If a car hits you from behind, you should document damage to your vehicle, seek medical attention, and retain a car accident lawyer. Your attorney will deal with insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve.

The motorist who rear-ended you may be personally liable for your damages, but their insurance company may adequately cover your losses. Insurance companies and liable motorists do not always agree to pay car accident victims fairly, though, and you may need to fight for the compensation you deserve. Hire a car accident lawyer to wage the fight for your financial recovery while you focus on your physical recovery.


Follow This Checklist After Your Rear-End Accident

Most motorists will go years between accidents and may even be in one accident in their lifetime. It’s no wonder that many rear-end accident victims don’t know what to do after their collision.

If in doubt, follow a simple checklist after your accident:

  1. Document vehicle damage and injuries: While the time may already have passed to document vehicle damage, take photographs of damage to your vehicle if you can. These photographs and invoices for vehicle repairs or the purchase of a new vehicle will help prove the property-related cost of your collision.
  2. Get medical attention as soon as possible: Even those who might say, “I don’t feel any symptoms,” should receive medical attention after a rear-end accident. Injuries like whiplash (and even more serious ailments) may not cause immediate symptoms.
  3. Contact a car accident lawyer: You should not wait to hire an attorney. Your lawyer will protect you from insurance companies, begin building your case, and work to secure your financial recovery as efficiently as possible.
  4. Follow your doctor’s advice: You must follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment and recovery. If you overexert yourself, you may risk further injury. Failure to follow your treatment plan can also expose you to an insurance company’s attempt to pay less than you deserve.
  5. Allow your lawyer to deal with your insurance claim: Once you hire a car accident attorney to lead your claim, let them do their job for you. Your focus can remain on your health while your lawyer prioritizes your financial recovery.

Following these steps, you position yourself for optimal and potential financial recovery.

Understand the Risks of Handling Your Own Rear-End Accident Case

Those who choose not to hire a car accident lawyer after a rear-end collision should understand the consequences of their decision. If you do decide to handle your own case, you may:

Jeopardize Your Physical Recovery

Documenting vehicle damage and injuries

Your doctor may advise you to rest and receive various treatments for your injuries. If you do not dedicate the necessary time and energy towards your recovery plan, you may:

  • Fail to see the progress in recovery that you otherwise should
  • Experience a worsening of accident-related symptoms
  • Develop new injuries or symptoms

You have limited time and energy and should put as much time and energy toward recovery as possible. If you are handling your own case, your health needs may fall by the wayside.

Jeopardize Your Financial Recovery

The cost of a serious car accident can reach the six- or seven-figure range. You should demand complete financial coverage of your accident-related damages, and achieving your financial goals will require a strong case.

If you suffered an injury and leading your case, you may:

  • Struggle to obtain evidence that can benefit your case
  • Face immense stress because of the demands of your claim or lawsuit
  • Have to learn complex legal procedures and concepts
  • Have to negotiate with experienced and capable insurance representatives
  • Fail to obtain all of the compensation you deserve

Oddly, you have minimal experience completing auto insurance claims and even less experience with lawsuits. This lack of experience can be detrimental if you choose not to hire a car accident lawyer.

Face Additional Pain and Suffering Because of the Case

The psychological demands of your rear-end accident claim can prove more than you can handle. You may expose yourself to:

  • Stress
  • Trauma as you re-experience the details of your rear-end collision
  • Emotional anguish
  • Other forms of pain and suffering caused by your decision to lead your own case

You cannot underestimate the demands that an insurance claim or lawsuit will pose, both psychologically and emotionally. Hiring a car accident lawyer will protect you from experiencing unnecessary stress and trauma.

Be Vulnerable to Rights Violations

Insurance companies know what they are doing and often try to pay you less than you deserve. When you hire an attorney, they deal with insurers and protect you from any adverse outcomes, including violating your rights.

What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

Your lawyer will do more than protect you from insurers, though they will certainly do that. Your car accident attorney will manage every detail of your case, including:

Handling the Administrative Aspects of Your Case

Your attorney will handle the small but critical aspects of your case, including:

  • Paperwork, which they will file promptly and accurately
  • Communications, which are critical to moving your case forward and securing a fair settlement
  • Fact-checking, which will prevent unnecessary delays due to errors
  • Case-related travel, which may be required during the investigation of your case and for any case-related court dates

These are pivotal steps in any rear-end accident case and are best left to an experienced attorney.

Detailing the Rear-End Collision

Your attorney will complete a thorough investigation of your accident, seeking evidence such as:

  • Eyewitness testimony about how the accident happened
  • Video footage of the accident
  • Photographs of vehicle damage
  • Experts’ reconstructions of the collision
  • The police report documenting the collision

Lawyers take advantage of the evidence that is available to collect. Your attorney will speak with witnesses, scour the accident scene and nearby cameras, and take other necessary steps to uncover useful evidence.

Establishing Liability

After completing their investigation, your car accident lawyer will know who caused the collision and who is financially responsible for your damages. At-fault parties may include:

  • A motorist
  • A vehicle manufacturer
  • A municipality
  • Another party

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. Your lawyer will consider all plausible causes of your accident and allow the evidence and facts to speak for themselves.

Calculating Your Damages

Your lawyer will assign a precise dollar figure to your damages. This includes both economic and non-economic damages, including any damages you’ll experience in the future.

Securing Proof of Each of Your Damages

Your attorney will work to prove your damages beyond a doubt, and may do so using:

  • Medical images of injuries
  • Photographs of injuries
  • Evidence of lost income and other work-related damages
  • Mental health professionals’ documentation of your pain and suffering
  • Your own testimony about your pain and suffering

Car accident lawyers are familiar with the many damages that can result from a rear-end accident. This will allow your attorney to efficiently document your damages and include the documentation in your case.

Negotiating a Settlement

The ultimate goal of your case is to obtain a financial settlement or verdict that covers your accident-related damages. Settling is the most common result of cases like yours, but it requires liable parties to recognize the cost of your damages.

Your attorney may need to complete multiple rounds of negotiations, as liable parties often fight against rear-end accident claims.

Weighing the Necessity of Trial

After utilizing every opportunity to negotiate, your lawyer will evaluate your best settlement offer. You and your legal team will determine whether to proceed with a lawsuit and trial or accept the best offer.

Important Reasons to Let a Car Accident Lawyer Help You

While hiring a lawyer is often seen as a financial decision, it can benefit you in multiple ways. Working with an experienced car accident attorney may:

  • Provide more time for you to focus on your recovery
  • Allow you to tend to all personal matters without worrying about your case
  • Prevent you from suffering unnecessary stress and anguish
  • Result in the financial outcome you seek

You don’t just get an attorney when you hire a law firm. You also gain the ability to work with paralegals, experts, and other professionals who may participate in your case’s success.

Recoverable Damages in a Rear-End Accident Case

A rear-end accident can cause a variety of significant damages, including:

Damages in rear-end car accident
  • Medical bills: An attorney will seek compensation for emergency services, imaging, hospitalization, and any other accident-related medical care you receive.
  • Vehicle-related costs: Your attorney will weigh the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. The nature and severity of vehicle damage will determine your vehicle-related expenses. An attorney will also include the cost of temporary transportation in your settlement demands.
  • Other property costs: If property aside from your vehicle became damaged during the rear-end accident, your lawyer will demand compensation for replacing the damaged items.
  • Pain and suffering: Your attorney will consult mental health professionals to diagnose your pain and suffering. You demand fair compensation for any physical pain, emotional anguish, psychological distress, and lost quality of life resulting from your auto collision.
  • Professional damages: Lost income, diminished earning power, missed bonus opportunities, and lost benefits may be among the professional damages your lawyer seeks compensation for.
  • Mental health treatment costs: Your lawyer will calculate the cost of any medications and mental health services you need because of the rear-end accident.

Every traffic accident victim suffers different damages. Your lawyer will develop a personalized account of your damages, complete with financial values for each.

Some Rear-End Accidents Are Fatal, Resulting in Life-Changing Damages

If your loved one lost their life because of a fatal accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide some justice for your loss. A fatal rear-end accident case may include many damages, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Grief counseling and other mental health services
  • Loss of consortium (which reflects the loss of the decedent’s non-economic value to loved ones)
  • Loss of the decedent’s future income
  • Loss of the decedent’s contributions to their household

An attorney will discuss your loved one with you, determining the harm you’ve suffered because of their passing.

Who Is Financially Liable for My Rear-End Accident?

Your attorney will answer this question in precise detail. The cause of your accident will be the key determinant in establishing liability, and responsible parties may include:

  • A negligent motorist: Motorists are often responsible for accidents. When a motorist texts while driving, drives drunk, speeds, or tailgates, they increase the likelihood of causing a rear-end collision.
  • An employer: Employers are often financially responsible when their employee causes a rear-end accident. Employers sometimes contribute to an accident, which leaves no doubt about their financial liability for victims’ damages.
  • A vehicle manufacturer: If a defective vehicle contributed to your collision, the vehicle manufacturer or seller may be liable for your damages.
  • A municipality that allowed dangerous driving conditions: Unsafe roads can result in accidents, in which case a municipality may be liable for victims’ damages.
  • Another party: If any other party contributed to the rear-end collision, they may be financially responsible for some or all of your damages.

Your attorney’s prompt investigation of your accident will help establish who owes you compensation.

When Should I Hire My Car Accident Lawyer?

Steven A. Bagen, Attorney for Car Accident
Steven A. Bagen, Car Accident Lawyer

You should not wait any longer to hire your car accident attorney. Urgency is necessary because:

  • Most accident victims face a non-negotiable deadline for filing a lawsuit
  • Critical evidence may only be available for a short period
  • Your attorney wants to deliver your financial recovery as soon as possible, and waiting to hire your lawyer only delays the outcome of your case

Car accident lawyers typically use a contingency fee structure. This arrangement requires you to provide no upfront compensation to your lawyer so they can start your case immediately.

Research personal injury lawyers serving your community and hire your attorney as soon as possible. Case evaluations are free, and your lawyer can assess your rights and options. This provides immediate peace of mind, as you know what to expect and that a trusted professional is handling your claim.