Automobile accidents, including rear-end collisions, are common in New York. So, too, are the serious injuries that often result from these wrecks. Rear-end accidents are stressful events that can result in substantial medical, financial, and personal problems for the victim. Perhaps you or a loved one has been in one of these accidents and you’re unsure what to do next. Let the team at Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. handle your legal claim for damages.
These are a few of the steps you should take after being involved in a rear-end automobile accident.
1. Get immediate medical attention. As soon as you are able, you should see a medical doctor about the accident. This is true even if you don’t feel like your injuries were not serious. What many automobile accident victims don’t realize is that even low-speed crashes can cause major injuries. Although you may feel some pain initially, your injuries may worsen with time. This is not only harmful to your health but could put your claim for damages at risk as well.
A driver or passenger who has been hit from behind could suffer from numerous medical problems, including:
- Herniated discs
- Neck, spine, and back injuries
- Severe headaches
- Tears to a meniscus, tendon or ligament
Let a doctor make the final call on your condition and recommend what treatments you should receive.
2. Call 911 and report the accident. This is one way to get medical attention for particularly serious rear-end automobile accident injuries. But the police will usually come to the accident scene to make a report of what happened. This police report is a crucial part of seeking monetary damages because it contains basic facts about the wreck, such as the identities of the parties involved and the sequence of events leading up to it.
It’s important to note that in some of these crashes, the responsible driver will flee from the scene. Although it can be tempting to chase that person in your car, don’t. Wait for the police to show up and give them as many details as you can about the driver and the vehicle. There may be witnesses or surveillance cameras in the area that can help law enforcement track down the driver, but you should remain at the scene.
3. Start making notes about what happened. Accident victims quickly forget important details if they don’t write them down. However, it will be your responsibility to establish how and why the accident occurred so the negligence of the at-fault driver can be proven. To that end, when making your notes, consider some of the potential causes of your accident and whether you observed any evidence of them:
- Following too closely, commonly known as tailgating
- Distracted driving (e.g. because of cell phone use)
- Suddenly changing lanes to get in front of you, especially in the absence of a turn signal
- Decreased visibility due to time of day, weather conditions, or poor lighting
- Poor road conditions due to weather, road debris, or construction
So, for instance, if you observed the driver behind you following too closely right before the wreck, make a note of that along with anything else that seems relevant.
4. Talk to witnesses and take pictures of the scene. If anyone saw what happened, speak to them and politely ask for their contact information. Also, take pictures and record video of the accident scene, the condition of your car, and anything else pertaining to the accident. You may be surprised how a seemingly minor detail can change the course of a personal injury lawsuit, so err on the side of more detail.
5. Talk to a skilled personal injury attorney. This is where Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. comes in. We work hard to win the compensation our clients need so they can cover their accident losses and move on with their lives. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with us.