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What to Do When Someone Hits Your Car from Behind


Knowing what to do when rear-ended in St. Louis helps ensure your safety, protects your rights, and aids in securing fair compensation.

In the moments following a rear-end collision, drivers often feel overwhelmed and uncertain of the necessary steps. Such accidents are not only common but can also lead to significant vehicle damage, physical injuries, and complex legal and insurance issues. This article aims to guide you through the immediate actions to ensure safety and legal compliance, helping you confidently navigate the aftermath. We’ll cover everything from assessing injuries, documenting the accident scene, dealing with insurance claims, and understanding your legal rights. Being prepared can make all the difference in protecting yourself and your interests in these stressful situations.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.
Based on 81 reviews
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This attorney is very smart, very experienced, returns phone calls and knows the answers when asked. One call and I knew this was a great law firm for auto accidents.
Response from the owner: Our law firm appreciates this. This is a comment we get from so many people who call…”none of the lawyers we called told me all the things that you did.” Whether we take a car accident case or not, helping people is a good thing.
5 Star Lawyer for sure! Best you will find in Saint Louis.
Response from the owner: Thanks for the 5 Star Rating. Reviews like this are great. Injury victims quickly figure out the TV advertisers are not good. We work hard at being the best we can be and it reflects in our representation of car accident victims.
Watch this lawyer in action. Was way better than all the others. Get this lawyer for an automobile accident for sure.
Response from the owner: Thanks for the recommendation. Besides doing cases, our attorneys train for this. Hard work, case knowledge and technique is key to success in car accident litigation.
Very pleased with The Hoffmann Law Firm. Lawyers are attentive, friendly and go the distance to force the settlement you want. The TV lawyers recommend low offers. This law firm gets the maximum.
Response from the owner: We get calls from car accident victims that had to fire the TV lawyers that they hired. They give the same two reasons: 1) they never spoke to a lawyer at the Big TV law firms, only a paralegal, and 2) the paralegal recommended they accept a low offer. At our law firm, you only talk to the lawyer and if an offer is low we tell you to sue. Thanks!
You will love this car accident lawyer.
Response from the owner: You are the best! Thanks for the review. Our attorneys work hard but it all starts with a great client.
Several lawyers said to call this lawyer because he is the best. You will appreciate this law firm. Helped with the injury and property claims. Attentive and knowledgeable. Great reputation in St Louis.
Response from the owner: Thanks Lexi. Our #1 source of cases is other lawyers referring us cases that are too big for them to handle.
Would use this accident law firm. Best in Saint Louis. Highly rated and it shows. After one phone call, you just know this attorney is better. 5 Stars!!
Response from the owner: Thanks for recommending our lawyers in St Louis. There is a major difference in lawyers as you well know.
Great law firm thanks Leah for the referral
Response from the owner: Appreciate you recommending our law firm. Car accident litigation is all we do and specializing allows us to focus.
Car accident lawyers on tv are not good . Get this attorney ! He is a pro !!
Response from the owner: Thanks Nathan. TV lawyers market for car accidents, use paralegals instead of lawyers and give their employees settlement quotas hence forcing cheap settlements. At our law firm, you get a lawyer who keeps pushing forward for more.
A+ attorney. Smart. Helpful. Great for automobile accident cases. Located in saint louis, missouri. Use him!
Response from the owner: Thanks. Car accident cases are difficult without the right attorney and great clients. Much appreciated.
Quality lawyer. Best law firm for a car accident. Advice was way better than other lawyers I called in St. Louis. Helped with property and injury.
Response from the owner: Thanks. The TV lawyer advertisers are just car accident settlement mills. As soon as people call a real attorney, they always tell us how much better and more helpful we were. Appreciate this.
Get this lawyer if you have an automobile accident. Simply the best!
Response from the owner: Thanks Lizzy. Recommendations from other is the best way to find a car accident attorney.
This lawyer is big time. Smooth. The other lawyers on the other side were not nearly as good as this attorney. I recommend friends in St Louis to him for accident injuries and they all say the same thing…”that lawyer is great.”
Response from the owner: Very nice of you to say. Our lawyers work hard on auto accident cases.
Family used this car accident attorney after a crash. Located in St Louis. This lawyer answers the phone and will walk you through the process. Knows his stuff!
Response from the owner: Taking calls, going over the car accident injury and property process is important. Clients that call always say we are the only lawyers that explained everything. Much appreciated.
Tried the lawyers on TV. They were not good. Hired this car accident lawyer instead because he had great reviews. The reviews are correct. This attorney is as good as they get. He does big injury cases that need to be litigated.
Response from the owner: Car accident lawyers on TV do not litigate cases. It is mass production. They have quotas. Local attorneys are best on auto accidents.
Very very good at injury claims for car wrecks. Use this St Louis attorney. Two thumbs up!
Response from the owner: Thanks for the review! All we do is accidents. When you specialize, your knowledge base and practice skills grow. Thanks!
Used this attorney for an auto accident. Highly recommend this lawyer in St. Louis. Communicates well.
Response from the owner: Communicating with clients is essential. Taking the client though the car accident claims process is important otherwise major mistakes can occur. It is an effort that we make. Thanks!
Best for car accidents in St Louis. Use this attorney.
Response from the owner: Thanks. Great clients make for great cases!
This lawyer is great for car accident injury claims. Did an uninsured motorist case. Very good attorney.
Response from the owner: Car accidents can be insured or uninsured. The claims are much different. Thanks for the review.
Great lawyer if you are in an auto accident. I recommend this attorneys office.
Response from the owner: Thanks J. Glad we got your auto accident case completed and that for telling others about our lawyers.
Very good car accident attorney. Did my and my relatives claims and paperwork. Highly recommend.
Response from the owner: Thanks for recommending our law firm on car accident cases.
Fantastic law firm, I would recommend! Received free consultation related to an auto accident when my parked car was damaged by a baseball. Very supportive advice, these guys are good!
Response from the owner: Thank you!
Recommend this attorney for auto accidents.
Response from the owner: Thanks for recommending our attorneys for an automobile accident.
Best St Louis lawyer for car accidents.
Response from the owner: Thanks Tana. Appreciate this!
Great Lawyer!!
Response from the owner: Thank you
I was in a car accident in St.Louis and hired Chris as my lawyer. He was amazing!!! He helped me every step of the way and was able to get me a great settlement!!!Highly, highly, highly recommend him!
Response from the owner: Each step is important in a car accident. Thanks for recommending us for car accidents injury claims.
If you have an auto accident and need an attorney in St Louis, I recommend Mr Hoffmann.
Response from the owner: Appreciate this James and you did great as well. Car accident claims always start with a good client.
Great car accident lawyer. Did a very good job on my injury case. Thanks!
Response from the owner: Thanks. Appreciate the compliment. All we do is car accident litigation.
Very accomplished accident attorney in Saint Louis. 5 stars for sure!
Response from the owner: Thanks
A car accident lawyer I would recommend to anyone.
Response from the owner: Thanks. That is great of you to say about our lawyers.
Great car accident attorney!!
Response from the owner: Thanks
When I had my accident he was very professional, honest and caring to me and my family it wasn't about the money it was about the care, he made sure me and my kids were took care of and I really appreciate it this is a gexcellant law firm also his secretary is the best,so I would like to say thank you chris for everything melinda .
Response from the owner: Thank you
Great car accident lawyer in St. Louis. This is a very good car accident lawyer in St. Lious. Takes phone calls. Listens. Experienced in injury litigation.
Response from the owner: Thanks Maddie. Our law firm brings experience to the table on car accident cases.
Great people, helped me through a situation over the phone. His words and advice eventually helped me in my case.
Response from the owner: Glad to hear!
Although Mr. Hoffman did not represent me in my case he was willing to take the time to get me in touch with someone who specializes in the type of incident I needed legal representation with. Attorney's such as Mr. Hoffman are difficult to find. He took personal time to keep in touch with me and give me sound legal advice and guidance. I highly recommend speaking with Mr. Hoffman if you require his services. I truly believe he is the type of person who cares and will make sure the job gets done RIGHT. Do not hesitate to contact him
Response from the owner: Anytime!
In an auto accident in St. Louis, the other car pulled out and hit us. The collision was very bad. We were all injured and used this attorney. He is very experienced in handling injury claims and got a great settlement after filing a lawsuit for us. 5 Stars!
Response from the owner: Thanks Ms. Santoni. Side impact car accidents are some of the worst our lawyers see. We have to file lawsuits on nearly every case because insurance companies deny almost every claim, but I am glad we got yours resolved. I appreciate you recommending our lawyers and giving us a 5 Star rating.
My daughter and I were in an car accident. We for both injured badly. After I finally got out of the hospital, I started looking for lawyers in Saint Louis and found this attorney who does accident and injury claims. It said their attorney would answer 24 hours a day. I called their law firm at 10 p.m. and a injury lawyer answered. He was polite, knowledgeable, and advised me of what needed to be done for myself and my daughter regarding the car accident. I hired them to do or auto accident case. They kept me well informed during the car accident case in Saint Louis County Court. I was well prepared for depositions. He help with everything. I got a good settlement as did my daughter for our injuries. Although the car accident was scary, it was bearable having a good helpful attorney on our side. I highly recommend this Saint Louis car accident law firm. Their attorneys and lawyers are great. Highly recommended
Response from the owner: Happy to help.
The Chris Hoffman law firm takesgreat care of all my legal needs. They are caring and personal and will fight for what you need. I highly recommend them. You will be very satisfied and know he got you the best deal available.
Response from the owner: Great cleints are the start to pursuing any legal case and you are the best! Thanks for the recommendation Barbara!
A true professional in terms of car accident cases. I definitely recommend this lawyer for any injury after a St. Louis accident. Very good at what these attorneys do!
Response from the owner: Thank you very much for such a great review. Our attorneys work hard at providing great service. Car accident cases are fought by insurance companies from the property damage through the personal injury claim. This forces people to get local lawyers to do their claims. Missouri and Saint Louis, in particular, is known for accident claim denial even against your own insurance carrier. Thanks again!
You will not find better attorneys for a car accident in St. Louis. Very experienced. These attorneys know all the facets of an accident case and have great advice when problems come up during the injury claim.
Response from the owner: Thanks Jack. Our attorneys appreciate a great review like this. It helps car accident victims know who are the real lawyers in St. Louis who do this work versus the mere advertisers who refer victims to lawyers they have never met for a kickback. Much appreciated!
Thanks for helping with my car accident case. These lawyers are best in St. Louis.
Response from the owner: You are welcome and thanks for the review! A lot of car accident victims read these and find it helpful in choosing a lawyer for their case. Great cases always start with great clients!
great lawyer for auto accident cases . I thought this law firm did great work .Very happy with their services. I would recommend them to others.
Response from the owner: It was very nice of you to leave a review. Thanks Brenda! A good case always starts with a great client. We appreciated the recommendation. It is good to hear back from clients and have them refer us to other injury victims after a car accident. Wish you well!
This is the best choice for a car accident attorney. These lawyers get great settlements.I was recommended to them from some people I know and was happy to get a great recommendation.
Response from the owner: Our attorneys appreciate the compliment! It is great to hear we are doing well. It means a lot when you recommend our lawyers to other car accident victims. Thanks again!
Glad I switched to this auto accident lawyer. These lawyers fight hard for their injury clients. I highly recommend these lawyers.
Response from the owner: We are happy you switched as well. Good clients are the basis for a good case. Fighting to protect your rights after an accidental injury is our sole focus. Your recommendation means a lot. Thanks again for the review.
If you are injured in a car accident you should hire this attorney. This is the best legal representation. These attorneys are very professional.
Response from the owner: Thank you for reviewing our law firm and recommending our lawyers. Attorneys appreciate feedback on whether they are doing well on cases and reviews are one of the best means for this.
Response from the owner: Appreciate the Good Words! SInce our law firm started focusing exclusively on car and auto accidents, the focus had increased our knowledge and the learning curve has greatly benefited out settlement results. Specializing is key for any lawyers! All benefit from this. Thanks again for the review!

Immediate Steps After the Accident

When you’re involved in a rear-end collision, your steps immediately after the incident are crucial for your safety and any potential legal proceedings. Here’s what to do when someone hits your car from behind:

Check for Injuries

  • Assess Personal Safety: The priority after any collision is to ensure that you and any passengers are unharmed. Check yourself and others for visible injuries and symptoms of shock or distress.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, symptoms can appear hours or days after an accident. If there’s any doubt about the well-being of anyone involved, it’s important to call emergency services.

Document the Scene

  • Safety First: Before exiting your vehicle, ensure it is safe. Keep your hazard lights on and, if necessary, set up road flares or safety triangles to warn other motorists.
  • Exchange Information: Collect the other driver’s name, contact information, license number, and insurance details. Avoid discussing the fault or details of the incident extensively at this stage.
  • Take Photos: Use your smartphone to take pictures of the vehicles’ positions, visible damage on all vehicles involved, relevant road signs or signals, and the overall accident scene. These images can be crucial for insurance claims and legal assessments.
  • Look for Witnesses: If any bystanders witnessed the accident, ask for their contact details. Their testimonies could be valuable in verifying the sequence of events.

Report the Accident

  • Notify Law Enforcement: In St. Louis, it is mandatory to report any accident involving significant vehicle damage, injuries, or fatalities to the police. The police report is an essential incident record for insurance claims and legal purposes.
  • Provide Accurate Information: When St. Louis police arrive, provide a clear and factual account of the accident. Be concise and avoid speculating about the causes or who is at fault.

Following these steps is vital for ensuring safety and beneficial for subsequent legal actions or insurance claims. Properly managing the situation immediately after the accident can significantly influence the outcomes of these processes.

Common Injuries from Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions, one of the most frequent types of car accidents, can lead to a variety of injuries. Understanding these common injuries can help victims recognize symptoms early and seek appropriate medical attention. Here’s a look at the most prevalent injuries sustained in these accidents:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common injury in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the sudden impact causes the head to snap back and forth, overstressing the neck’s muscles and ligaments. Symptoms can include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Concussions: A concussion can occur if the brain is shaken inside the skull due to the impact. Symptoms, including headaches, confusion, dizziness, and memory issues, might not appear immediately.
  • Back Injuries: The force of a rear-end collision can also cause various back injuries, ranging from strained muscles to herniated discs. These injuries can cause chronic pain and mobility issues.
  • Broken Bones: The impact of a rear-end collision can lead to broken ribs and fractures in the arms and legs, especially if the victim braces for impact.
  • Seat Belt Injuries: While seat belts are critical for safety, they can cause injuries in a collision. Standard seat belt injuries include shoulder bruises, chest pain, and, in more severe cases, internal injuries.

Legal Considerations

After ensuring everyone’s safety and documenting the accident scene, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications of a rear-end collision. This section outlines essential considerations regarding fault, liability, and when to seek legal advice.

Understanding Fault and Liability

  • Determining Fault: Generally, in rear-end collisions, the driver who strikes another vehicle from behind is considered at fault due to following too closely or not paying attention. However, circumstances may vary, and fault can be influenced by other factors such as sudden stops, malfunctioning brake lights, or hazardous road conditions.
  • Liability: The state of Missouri operates under a fault-based liability system for car accidents. This means that the driver found to be responsible for the accident is also responsible for covering the damages. Victims can pursue compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance, file a claim with their own insurance, or take legal action to recover losses. Understanding this system is crucial for St. Louis residents to navigate their options effectively after an accident.

Legal Rights and Obligations

  • Know Your Rights: You can claim losses, including vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and lost wages. Understanding these rights is crucial for navigating post-accident procedures.
  • Obligations After the Accident: It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company within the time frame specified in your policy, even if it wasn’t your fault. Failure to report on time can result in the claim being denied.

Injured in a Rear End Car Accident in St. Louis?

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When to Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

It’s advisable to consult with a St. Louis car accident lawyer before speaking to any insurance adjusters after an accident. An attorney can provide crucial advice and protect your rights throughout the claims process. Here are specific situations where it’s especially important to seek legal counsel:

  • Complex Liability Cases: If the liability is unclear or the collision involves multiple vehicles, speaking with a lawyer is crucial. They can help clarify faults and represent your interests, ensuring that the complexities of the case are handled professionally.
  • Injuries and Significant Damages: In cases where there is significant property damage or injuries, legal advice is essential. A lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to secure fair compensation and ensure all potential damages are thoroughly considered, including future medical costs and lost earnings.
  • Handling Insurance Negotiations: Insurance companies often aim to minimize their payouts. A lawyer experienced in insurance negotiations can advocate effectively for a settlement that fully covers your damages and losses. They know the tactics insurers use and how to counter them to protect your interests.

Consulting with a lawyer safeguards your rights and enhances your chances of receiving adequate compensation for damages and injuries. If you’re uncertain about the legalities of your situation or overwhelmed by the insurance process, seeking legal support can provide the necessary clarity and assistance.

Managing Insurance and Claims

Navigating insurance procedures after a rear-end collision can be complex. This section will guide you through dealing with insurance companies, filing claims effectively, and understanding the nuances of compensation and settlements.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

  • Initial Contact: After speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer, your insurance company should be promptly informed about the accident. Sticking to the details without admitting fault provides a factual account of what happened.
  • Record Keeping: Keep detailed records of all communications with insurance companies, including dates, times, and summaries of conversations. This documentation can be critical if disputes arise.
  • Understanding Your Policy: Review your insurance policy to understand your coverages, including liability, collision, and medical expenses. Knowing your policy helps ensure that you utilize all available benefits.

Filing a Claim

  • Filing Procedures: Your insurance company will be contacted to initiate a claim. You’ll likely need to fill out claim forms and provide documentation such as the police report, photos of the accident, and records of any medical treatments.
  • Detailed Documentation: Submit all necessary documentation promptly. Detailed and thorough documentation supports your claim and can expedite the processing time.
  • Independent Assessment: Consider getting an independent appraisal of vehicle damages if you disagree with your insurance company’s assessment.

Compensation and Settlements

  • Types of Damages: Understand the different types of damages for which you might be compensated, including but not limited to repair costs, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Negotiating Settlements: Insurance adjusters often begin with a low initial offer. Be prepared to negotiate or have your lawyer negotiate for a fair settlement.
  • Legal Advice: Before accepting any settlement offers, it’s wise to consult with a lawyer, especially if the damages are significant or if the settlement doesn’t cover all your expenses and losses.

Successfully managing the aftermath of a rear-end collision involves timely and informed interactions with insurance companies, meticulous documentation, and a thorough understanding of your rights to compensation. Knowing these steps can significantly influence the outcome and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Injured in a Rear End Car Accident in St. Louis?

24/7 FREE CONSULTATION (314) 361-4242

Preventive Measures and Conclusion

Although accidents can happen unexpectedly, you can take several preventive measures to reduce the risk of being involved in a rear-end collision. Here are some practical tips for safer driving.

Preventive Tips to Avoid Rear-End Collisions

  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Always leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front. This gives you ample time to react and stop safely, reducing the risk of a collision.
  • Stay Alert: Avoid distractions such as using your phone, eating, or any other activity that takes your focus away from driving.
  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your vehicle’s brakes and lights function properly. Regular maintenance checks can prevent many issues that might otherwise lead to accidents.
  • Adapt to Driving Conditions: Adjust your speed and driving style according to weather and traffic conditions. For instance, wet or icy roads require slower speeds and increased following distances.

Involved in a St. Louis Car Accident?

Being rear-ended can be a jarring and often serious incident that might lead to damage and injury. We’ve explored the immediate steps to take following the accident, common injuries, the legal considerations involved, managing insurance and claims, and how to prevent such incidents potentially. Remember, your actions immediately after an accident can significantly impact your safety, legal outcome, and financial compensation.

By staying informed about these processes and prepared for the unexpected, you can handle the aftermath of a rear-end collision more effectively and with greater peace of mind.

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision and need guidance or legal representation, call The Hoffmann Law Firm 24/7 for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you navigate your case’s complexities and ensure your rights are protected. There’s no obligation; the consultation is free, and you don’t pay unless we win your case.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Updated: June 19, 2024