Rear-End Car Accidents in Cape May County
Most drivers have heard the term “fender bender,” meaning a low-speed car accident in which one vehicle collides with the rear of another. They typically cause some property damage but usually do not cause severe injury.
However, rear-end crashes that happen at higher speeds often do result in significant injuries, especially to the occupants of the vehicle in front. If you sustained injuries in a rear-end car accident in Cape May County, you could seek compensation from the driver who hit you. Consult a local car crash attorney immediately after the accident to benefit from their counsel throughout the process of seeking monetary damages for your losses.
Steps to Take after a Rear-End Accident
Sometimes, people who have been in a wreck say or do things at the accident scene that insurance companies could use against them later. It might be challenging to hold your composure after a crash, but following these simple steps could help you preserve all your rights after a rear-end auto collision.
Check for Injuries
First, ensure everyone is okay, make a report to the local police, and ask for a medical assessment from the paramedics who arrive on scene. Otherwise, a driver who feels they might need medical attention should remain in their vehicle until first responders arrive.
If everyone’s physical condition allows, it is advisable to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, but keep the chat to a minimum and do not apologize for the rear-end accident. Make a note of the date, time, and exact location of the crash, and record the weather conditions and any other factors that could be relevant, such as the proximity of a construction work zone. Take pictures of the crash scene and all involved vehicles.
Cooperate with Police
Answer police questions honestly but do not volunteer information, speculate, or accept responsibility in any way. It is acceptable for an accident victim to tell an officer that they feel too upset to talk and arrange to communicate with them later.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Getting a medical examination immediately after a rear-end auto accident is a critical step, even when an individual does not feel that they are badly injured. If first responders offer ambulance transport, it is wise to accept. If a rear-end crash victim chooses not to use an ambulance, they should go to the emergency room, see their private physician, or visit an urgent care center for evaluation within 24 hours. This is especially crucial for victims of rear-end crashes, as neck hyperextension, or whiplash, is common in these types of accidents.
Whiplash can be a severe injury that is slow to heal and presents confounding and extremely uncomfortable symptoms, such as dizziness, anxiety, and memory disturbances, in addition to pain and limited range of motion. Hyperextension is not visible on an X-ray, MRI, or other common imaging techniques. Proving whiplash requires medical records generated soon after the incident which indicate that the patient was in a rear-end car accident.
Other injuries associated with rear-end accidents include:
- Sprains and fractures of the wrist or shoulder
- Facial lacerations or damage to the bones of the face
- Chest injuries, including rib fractures and damage to the diaphragm from airbag deployment
- Spinal cord damage
Insurers are notoriously skeptical of whiplash claims, so building a record from the time of the accident is critical. A Cape May County lawyer could use that medical record later to support a rear-end car accident claim for damages.
Limited Time to Bring a Lawsuit
New Jersey Statute §2A:14-2(a) generally gives claimants two years from the date of their rear-end car crash to bring a lawsuit against liable parties. However, it is always wise to consult with a lawyer since some exceptions can shorten or extend this filing deadline.
Depend on a Cape May County Rear-End Car Accident Attorney
If a rear-end car accident in Cape May County left you with painful and debilitating injuries, it is vital to retain legal representation right away. An injury attorney on our team could advise you on the best strategy to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Do not try to handle your claim alone. Schedule an appointment with a seasoned attorney today.