Rear-end collisions can happen anywhere, though they are most common at intersections and in parking lots. Being rear-ended can cause considerable damage, not only to your vehicle but also to your body. If someone has struck you from behind, you should be prepared for a lengthy recovery and a possibly frustrating experience getting compensation for your claim. For help, contact a Conyers car accident attorney.
Expect Certain Injuries
Car accidents can cause many injuries, including broken bones, cuts or lacerations, and spinal cord injuries. However, rear-end collisions tend to see some common injuries, such as:
- Whiplash. This is a soft-tissue injury caused when the head snaps back and forth like a whip. Whiplash often results in headaches, neck stiffness, problems sleeping, and dizziness or nausea.
- Traumatic brain injuries. The whiplash motion can also shake the brain inside the skull, leading to a TBI. Common symptoms include slurred speech, blurred vision, headache, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and problems with memory or cognition. Some TBIs cause a victim to immediately lose consciousness.
- Facial injuries. A passenger’s face could strike the dashboard, steering wheel, or another passenger. Even if there are airbags in the car, they might not deploy or could deploy too forcibly, causing injury.
- Back injuries. Any trauma can cause injuries to the back, including sprains or displaced spinal discs. Back injuries can cause immobilizing pain.
Even if you feel okay after the crash, pay attention to your symptoms in the following days. Some injuries are slow to develop, but you will want to receive prompt medical attention.
Rehab Your Injuries
It is vital that you follow your doctor’s advice to get well. If you don’t, then the other driver could claim you are somewhat responsible for your pain. If your doctor wants you to go to physical therapy twice a week, then you should go. The sooner you get well, the sooner you can return to work and start earning money again.
Help Your Insurer Determine Fault
Generally, the vehicle that struck you from behind is at fault for the accident, though that is not a hard-and-fast rule. Instead, the fault is determined by determining who if anyone drove negligently. For example, you might have cut someone off, which could make you partially (or even fully) at fault for the crash. But a great many rear-end collisions are caused by a motorist following too closely the vehicle in front of it. As a result, the driver cannot brake in time and plows right into the back fender.
After reporting the accident to your insurer, they should work to establish fault for the collision. Under Georgia law, the motorist who is to blame for the crash is charged with paying compensation to those injured. That compensation can include damage to your vehicle as well as the cost of medical care and lost wages.
Your insurer will assign an adjuster to work on the case. In some situations, the fault for the crash is obvious. In others, there might be a dispute. At some point, you will probably need to explain how the accident unfolded to your insurance agent as well as the insurer for the other driver.
Prepare For Settlement Negotiations
Most cases settle, which can save time and money. However, not all cases settle quickly. There are several reasons that settlement might be delayed:
- There is a dispute over fault for the rear-end accident. The other driver might claim that you are to blame. The insurance companies usually to more fully investigate these crashes.
- Your injuries are very serious, so you need more compensation than usual. Insurers will look closely at these cases.
The timing of settlement negotiations is key. You might find that your attorney wants to wait until you have recovered from your injuries before negotiating a settlement since at that point the full financial cost of the accident is known. The ideal in settlement negotiations is to receive full compensation for all losses, including pain and suffering.
Your attorney should handle negotiations for you, but he or she will never accept a settlement offer without your permission. As the client, you decide whether to settle and for how much. Some cases settle in as little as a week. Others can take months of intense negotiation.
Contact An Experienced Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Rear-end collisions leave our clients in considerable pain and in financial distress. Fortunately, our team knows how to obtain compensation for our clients. If you would like to discuss your rear-end collision with someone, please contact MG Law to schedule a free consultation.