Accidents happen, but before they do you need to know what to expect. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accidents. There are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the U.S. every year. The chances are that you have already had this experience. If you haven’t, you’re one of the lucky few. While rear end collisions are normally not very traumatic, they can still cause a lot of damage to both your car and yourself. Today we’ll take a look at what you need to know about rear ended car accident settlements.

How to Determine Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Accident

The first step to finding out if the there is a possibility for a rear ended car accident settlement is determining who is at fault. In a rear-end collision the presumption is that the driver who hit the car in front of them is almost always to blame. While there are exceptions, this is a rule of thumb. A rear-end accident is caused by many factors. The most typical of those factors are following too close, and inattentive driving.  Not having a safe following distance between cars, which allows enough time to react is dangerous and common. In this day and age, some people are also multi-tasking while driving. Drivers use cell phones, put on makeup and even eat their lunch all while driving. These factors add to reaction time and the likelihood of an accident.

What do You do Next?

  • Get to a Safe Place: After being involved in an accident, you want to move out of the roadway. If you are unable to move your car, you should stand somewhere off the road away from the accident.
  • Check on Everyone Involved: Make sure that everyone else is safe and there are no life-threatening injuries.
  • Call the Police: You will want to get a police report for your records.
  • Exchange Information: Take down the information of all the parties involved. You’ll want names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers and insurance information. Also, takes pictures of the scene as well as any damage done.
  • Seek Medical Treatment: If you have been hurt in the accident seek prompt medical treatment. Keep all records of any medical treatment you receive.
  • Consult an Attorney: Find a local attorney that specializes in rear ended car accident settlements. Get the professional opinion on how you should proceed.

Why do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?

An insurance company makes money by not paying claims or paying less than the proper amount. Insurance is a business after all, and their sole goal is to make money. When you’ve been involved in an accident, they will attempt to pay you the lowest possible amount, after all, that’s their business. Keeping the cost of a rear ended car accident settlement low will be their highest priority.

A car accident attorney can help you get the highest amount possible in your rear ended car accident settlement. Helping you is your lawyer’s job. You want someone on your side that knows the laws and can help you get the settlement that you deserve. Most attorney’s make a percentage of the settlement amount, so it is in both your and their best interest to get the most amount of money possible. So obviously you are going to want an attorney to handle any discussions with the insurance company.

Who Pays a Rear Ended Car Accident Settlement?

There are three ways that a rear ended car accident settlement gets paid. The most common are the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Assuming they have good enough coverage to settle the claim, the insurer will be responsible for the payment. Insurance policies exist to protect you in this exact scenario. They safeguard the driver from financial ruin if they are involved in an accident. Although there are limits to almost all car insurance policies. What those limits depend on is the coverage the driver picked.

The second way a rear ended car accident settlement is paid is by the at-fault driver themselves. If a driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the entire claim, they can be sued as well. If the settlement is larger than the amount of coverage the driver has, they could be on the hook for the remaining portion. A driver without any insurance at all is the first source of funding in any settlement case that may arise from an accident for which they are at fault.

Lastly, your insurance may be responsible for a rear ended car accident settlement. Many drivers chose to include coverage for uninsured drivers in their auto policies. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have the money to pay a rear ended car accident settlement, you could use this part of your policy to cover the costs.

If you or anyone you know has been in an accident and needs help getting the highest rear ended car accident settlement possible, call Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney Michael Campopiano, your local Providence car accident attorney today.