Picture it: It has been a long day at work. All you can think about is getting home, kicking off your shoes and relaxing until you decide what to make for dinner. You’re driving along, listening to your favorite musical selections and then it happens. Even with your foot firmly on the break, you’re forced forward with a massive thrust and hear the crunching of metal just behind you. As you look in your rearview mirror, you see a car and it’s now crumpled hood nearly inside of your own car. You have just been in a rear end car accident.
Those thoughts of a peaceful evening ahead have just come to a screeching halt by another driver who just came to a literal screeching halt into the back of your car. You’ve just been rear-ended. What now?
What to Do After a Tailgating Car Accident in Indianapolis
You know you didn’t cause the accident. After all, you were in your lane and simply slowing down along with the traffic as the upcoming stoplight just switched to red. How could you have possibly avoided this accident? Did you do anything wrong? Your car accident lawyer will tell you that it is not likely that you will be found at fault for the tailgating accident. There are only a few cases when the front driver can be held liable in a rear-ending car accident.
After you have made sure that you do not have any injuries, you need to get out to assess the damage. From here, the story can take a different turn as you decide to call the police (or not), communicate with the other driver about what happened, assess any injuries/damage and exchange insurance information.
This is where the first few things you do are critical and play a huge role in whether or not you can get compensation for what has just happened. If there are injuries, first and foremost, call for help. If there are no injuries, follow these steps that will help you build your case for compensation after a tailgating car accident in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Step 1: Consider Calling the Police
Getting the police involved is beneficial for your case because their official report will be reviewed by the insurance companies. Be sure to note the name of the officer and badge number, just in case you need to communicate in the future.
An official account of what happened will help support your case.
Step 2: Take Notes and Pictures of the Car That Caused the Rear End Car Accident
In the case that you are somewhere that you feel unsafe exiting your car, either stay inside and call the police or wait to drive to the nearest police station to file a report. Do your best to get an accurate description and license plate of the car that hit you. Without that information, the likelihood of finding the driver is slim to none if they drove away after the accident.
If you do feel safe exiting your vehicle, know that this is not the time to skimp on the details. Make sure you have a clear account of what happened in both words and photos. Be mindful and cautious of free-flowing traffic in the area and safely photograph each vehicle and their positions along with the license plate of the other car. Get the other driver’s insurance information along with their name, address, and phone number.
And don’t forget to record the exact time the rear end car accident occurred. If you suspect you were rear-ended by a distracted driver (i.e., using their mobile device) the time of the incident may need to be compared to that driver’s mobile phone records.
Step 3: Get Witnesses Involved
Ask around: “Did you happen to see that car rear-end my vehicle?” Get names and contact information for all the witnesses who can share what they saw. If their witness accounts are favorable to you, this will boost your chances of getting compensation for this rear end collision.
Step 4: Call Your Insurance Company Even if the Other Person Has Insurance
In the rare instance that the driver who rear-ended you is not held liable, you’ll want records of this accident on file with your insurance company. Getting your claim covered is key, even if it has to come from your own insurance company.
Your insurance company may send an adjuster to look at your vehicle to assess the damage. If you happen to be present, you’ll need to know how to handle yourself in the presence of the adjuster. Make sure you do not accept any fault for the accident or say anything that could incriminate yourself in any way.
Final Step: Contact a Seasoned Indianapolis Tailgating Car Attorney to Help with Your Case
If you find yourself the victim of a rear-end collision in Indianapolis, Indiana and believe it wasn’t your fault, you could get compensation. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will try to offer you a smaller settlement than what you deserve.
Having a Indianapolis car accident lawyer to stand with you and guide you through the legal process will increase the chances of an outcome in your favor. The attorneys at Rowe and Hamilton offer free consultations. Contact us today to get your compensation claim underway.