Many Houstonians have experienced the sudden thump and shock of being rear-ended in heavy traffic or even on a busy, speedy highway. In fact, read-end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the entire country. Nationally, around 1.7 million rear-end crashes occur each year which injure approximately half a million people. Nearly 700,000 car crashes of all types take place on Houston roads alone. While many assume that fault is automatic if they are hit from behind, that’s sometimes not true (albeit in rare, specific circumstances). Since these auto accidents are so common and injure so many, it’s important for both drivers and passengers to know what to do when you get rear-ended.
While you might assume rear-end car accidents are minor, even a crash at a low speed can cause lifelong injuries. The driver who hit you may allege it wasn’t their fault because their car suffered a mechanical failure, you carelessly pulled out into traffic, and/or your vehicle in front of them stopped too abruptly or illegally. These potential allegations as well as a concerted effort by almost any insurance company to avoid paying out on claims make it worthwhile and important to engage in a free consultation with an experienced personal injury trial lawyer.
Common Causes of Rear-End Crashes
While many driving behaviors can cause you to get rear-ended, some of the more common causes of rear-end collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to use turn signals
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Failing to account for weather or road conditions
8 Steps to Take After Being Hit from Behind in a Car Accident
While you may be shaken up after being hit from behind in a rear-end crash and you will likely be injured, there are certain steps you should take after the accident. If you are physically unable to take these steps, you should have an able passenger in your car undertake them or ask a witness or first responder for help.
- Call 911 to seek help from emergency services, including local law enforcement in order to have official police documentation of the event and emergency services to have all involved evaluated for their injuries.
- Obtain contact information, including phone number, driver’s license number, insurance information, email address, and more, from all parties involved or who were witnesses to the rear-end collision.
- Take photos and/or videos of the accident scene with your cell phone, including evidence showing where all vehicles suffered damage, the injuries of those who were hurt, and any skid marks on the road, among other pertinent details.
- Document your personal memories of the events as soon as possible so you don’t forget any details. This can be accomplished by using the voice memo app on your iPhone or typing your thoughts into a notes app as well.
- Report your auto accident to your car insurance company as soon as possible.
- Retain documents pertinent to your claim, including but not limited to police reports, medical records, medical bills, accident scene photos, witness statements, and more.
- Follow up with medical providers after the accident to ensure all of your injuries are documented, treated, and addressed appropriately. Sometimes in the immediate aftermath of traumatic experience adrenaline runs high and we are unable to feel the full extent of the trauma to our bodies. In addition, some internal injuries may not be readily noticeable to us but can be devastating and even deadly.
- Consult with an experienced Houston car accident attorney about your legal rights and options regarding the losses you sustained when you got rear-ended. What may seem straightforward to you does not always equate to an easy path to getting paid for all of your losses by the insurance companies involved. Our lawyers know this, have experience with this and can help you through the aftermath of your car accident injuries and subsequent recovery.
Houston Car Wreck Lawyers
Some of the most common locations in which you can get rear-ended include parking lots, roads, freeways, and stoplights. These motor vehicle accidents can lead to victims suffering injuries including soft tissue problems, back sprain, and back strain, herniated or ruptured discs, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and more.
If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you need the right legal team to help you prove your case and get you the compensation you deserve. It takes a lot of legal knowledge and experience successfully handling car accident cases to manage claims related to a rear-end collision. The attorneys at JD Silva & Associates have the experience, the passion, and the tenacity to fight for our clients. We routinely work with Spanish-speaking clients as well as English-speaking clients. Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation, or call us at (281) 944-4354.