A rear-end car accident is one of the most common types of collisions in Colorado. It takes place when one car crashes into the rear of another car, often from following too closely or not paying attention. Victims frequently suffer back and neck injuries in rear-end collisions due to the backward and forward motion of the vehicle in the crash. If you’re suffering back pain after a rear-end car accident, find out what steps to take to protect your rights.
Always call the police after a rear-end car accident, even if the damage is minor. It is important to obtain a police report for insurance purposes. If you notice back pain immediately, tell the police officer that you think you are injured and will be seeing a doctor right away. Realize, however, that many back injuries have delayed or hidden symptoms, especially if the adrenaline from the car accident is masking pain. This is why it is wise to answer questions about your injuries with, “I don’t know,” if you feel fine until you see a doctor.
Go to a hospital in Denver immediately for a medical evaluation of your back injury. Injuries to the spinal cord can be serious and even permanently disabling. Immediate medical care can quickly diagnose your injury and provide a treatment plan to help you heal. Even a less severe back injury, such as disk herniation or a muscle sprain, can be significantly painful and disabling. Getting medical care without delay can help you recover.
Going to a doctor also shows an insurance company that your injuries are serious and related to the rear-end car accident. If you wait too long to seek professional help, on the other hand, the insurance company may argue that you made your own back injury worse by neglecting to get medical care.
If you are diagnosed with a back, neck or spinal cord injury after a rear-end collision, file a car insurance claim in pursuit of financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses. In Colorado, the fault-based insurance law requires you to file a claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. This is often the rear driver, as it is this driver’s responsibility to pay attention, maintain a safe following distance and hit the brakes to prevent a collision. Every case is unique, however.
Call the other driver’s insurance company to make an initial report of your accident. The insurance company will assign someone known as the claims adjuster to evaluate your case. Be careful what you say to the adjuster, as he or she is not on your side. A claims adjuster’s goal is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. When discussing your car accident, do not admit fault and keep your answers as short as possible.
Do not sign anything given to you by the insurance company without speaking to a Denver car accident attorney first. Signing a medical authorization release form, for example, could give the insurance company access to your full medical history rather than only the documents related to your back injury. This could allow the insurance company to escape liability with a defense such as a pre-existing injury. Accepting a fast settlement is another mistake, as it may not fully compensate you for a back injury. Before you settle with the insurance company for back pain, consult with an attorney.
A personal injury lawyer who specializes in rear-end car accidents can help you understand and defend your legal rights. Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the crash, help you gather evidence of your back injury and fight for maximum financial compensation on your behalf. A lawyer can also help you with the personal side of your claim, such as connecting you to a back injury specialist in Denver and answering your legal questions. For more information about what to do if you’re suffering back pain after a rear-end accident, contact The Fang Law Firm today.