suffering, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep problems, lost quality of life, scarring and disfigurement, and physical pain
  • Property costs, which include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and securing temporary transportation
  • Professional damages, including lost income, diminished earning power, lost bonus opportunities, and any other professional harm

If a loved one dies because of injuries suffered in a rear-end collision, an attorney will seek justice for you. When you suffer harm because of another person’s negligence, turn to an experienced car accident lawyer for help.

Can I Afford the Cost of Hiring a Lawyer?

Can I Afford the Cost of Hiring a Lawyer

Yes, you can afford a car accident attorney. In general, injury attorneys see the financial stress that clients often face, so they offer a fee structure that works for all parties.

When you hire a car accident lawyer, you:

  • Don’t pay any upfront fees or costs to the law firm
  • Get total financial support from the firm, which will cover expert fees, filing costs, and other expenses
  • Agree that they will receive a percentage of any financial recovery they secure

If the law firm negotiates a settlement or wins a jury award, it will receive fair payment for its services. If the law firm does not obtain the compensation you deserve, it will not charge fees for its services.

This is a no-win, no-fee arrangement that motivates your law firm to obtain all of the compensation you deserve.

Do I Need to Hire My Lawyer Right Away

You should hire your car accident lawyer as soon as possible because:

Your Case Comes with a Strict Filing Deadline

State laws require victims of rear-end accidents to file personal injury lawsuits within a certain period of time. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations, and it is a deadline you cannot miss if your case requires litigation.

If you hire your lawyer as soon as possible, you should avoid missing the filing deadline for your case.

You Must Claim Important Evidence as Soon as Possible

Some forms of evidence can’t wait. Video footage and eyewitness testimony may not be available if you wait to collect them. Because your attorney will be the one gathering evidence, you should hire them as soon as possible so they can secure all important evidence.

Insurance Companies May Be Actively Contacting You

Accident victims almost always interact with insurers. If you hire a lawyer, though, your attorney will deal with insurers.

More specifically, your lawyer will:

  • Make any statements the insurance companies require
  • Ensure your account of the accident is thorough and complete
  • Prevent insurers from pressuring you to accept a lowball settlement
  • Pressure the insurance company to move forward with your claim in an efficient manner

The slightest error can compromise your insurance claim. Retain your attorney as soon as possible so they can take control of the claims process.

There Is No Reason to Wait Before Hiring Your Attorney

Seattle Lawyer Tatiana Boohoff
Tatiana Boohoff, Seattle Car Accident Attorney

There is simply no reason to wait before hiring a car accident lawyer. So long as you do your homework to identify a capable attorney, you should not wait to hire your attorney.

There are no financial barriers to hiring a car accident lawyer. You can also complete free consultations as you identify the right law firm to handle your case. Look for a personal injury law firm in Seattle with relevant case results and positive client reviews. Start this process as soon as possible knowing there are time-sensitive aspects of your case.

April 5, 2024
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