What To Do After Being Rear-Ended in Georgia

You are driving on a congested Atlanta highway and traffic slows to a stop. You glance anxiously in your rear-view mirror at the car that has been tailgating you. Then that car slams into you. Or you are at a stoplight and the vehicle approaching from behind doesn’t stop in time, plowing violently into your car. Unfortunately, careless accidents like these happen all too often and cause serious injuries and financial distress to victims.

In many of these accidents, the driver who crashes into the rear of another vehicle is at fault. However, this cannot always be assumed. Sometimes there are unique situations where the driver in front did something that contributed to the wreck. But even if it seems obvious in your case that the rear-end driver caused the accident, their insurance company will not necessarily easily agree to paying a fair settlement for your injuries.

When you’ve been rear-ended in Georgia, there are things you can do to protect your interests and help support your personal injury claim.

Steps to Take Right After the Rear-End Accident

At the scene, call 911 if someone has serious injuries. If you aren’t taken away by ambulance yourself, do the following:

  • Stay calm and avoid blaming the other driver.
  • Don’t admit any responsibility yourself.
  • Call the police to file an accident report.
  • Get contact, driver’s license, and insurance information from the party who hit you.
  • Take photos/video of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles from various angles.
  • Get names and phone numbers of eyewitnesses.
  • Write down anything you remember about the accident such as how fast vehicles were traveling, what the weather was like, the setting, etc.

Very importantly, see a doctor as soon as possible after being rear-ended. Serious injuries such as whiplash, concussion, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and neck and back trauma are not always immediately apparent. Also, let your own insurance company know about the accident. And consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer who will help you navigate the complicated and often frustrating insurance claim process.

Evidence to Gather After Being Rear-Ended

After being rear-ended and sustaining injuries, keep a file with all the evidence of your injuries and what they have cost you. Your file may include:

  • Doctor reports
  • X-rays of your injuries
  • Copies of medical bills
  • Receipts for parking at medical facilities
  • Bills for help with personal care and/or household chores
  • Pay stubs to show how much money missing work has cost you
  • Receipts for car rental services or other transportation.

It is also beneficial to track your pain levels throughout the day or week in a journal. You can also log information about how your sleep has been affected by physical pain or mental trauma and difficulties you may have in completing tasks or pursuing activities you previously enjoyed.

All of this information will help your attorney in proving your injuries, building your case, and negotiating a fair insurance settlement.

Let Your Lawyer Do the Talking to Insurance Companies

In most cases, rear-end crashes are resolved by negotiating with the insurance companies of liable parties. The stronger the evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence, the more likely it can be that the insurer will more quickly make a reasonable settlement offer. If there is any hint that you may have contributed to the rear-end crash or that you can be taken advantage of, the insurance company may make a low-ball offer or try to avoid paying at all.

For this reason, you should not talk to the other driver’s insurance company. While you may be very careful about what you say, the insurance adjuster or other company representative may try to twist your words. If you are contacted, refer them to your attorney who will handle communications.

Your attorney will work to build a strong claim of negligence against the driver who hit you by reviewing all the details of the accident. In some cases, traffic reconstruction professionals and other experts may be brought in to recreate the scene and how it happened. What it takes to prove your claim depends upon all the unique circumstances.

How Much Money Is Available in a Rear-End Crash Claim?

Every accident is different. The amount of money that may be available depends on the factors of the accident including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The insurance coverage and assets of the at-fault driver
  • Whether any third parties could also be held liable—third parties might include car parts makers, other drivers on the roadway, or even agencies responsible for maintaining safe roads.

The losses, or damages, you’ve suffered will be a large part of how much money you may get. Your attorney’s skill in taking on insurance companies is also a consideration.

Damages In Rear-End Accident Cases

Here are types of damages that you may be able to claim:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced enjoyment of life.

If the at-fault driver’s actions were especially negligent, such as if they were driving drunk, recklessly, or at very high speeds, you might also be able to ask for punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish liable parties for particularly bad behavior.

Call Us for Legal Guidance After Being Rear-Ended in Georgia

Rear-end accidents and other motor vehicle accidents happen quickly. They can leave you in shock and unsure of what to do next and what rights you have. While liability insurance is meant to pay for accidental injuries, getting it can often be a laborious, time-consuming, and confusing process. If you are not familiar with the car insurance system and how it works, you could end up getting much less money than you need for your damages.

At The Stoddard Firm, we focus exclusively on helping people hurt by the negligence of other parties get compensation. When we accept your case, we will handle every step of the insurance claim process. If for some reason an adequate settlement cannot be reached with the insurer, we will counsel you about the possibility of going to trial.

Call us today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced rear-end accident lawyer at 470-467-2200.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury LawyerMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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