If you’re injured in a car accident, it’s a chaotic and frightening time. It can be very difficult to know exactly what you should do. With all the interaction you have with police officers and doctors, it can be easy to overlook the importance of documenting everything that happened in the accident and during its aftermath. Documenting your accident injuries is essential if you’re going to get fair compensation. Below are some tips that will help:
Make Accident Notes
Make notes on the time and location of the accident, as well as how it actually happened. It’s important to do this as quickly as possible, since your memory will be more accurate close to the event. Hold on to these notes. They can be essential when you’re interacting with the insurance company or lawyers. You should also make notes about how your injuries impact your life, including your work.
Take Some Accident Photos
Remember to take photos of the accident and particularly of any vehicles involved. Photos of the street or intersection, skid marks, street signs, lights and anything else that might be relevant to the accident would also be a good idea. If possible, try to use a good camera for this. But if you have to do it quickly, because the cars are being removed, you can use your phone camera. If you’re injured and unable to take the pictures, have someone else do it for you.
Get Your Injuries on the Record
In the emergency room or when you go to see your private doctor, make clear just what your symptoms are. An insurance company can question your injuries later if you don’t mention them to the doctor at the time. Another way to document your injuries is to take photos of any cuts, bruises, fracture casts, stitches or scars. You want to take photos of these injuries immediately after the accident, after treatment and as you continue to heal.
A simple rear-end accident occurs when one vehicle collides with the vehicle in front of it. In most cases, the rear vehicle is deemed negligent and liable for damages.
Chain-reaction collisions involve three or more vehicles that hit each other in a sequence of rear-end collisions. For the middle car, this is referred to as a “double tap,” because you receive two impacts, one from behind and the other when you are pushed into the car in front of you. This is a very dangerous situation for the middle vehicle as it receives the most damage and may become sandwiched between the other vehicles. Serious permanent injuries can occur depending on the circumstances, severity of the collision and the speed of the rear vehicle. Tailgating and lack of driver attention are common causes of rear-end collisions and chain-reaction collisions.
In determining liability, the rear vehicle is almost always found negligent. Basically, if they didn’t hit you, then you wouldn’t have hit the car in front of you.
In some situations, a chain-reaction collision can be very complex, and there may be questions as to who is liable. Property damage is a major factor in determining liability. If there is more visible impact damage to the rear of your car, more than likely, you are not at fault. Witness observation and statements given by the driver of the first car are also important in determining liability and negligence.
A middle vehicle may be found partially liable if they contributed to the collision. This may happen if the tail lights or brake lights were not working or if there were mechanical problems causing it to be rear-ended.
Florida is a comparative-negligence state. This means that any party that was injured has the right to seek damages even if they were partially responsible. Any compensation awarded is offset depending on the degree of liability. For example, if you are found to be 25 percent liable, you will only receive 75 percent of the amount awarded to you.
Being in an accident can be a very traumatic experience, not only for the person injured, but their family as well. If you or a loved one were involved in a chain-reaction collision and have questions regarding the accident or as to liability, please contact us today.
A very common type of accident is the rear-end collision, so it’s important to understand the common injuries associated with this type of accident. When a rear-end collision happens, the car being hit can have very little warning of the impending crash. As a result, these common injuries can be exacerbated.
Below are the most common accident-related injuries you may sustain if your car is rear-ended by another driver:
- Neck Injuries –Anytime your car is hit from behind, your neck will snap back, then forward. This often results in a hyperflexion or hyperextension injury, sometimes known as whiplash. These types of injuries can range from mild to severe and may prove to be permanently disabling. Some related injuries, like herniated discs, can be even more serious.
- Back Injuries – Strains, herniated discs and sprains in the mid and lower back can also happen when you are hit from the rear. This type of injury can be worse if the victim is unaware of the impending calamity. There is an increased chance that an occupant will be engaging in an activity when the car is at a stop. Rummaging for something in the seat behind or leaning over to another occupant can place your body in a compromised position. If a rear-end collision were to happen at this point, the benefits of the safety features in the car (seatbelt, headrest, etc.) are bypassed.
- Head and Face Injuries – Your head and face may hit your windshield or steering wheel when you’re hit from behind, which can result in lacerations, concussions, bruises or worse. It’s also possible that you can suffer a concussion even when you don’t hit anything in the car. The very violent front and back movement of your head can cause injuries to your brain because it hits your skull’s interior.
- Shoulder, Wrist and Hand Injuries – These often happen when your arms and hands become jammed into the steering wheel due to the impact.
- Seatbelt Injuries – When your shoulder harness and seatbelt engage, it can lead to bruising.
- Airbag Injuries –The airbag of your car might deploy if an accident makes you hit the car ahead of you. The contents of your airbag can sometimes cause burns. If you aren’t holding the steering wheel properly, the airbag can severely bruise and burn your wrists or forearms.
In a rear-end collision, it’s almost always the trailing driver’s fault because they were driving too closely to the car ahead of them. These types of accidents often are preventable by simply providing yourself enough space to stop if the car in front of you brakes suddenly. Unfortunately, as the lead car, you are not always in control of others tailgating you.