This is what to do if you’re rear-ended

You stopped at a red light, and you were waiting for the light to turn. Suddenly, horns blared behind you, but it was too late for you to try to move out of the way. Someone hadn’t been paying attention, and other drivers tried to warn you. Seconds later, you found yourself in a serious crash.

Getting struck from behind is a common kind of car accident. Drivers who are distracted, who have faulty brakes or who don’t slow down fast enough cause these collisions regularly. It’s necessary to call the police immediately, even if the individual suggests handling the case without involving insurance.

What should you do after getting rear-ended?

Start by calling 911 and waiting for help to arrive. Even if you feel well at the moment, it’s possible that you could develop injuries as your adrenaline wears off. Whiplash is particularly common in this kind of accident, so it’s a good idea to go to the hospital for a checkup.

When the police arrive, you need to file a report. Tell the officers what happened. Don’t take on any fault. For example, you should say, “I was at a red light and the other vehicle hit me from behind while I was stopped.” You wouldn’t want to say, “I didn’t see the light and slammed on my brakes to stop, which made the other driver hit me.”

After you make a report, get a copy of it for your attorney. You’ll also need to obtain a copy of the other driver’s insurance policy, license plate number and address. Contact information for witnesses is helpful, so get as much as you can for your attorney. Once all the documents are collected, submitting them helps start your claim. Doing this early keeps your memory fresh, too, so you can make a clear statement about what happened.