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What should I do after getting rear ended? A step-by-step checklist (Colorado)

  • By: Amy Brewer
  • Published: May 13, 2022
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If you’ve been in a car accident where you got rear ended, it can be scary and disorienting. You’re not alone. In fact car accidents involving being rear ended are the most common type of accident (around 29%), according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

What should I do after getting rear-ended?

The minutes following the accident are vitally important to assess yourself for harm, damage to the car, and gather information. Take a deep breath, because we’ve compiled a list to help you understand what steps you’ll need to take following a car accident involving being rear ended. (This goes for being rear ended or even if you’re the person who rear ended someone else.)

Steps to take immediately following a car accident involving being rear ended:

  • Check yourself for any injuries. Move slowly.
  • Move carefully to safety.
  • Call the police and file a report with them.
  • Be sure to exchange information with all involved drivers and witnesses (name, contact information, insurance information).
  • Be sure that when speaking with the other driver or those around you, don’t admit fault.
  • Take photos of the scene and any damage to the cars.
  • If needed, schedule a doctor’s appointment to treat any injuries. Note that injuries may not be apparent immediately so you may consider scheduling an appointment anyways.  
  • Get on the phone with your insurance agent and report the accident. 

Should I get an attorney after getting rear ended?

Depending on the severity and complexity of the case, you may consider getting a car accident attorney. Not only can they help you through the process, they can also assess your case and help you get the most out of your insurance settlement. 

Factors to consider following a car accident

At-fault or No-fault? 

Knowing whether your state is an at-fault state or a no-fault state is important. The state of Colorado is an at-fault state, which means that the insurance carrier of the person who caused the accident is responsible for property and personal injury damages.

This doesn’t mean you’ll always be at fault if you were the one who rear ended the other car. However, in this case, it could be helpful to get yourself an attorney who knows the law. For example, according to comparative negligence laws, your case could lead to an outcome where one driver is 60% at fault and the other is 40% at fault.There are a few factors that could lead to this outcome and an auto accident attorney is well versed in all of the laws and factors. 

How much is a rear-end collision settlement?

There are a lot of factors involved in determining what a settlement might be for a rear-end collision; however, an auto accident attorney can help you sort through them all. For example, you’ll need to consider the extent of the damage, the specifics of your insurance policy, and any pre-existing conditions or recurring medical expenses could be factors. The easiest way to understand how much you could receive in a rear-end collision settlement is to get your case evaluated by a professional who specializes in motor vehicle accidents. 

Why you want to consider a car accident attorney after being rear ended (especially in Colorado)

Car insurance companies have a bad reputation for dealing out low-ball settlement offers, even research shows it! Research done by the Insurance Research Council shows that on average victims of car accidents, including being rear ended, received a settlement offer at least three times less than those that had attorneys representing them. This means your settlement payment may be well below your expenses after a car accident— including medical bills, car repairs and replacement, lost wages and pain and suffering. 

An experienced auto accident attorney will be on your side throughout the process. They’ve been through this process many times and will know exactly what steps to take and when. They’ll keep you on track and will fight for the most amount of settlement you deserve for your case.

Amy Brewer

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