You hear about rear-end auto accidents all the time but never imagine you would become the victim of one. You may feel frustrated and angry with the driver who hit your car from behind. But if the driver immediately blames you for the accident, you want to fight back with a personal injury attorney. Until you obtain one, you can protect yourself at the scene of the accident and the emergency hospital you visit for care.
Keep Your Cool When You Give a Statement
After the accident, police officers will question you and the other driver, as well as take down individual statements or accident reports. This is the time your accident gets interesting. If the other driver doesn't want to admit it's his or her fault, he or she may display some really impressive theatrics during the statements. You may expect him or her to cry, yell and even point a finger or even pretend to have injuries he or she didn't really sustain from the collision.
Keeping your cool allows you to give an accurate account of what really happened without all the drama. Here are some things you can remember to do when you speak to the officers:
- You should tell the officers exactly where your car was when the driver rear-ended you. Don't leave out any small, but important details like the color of the light at the time of the incident. If the light displayed red, then the officers may know or suspect that the driver behind you caused the collision.
- You should mention any noises, such as screeching tires, you heard before your accident. This may indicate that the driver needed to slam on his or her brakes to avoid hitting the back of your car. If this did happen, the street's pavement might contain skid marks.
- You should reveal details about the cars located to the left, right and front of your car when the bad driver struck it. These potential witnesses can help you win your case once your lawyer takes it to court, or presents it to the driver's car insurance provider.
Once you complete your statement for your rear-end accident, it's time to go to the hospital for treatment.
Seek Medical Care Immediately After Your Accident
Along with an accurate police statement, going to the hospital is the most important thing you can do for your future personal injury case. You need to document every injury you sustained in the accident. This includes any tiny cuts, abrasions and bruises on your face and body.
Because numerous body and head injuries don't show up until days later or produce symptoms, you may miss the opportunity to win your case. You won't have the medical proof to show that the accident caused your injuries. Having the emergency medical team transport you to the hospital right away prevents this problem.
When you arrive to the hospital, you may expect to undergo a few tests like these below:
The emergency team will most likely take a CT scan or picture of your head, neck and spine. According to the Mayo Clinic, over 40 percent of vehicular accident victims end up with injuries to the spinal cord annually. Spinal cord damage can prevent you from walking, running, and even sitting up in a chair.
X-rays can show the doctors if you have any fractured bones and punctured organs, such as the ribs and spleen. These injuries typically happen when the force of the rear-end accident propels your body forward and into the the steering wheel or dashboard of your car. Internal organ damage and bleeding are silent killers of accident victims. Because these injuries don't always show symptoms of pain, external bleeding and bruising of the skin, you can suffer severe health problems without even knowing it.
After your emergency care doctors and nurses document your injuries, the attorney you hire typically obtains copies for your case.
Staying calm under a rear-end accident isn't easy. But if you keep your cool, give an accurate statement and visit the hospital, you can protect your case. Be sure to seek a personal injury attorney's representation as soon as your doctors release you from the hospital.
For additional information on how to handle a personal injury case, visit Hilbrich Law.