A serious rear-end car accident can have a serious impact on your life. Georgia rear-end accidents can cause severe injuries, requiring costly long-term medical care. Victims often suffer emotional trauma from these rear-end collisions, as well.
If you have been injured in a rear-ender that was the fault of another motorist, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
In most rear-end accidents, the driver who gets rear-ended is not found to be at fault. If you are stopped in traffic, for instance, and someone strikes your vehicle from behind, they are typically liable for your injuries. In fact, Georgia law presumes fault on the part of the motorist who rear-ends another vehicle. That means the driver must show evidence of negligence on someone else’s part to avoid responsibility for the crash.
It is always advisable to consult with a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer following a rear-end accident to establish liability – and to calculate the full extent of damages. Even if an insurer accepts liability for the rear-end collision, you can count on them to attempt to underpay your losses.
Being rear-ended can be a stressful and traumatic experience. You may feel overwhelmed about what to do after a rear-end accident. You are not alone. If you’ve been involved in a rear-end accident in Georgia, we strongly recommend taking the following steps:
- Check for injuries. Check to see if you or your passengers are injured. Even if it seems like your injuries are minor, you should still seek medical attention. Sometimes the adrenaline rush following an accident can mask injury symptoms. You may feel OK, then hours or even days later, you experience symptoms.
- Call the police. Call the police and report the accident. The police report could be essential when establishing liability. Without an official police report, it’s simply your word against the other party’s. Remember though that the police do not have final say on fault for a crash. That’s ultimately the court’s job if the parties and insurers can’t reach an agreement. When the police arrive, do not admit fault and don’t speculate about things you don’t know for a fact. Answer their questions and allow them to document the scene. Make sure you keep a police report for your records and have another copy sent to your insurer.
- Get medical treatment. See a doctor immediately following the accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash or a brain injury, could go unnoticed for days or even weeks. If you wait that long to see a physician, however, it could harm not only your health, but also your claim for compensation. Insurance companies will often argue that a delay in seeking treatment is evidence that you were not seriously injured.
- Document evidence. Take photos with your phone at the accident scene. Photos are valuable evidence when you file an injury claim. Be sure to get the name, address, phone number, driver’s license information, and license plate number of the driver who struck your vehicle.
- Do not admit fault. Never admit fault, even if you believe you were partially at fault. Resist the urge to apologize too. Apologies could be taken out of context and twisted into an admission of fault. Allow the police and insurance companies to determine who was at fault. If you disagree with their conclusion, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can see that the liable party is held accountable.
- Report the accident to your insurer. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can following the accident to report the incident. Provide only the basic information about who, what, where, and when.
- Contact a lawyer. Call a Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible following the rear-end accident. An experienced attorney can gather evidence in your case and work on your behalf to seek the compensation you need and deserve. The at-fault party should pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more likely you are to get an adequate settlement in a timely fashion.
At Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., our experienced car accident attorneys are committed to helping people who have been injured through no fault of their own. We fight tirelessly to protect the rights of car accident victims in Georgia, helping them seek the financial compensation they need to get their lives back on track.
- Follow through on doctor’s orders. Always follow all orders from your doctor. When doctor’s orders are not followed, an insurance company could try to argue that your rear-end accident injury was not as serious as stated.
- Keep all receipts and documents. Make sure you keep all receipts and documents related to the accident. Every doctor’s appointment, prescription, and any medical bill should be kept. All these receipts and documents should be given to your lawyer. Some costs can be difficult to recover without a receipt. When this evidence is in the hands of an experienced injury attorney, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely pay up.
- Write a pain journal. Every day following the accident, write down all your symptoms, as well as the challenges you face in your life because of the physical and emotional trauma. Include the date and time in your journal entries. A pain journal can be a powerful form of evidence should you have to file a lawsuit. It’s easy to forget how much an injury affected your life. A journal can help you keep track of all you went through and missed out on due to the crash.
- Don’t post on social media. Never post anything about your accident on social media. If you are injured in a rear-end accident, the value of your case depends on the extent and the nature of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will be looking for reasons to diminish your claim, and they may even look at your social media accounts. Anything you post on social media about the accident can be used against you.
Our Georgia Rear-End Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help You Now
At Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., our experienced and knowledgeable Georgia personal injury lawyers understand how difficult the aftermath of a rear-end accident can be for you. Our compassionate Georgia rear-end collision lawyers are ready to work hard to hold the at-fault parties accountable and pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Georgia rear-ender attorneys at Sherrod & Bernard, P.C. today by phone or online for a free and confidential consultation.
John W. Sherrod is a Founding Partner of Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., who has represented injury victims and their families in Georgia for more than 30 years. A native of Marietta, Georgia, John graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia in 1984 and graduated from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law at the top of his class in 1987. In addition to his law practice, John is a frequent speaker at trial lawyer functions and an active member of several professional organizations, including the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and Southern Trial Lawyers Association.