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Being involved in a rear-end collision can be both stressful and confusing. One of the first questions that may come to mind after such an event is, “Whose Insurance Do I Call?”

Understanding your options when handling its aftermath efficiently and securing proper compensation from each insurance provider involved will make a major difference in handling matters efficiently and ensuring fair compensation is received from each party involved.

In this blog we will outline all steps and considerations you should keep in mind immediately after an accident has taken place.

1. Immediate Steps After an Accident

Prioritizing Safety and Examining Injuries

Ensuring everyone’s wellbeing after a collision is of utmost importance. After each crash, inspect yourself and any passengers for injuries; if any are detected call emergency services immediately; even minor injuries should seek medical treatment as some injuries may not immediately apparent.

Moving Vehicles to a Safe Area

For safety’s sake and to prevent further accidents from happening, move vehicles off-road and park them somewhere safe to prevent future mishaps and ensure everyone remains safe. Put on your hazard lights so other drivers know to stay clear!

Contacting the Police and Filing a Report

Even for minor accidents, it’s crucial that you notify the authorities and file an official report with them. This report can assist with insurance claims as well as establishing fault. They will document the scene, gather statements from witnesses and issue you a report number for future reference.

2. Collecting Information

Gather Details on What Happened

At the scene of an accident, exchange information with all drivers involved. This should include their full names and contact info as well as insurance company and policy details, driver’s license number, license plate number and vehicle make, model and color details.

Documenting an Accident Scene

Take photos from various angles at the accident scene to document it accurately, taking notes about vehicle damage, the surrounding environment, skid marks and injuries sustained as evidence in any claims process. Having multiple photos will be extremely valuable when it comes time to submit claims against responsible parties.

Collect Witness Information

To maximize your claim’s likelihood of success and support your version of events, collect witness contact details as soon as possible after an accident has taken place and get their testimony as to what occurred.

3. Contacting an Insurer

Inform Your Insurance Company Right Away

Notify your insurer as soon as an incident has taken place. Provide them with all relevant details as well as any police report numbers obtained during your investigation.

Review Your Policy Coverage

Review your insurance policy in detail to understand which coverages you possess, such as collision, medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist. This will allow you to anticipate what kind of compensation and assistance might be expected from insurers in terms of compensation and support.

4. Contacting the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

Reporting the Accident

Assuming you were hit from behind, the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay. Contact their company with details of the incident including police reports and any evidence you’ve collected in order to file a third-party claim and present them with all pertinent evidence of an at-fault accident.

Submitting Documentation and Evidence

Be ready to present all relevant paperwork, including a police report, photos from the accident scene, repair estimates and medical bills from your car repair shop to help support your claim with an at-fault driver’s insurer. They’ll need this data in order to process it efficiently.

5. Determining Fault

In Rear-End Collisions

When it comes to rear-end collisions, typically the driver who hits the car in front is considered responsible. This assumption usually rests upon them following too closely or not paying enough attention, although there can be exceptions such as sudden stops or brake failures that alter this assumption.

Consider Instances with Shared Fault

Sometimes fault may be shared by both drivers involved if both contributed to an accident, for instance if one driver’s brake lights weren’t functioning. Understanding these nuances could impact how claims are processed and compensated accordingly.

Review State Laws and Insurance Policies

Fault determination may differ depending on your state law; thus, it’s essential that you stay abreast of how local laws impact insurance claims.

Some states use comparative negligence rules in which blame is distributed evenly among parties based on their respective levels of responsibility.

6. Handling the Claims Process

Navigating the Claims Process with Both Insurance Companies

Communicate with both insurance companies to successfully settle your claim. Be sure to keep detailed records of any interactions, such as dates, names, and the content of conversations – this will allow you to monitor its progression more easily and address any discrepancies as they arise.

Dealing with Potential Disputes or Denials of Claims

Insurance companies may dispute or deny claims for various reasons. When this occurs, review the denial letter closely and seek clarification before providing additional evidence or negotiating directly with your insurer or possibly even consulting with an attorney if needed.

Document all Communications and Documentation

Be sure to keep a file with all correspondence related to the accident, such as medical bills, repair estimates, correspondence with insurance companies and witness statements – this will come in handy should the claim be escalated or legal assistance sought for.

7. Medical and Repair Expenses

Understand Your Covered Medical Expenses

Review your insurance policy to ascertain which medical expenses are covered by it, such as emergency room visits, follow-up appointments, physical therapy sessions, medications and expenses related to physical therapy sessions. Make sure all medical records and receipts are saved so they may be reimbursed later on.

Knowing How to Repair Your Vehicle

Secure repair estimates from reliable auto shops and present them to your insurer for approval. Your insurer may send an adjuster out to assess damage before authorizing repair costs – once this approval has been given, repairs can go forward.

Consider Rent-a-Car Coverage

When your vehicle becomes undrivable, check if your policy includes rental car coverage to provide temporary replacement vehicles while yours undergoes repair. Be sure to understand its limits and duration so as to maximize its use.

8. Legal Assistance

Knowing When to Seek Legal Advice or Hire an Attorney

If you experience difficulty with the insurance claims process or the at-fault driver is refusing to cooperate with negotiations for compensation, consulting a lawyer could be invaluable in protecting your rights and helping navigate legal complexities effectively.

Understanding Your Rights and Potential Compensation

An attorney can assist in understanding all forms of compensation you are eligible to claim. They can also negotiate an acceptable settlement agreement with insurance providers.

9. State Regulations and Insurance Policies Often Contribute

Highlighting Specific State Laws or Regulations

Each state imposes different regulations when it comes to insurance and fault determination, so familiarizing yourself with your state laws will give you an understanding of their impact and any requirements that must be fulfilled for a claim to proceed successfully.

Discussing How Different States Handle Rear-End Collision Claims

States may vary greatly in how they handle rear-end collision claims, from fault determination and compensation. Being aware of these variations can help streamline the claims process more easily and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Conclusion

Maintaining peace and safety on the road requires knowledge. By knowing the steps and responsibilities of all involved insurance companies, navigating their claims processes more smoothly may become possible.

Being proactive about seeking legal advice when needed and taking preventive measures may protect you in the future. Staying informed can provide peace of mind on the road.

About the Author

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Husain Law Firm

Nomaan K. Husain is the founder of Husain Law + Associates — Houston Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.C., a Houston-based law firm specializing in Litigation, Immigration, and Aviation. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law, with law licenses in Texas, New York, and other jurisdictions. Mr. Husain serves in key community roles, including as Commissioner on President Biden's White House Commission on Fellowships and Chairman of Houston's Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Board. He's been recognized with several awards, such as the Global Leader Award from the Houston World Affairs Council.

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