According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 30% of all auto accidents reported every year in the United States are rear-end collisions. This common type of auto accident can be caused by a variety of factors, including distracted driving, speeding, or mechanical failure. Learn what you should do if another driver rear-ends your vehicle and how you can recover compensation.

What Steps Should I Take After Being Involved in a Rear-End Collision?

Always check that everyone involved is safe, and if there are any injuries, call 911 right away. Be courteous to the other driver but do not say anything that may be used as an admission of fault; simply exchange your contact information and insurance information. Take pictures and video of the scene of the accident, and if there are any witnesses, you may also want to obtain their contact information. Call the police and report the accident, get a copy of the report and contact your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company. It is recommended that you consult with a car accident attorney as early as possible to get help with your case.

Should I See a Doctor Even if I Don’t Feel Injured?

Whiplash is a common injury that results from a rear-end collision, and like other injuries, it may not show any symptoms until after several days have passed since the accident. Even if you don’t feel injured, or think your injuries are minor, let the police officer know about it and get examined by a doctor. If you develop complications days or weeks later, you will have the necessary evidence to link your current condition to your accident and injury.

How Is Fault Determined in a Rear-End Collision?

In Washington, drivers who contributed to an accident are held liable for their share of responsibility for the crash. In a rear-end collision, the most common cause for the accident is the second driver who failed to control his or her vehicle and crashed into the first vehicle, which is often stopped or parked. Common reasons such as speeding, following too closely, or distracted driving will usually place the blame on the second driver, but there may be exceptions. If the first driver was driving recklessly, making abrupt lane changes, or driving a vehicle without working brake lights, he or she may be partially responsible for the accident.

The percentage of responsibility assigned to you for a rear-end collision greatly affects the amount of compensation you may be able to receive. An attorney can help you with every aspect of your case and assist you in taking the right steps to maximize your chances of obtaining full compensation for a rear-end collision. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, contact the attorneys at Church & Page PLLC at (509) 638-1414.