If someone rear-ends you, it’s best to call your insurance, no matter who’s at-fault during an auto accident. You should call as soon as possible so your insurance knows whether your rear-end accident is covered. Obtain the other party’s information before calling so they can come in contact with the other insurance company.
Rear-ends are frustrating, but no matter the damage, you should contact your insurance with an auto attorney on-call. Injuries like whiplash develop symptoms over days or weeks, and your economic damages may be higher than you expect.
What to Do After a Rear-End Accident
Write down names of the parties involved, addresses, phone numbers, and everyone’s driver’s licenses. Take photos of their license plate(s) and vehicle identification numbers (VIN), and ask to see their vehicle registration card. You want to make sure all their information is accurate.
Take photos of all vehicle damages and the location of the accident, like cross streets or plazas. For example, CA Veh Code § 16000 requires you to report to the DMV if there are any injuries, deaths, or damages exceeding $1,000. Your state’s laws may be different, but most states require you to report for most auto accidents.
Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene after a rear-end accident. Not only will you lose crucial info your insurance needs for your claim, but you may be charged with a hit and run in your state. Even if the damage is slight, leaving the scene may result in a misdemeanor or felony depending on the damages.
Calling Your Insurance Provider
You may wonder why you should call your insurance if you’re not at-fault. However, calling your insurance will help your auto attorney raise your settlement amount as they know more about your case.
You also have no obligation to call the other party’s insurance company after a rear-end crash. Handle the accident with your own insurance company, and your attorney can talk to the other companies on your behalf.
Insurance companies will try to downplay your losses from a rear-end accident to reduce the settlement they owe you. Don’t let them convince you that your losses aren’t worth fighting for. Below are examples of info you should give to your insurance provider to expedite the process.
Information to Give to Your Insurance Provider
When you call your auto insurance provider for a rear-end accident, they’ll most likely ask you for:
- Your full name and contact information
- Location of the accident (city, cross streets, etc.)
- Dates and times of the incident
- Provide a copy of a police report
- Other parties’ information (names, contact, driver’s license, plate numbers, registration card, car model, insurance, etc.)
- Photos of vehicle damages
If you’re unsure of some details about the accident, it’s okay to say you don’t know. It’s better to give your insurance accurate information than to speculate, harming your ability to raise your settlement through an attorney.
Should I Contact the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Provider?
In this claim, yes. Chances are the at-fault party may have accepted financial responsibility for the rear-end accident. You should contact them and provide all documents related to the claim and all medical records for your accident injuries.
The positive thing is you don’t have to worry about disputing the case since the other party is at-fault. However, their insurance may find ways to reduce your compensation. Find an auto accident attorney to help you get compensated for all injuries and vehicle damages.
Do I File a Claim Using My Insurance?
File a claim against the other party if they are at-fault. This is a third-party claim where you are the third party to the other driver and their insurance company. The other party’s insurance may investigate the accident further before admitting fault. Nevertheless, you may have to turn to your auto insurance even if they’re at-fault.
Sometimes, the other party is underinsured or has no auto insurance. You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance instead. If your insurance policy includes underinsured motorist coverage, you can get compensated for your damages, regardless of their coverage.
You can use your auto insurance to recover damages rather than dealing with the other party’s insurance using collision insurance. Unfortunately, your insurance amount will be taken due to the collision’s deductible. Possibly, you’ll get your deductible back if the other party’s insurance reimburses you.
Will My Insurance Go Up if I Get Rear-Ended?
Your insurance rate shouldn’t increase if you get rear-ended and the other party’s at-fault.
However, certain states, like Ohio, work on an at-fault insurance system where drivers must pay for damages depending on how much they’re at-fault. Your insurance rate may rise if either insurance has determined you were partially at-fault.
Other states may have a no-fault insurance system known as personal protection insurance (PIP). In some states, no matter who is at-fault, it’s required to have no-fault insurance covering all injuries and damages.
Here’s a list of states with no-fault insurance as of 2023:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
No-fault insurance is mandatory if you live in the states listed above.
What if You Rear-Ended Someone and They Left The Scene?
If someone hits the back of your car and the other party ran from the scene, you’ll have to report it to the police and your insurance provider. Gather as much information as such as plate number, color, and vehicle model. Find any witnesses and ask for any clues they may have seen.
You’ll need to provide a statement to the police and follow their investigation. Take notes and keep the receipts from care repairs and any medical treatment you or others received.
Under Florida statutes § 95.11(4)(a) mandates that you file your claim within two years from the incident date. Other states vary, so find an attorney specializing in auto accidents within your state.
Some state limitations last until six years regarding personal injury during a car accident. North Dakota has a six-year statute of limitations for accidents causing personal injury and property damage. North Dakota is a no-fault state, so the owner would file a claim with their insurance policy to repair the damages or injuries.
File Your Claim With an Auto Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident, contact LegalASAP. We are an online network connected with 500+ law firms committing to help you find an attorney in your state.
We are available 24/7 to answer any concerns or questions you may have. Call us at 888-927-3080 or fill out a short evaluation form and find out how much your claim is worth from a local auto accident lawyer.
Cassandra Tran Nguy is a legal writer living in Los Angeles, California. She graduated cum laude from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in English Creative Writing and a minor in Marketing. Visit her online profile at linkedin.com