What To Do When You Get Rear Ended

person driving car while holding cell phone

Getting rear-ended is a common occurrence on the roads. Rear-end collisions account for approximately 29% of all car accidents each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. While it’s impossible to be fully prepared for a car accident, having a checklist can help calm your nerves and ensure you know what steps to take.

8 Things to Do Following a Rear-End Collision

Rear-end accidents are often caused by factors such as speeding, traffic congestion, distracted or reckless driving, mechanical failure, or driving under the influence. It’s important to follow specific steps after a rear-end accident to protect yourself from financial and legal risks, as not all drivers may be honest or cooperative.

Knowing what to do immediately following any car accident can safeguard your interests. Here are 8 steps to take after being rear-ended:

  1. Check for injuries: Before anything else, ensure your safety and the well-being of your passengers. Take a moment to assess yourself and your passengers for any injuries or discomfort.

  2. Move to safety: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location to prevent further accidents. If your car is obstructing traffic, turn on your hazard lights and carefully move to the side of the road.

  3. Don’t admit fault: While it’s often assumed that the driver who rear-ends is at fault, there can be exceptions. Avoid admitting fault at the scene of the accident, as it can make you legally responsible for damages. Instead, focus on exchanging information and ensuring everyone’s safety.

  4. Notify the police and file a report: Contact the local police or sheriff’s office to report the accident. Even for minor collisions, having an official record can be helpful. An investigating officer will document the accident and create a report.

  5. Take photos of the scene and any damage: Capture the scene and document any visible damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle. Photos provide accurate information and help in case of disputes or insurance claims.

  6. Exchange information with drivers and witnesses: Collect essential information from all involved parties, including full names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance providers, license plate numbers, and vehicle details. This information will be useful when filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action, if necessary.

  7. See a doctor for injuries: Even seemingly minor accidents can result in injuries that may not be immediately noticeable. If you experience pain, discomfort, or any signs of injury after the accident, seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may have delayed symptoms.

  8. Call your insurance agent: It’s important to notify your insurance provider about the accident within a reasonable time frame. Follow your state’s requirements and your insurance policy’s guidelines. When speaking with your insurance company, avoid assuming blame and be truthful about the incident.

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If you’re in need of car repairs after an accident, trust Mackin’s Auto Body. With over 75 years of experience, we are the most reliable and trusted auto body collision repair shop in the Pacific Northwest. We offer resources to help you navigate the aftermath of an accident and work with all insurance providers to handle claims efficiently.

We’re here to assist you. Call us at 1-800-653-0665, contact us online, or visit one of our 9 locations in Portland/SW Washington.

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