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What Should You Do After a Rear-End Collision in Virginia?

In 2015, according to statistics compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and reported by The Washington Post, it was estimated that approximately 1.7 million rear-end crashes occur in the United States every year. Between 2012 and 2014, the NTSB found that nearly half of all two-vehicle collisions nationwide were rear-end collisions. Many of these are the result of distracted driving while others are attributed to poor weather or other causes.

If you are involved in a rear-end crash, it’s important to look out for your well-being and protect your interests. Whether you’re in a minor fender-bender or a more serious accident, there are important steps you should take:

  • Get to safety — If cars are obstructing the roadway, turn on your hazard lights. Set up road flares if you have them and it is safe to do so. If you do not suspect a neck or back injury, or another injury that limits your mobility, move out of the road to protect yourself from traffic.
  • Seek medical treatment — Any serious injuries should be addressed as soon as possible. Call 911 if emergency treatment is needed. Even if no one seems seriously hurt, each person involved in the crash should seek medical attention. Some injuries are not immediately obvious and can worsen over time if not detected and treated promptly. Whiplash, spinal cord injuries, concussions and fractures are among the injuries commonly associated with rear-end collisions.
  • Contact police — Virginia law requires you to file a police report if your accident resulted in injury, death or property damage of more than $1,000. Filing a police report creates an official record of the accident, which you may need in filing an injury claim.
  • Exchange information — When you are involved in a Virginia accident, you are legally obligated to stop and share your name, address, driver’s license number and vehicle registration number with the other driver and with anyone else whose property you damaged. It is also smart to exchange phone numbers and other contact details as well as insurance information.
  • Document the scene — If safe to do so, take pictures of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Capture where the damage occurred as well as other parts of the vehicles that are not damaged. The accident surroundings may also provide crucial evidence for an insurance claim or lawsuit. For example, you may be able to photograph tire tracks, caution signs or hazardous road conditions.

Our attorneys at Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. frequently represent people injured in rear-end auto accidents on Virginia roadways. We can help you seek monetary compensation for your injuries, vehicular damage and other expenses resulting from the accident. With offices in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Staunton and Palmyra, we provide one-on-one advocacy for clients across the state. To schedule a consultation with the office nearest you, call 434-973-7474 or contact us online.

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