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What To Do After You're Rear-Ended

Getting hit from behind at an intersection is a common type of collision, but that doesn't mean it's any less terrifying. In the moments after a crash, your mind is a jumbled mess. Thoughts of "what just happened?" are pouring through your brain as you immediately take inventory of the state of your car and, more importantly, the people inside of it.

In those moments, it's important to take a deep breath and follow a few simple steps. Doing so can greatly improve the situation and create the best scenario for everyone involved.

First, Check If Anyone's Been Injured

Before you start exchanging information and taking pictures of the damage, the absolute first thing you need to do is see if anyone in your car or the other victims' car has been injured. If so, call 911 immediately and inform them of the situation. Check also for the "invisible" injuries such as head trauma or spinal injuries. Sometimes, the symptoms can be masked by the adrenaline of the situation, so take a few moments to assess everyone's true health.

Next, Call the Police

After you've ensured that everyone involved is relatively safe, call for a policeman to come and document the accident. Their report is vital to any insurance claims that will inevitably be filed and can also help defuse the situation if tensions between involved parties escalate. 

Third, Call Your Insurance Company

Once the police have been informed and are en route to your location, call your insurance agent to report the accident. Depending on where the accident occurred and what kind of insurance you have, they'll eventually direct you to a collision repair company to repair the damages. Make sure you exchange insurance information with the other involved party and report that information to your insurer and car collision repair company as well. 

Finally, Document All Damage

This is where your smartphone will come in extremely handy. While the police are writing up their report, take pictures of every piece of damage to your car and the other party's. In the event that they claim greater damage than you know occurred, you'll need to have proof of what happened at the time of the accident. Take as many pictures as you can from as many angles as possible; this is one of those times where too much information is a good thing. Also, ensure that you have a written description of the event and statements from any witnesses if possible. If you know where your car will be repaired, send the pictures to your local collision repair service to get the paperwork started as soon as possible.

To learn more, contact a collision repair shop.