What to do after a rear-end car accident in Nashville

January 27 2023 | Nashville Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • Steps to take after being rear-ended in Nashville

    Every auto accident, from a fender bender to a massive wreck, can run the gamut from being an annoyance to being extremely traumatic. Rear-end accidents can be some of the worst, resulting in significant injuries that cause you to incur lost wages and a stack of medical bills. If you were involved in a rear-end collision in Nashville, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

    If you have questions, or want to ensure you receive every dollar you deserve, call us today. Nashville personal injury lawyers can help you recover the compensation you’re entitled to from the insurance company.



    Get it done.


    This process should start with you immediately following the wreck. Some steps you should take include:

    Call 911 and seek treatment for all injuries

    The most important initial steps immediately following a rear-end car accident is to call 911, check yourself for injuries, and seek medical treatment. It is extremely important to take care of yourself following the wreck and to disclose all past and present injuries to your medical provider. Receiving medical care and diagnoses will also help to prove your claim later on in your case, as you will be provided documentation of any new injuries caused by the accident.

    Exchange information with the other drivers

    Unless the other driver’s injuries are major, you can speak with them following the crash to exchange information. It is best to speak briefly and not to go into detail or admit fault. Wait calmly after your information exchange until the officials arrive to provide further details of the collision.

    Limit your conversations with other individuals

    Limit your conversations with the investigating officers, insurance companies, and the other driver. Never admit fault and avoid posting anything on social media, as it can be used against you later in your case. Never give a statement to the at-fault party’s insurer or admit fault to your own. Neither insurance company is on your side. The best method to follow is to contact an auto accident attorney and then direct any questions from these individuals to your lawyer so that you can be advised on how to respond in a way that will not jeopardize your case. Alternatively, your attorney can also respond on your behalf.

    Document the scene to remember details about the crash

    Following a crash, it can often be difficult to remember every detail. A rear-end car accident can often take drivers by surprise since most aren’t expecting to be hit, let alone be hit from behind. This is why it is important to document as much as you can directly after the collision occurs. Memories fade, but photos and witness statements do not. An experienced lawyer can use the information gathered from the accident to build a strong case for your claim. After exchanging information with all parties involved and filing a police report, take some time to write down the basic details or take pictures of the accident, such as the location, time, the direction you were traveling, driving speed, and any nearby people, vehicles, landmarks, or road conditions.

    • Take as many pictures as possible. Taking photos of the scene will help as evidence in the claims process, and it could also refresh your memory. Aside from zooming in on vehicle damage, try taking photos of the surrounding area, including shots of street signs and traffic lights, the intersection, nearby businesses, and, of course, the cars themselves from various angles.


    • Make a voice memo for yourself. If you’re too nervous to write things down, or if you don’t have a pen and paper with you, call your own cell phone and leave a message or record yourself with as many details as you can. You can always refer back to the message or recording to recall any minor details you may have overlooked. This is especially important if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, as identifying the vehicle and driver can help you pursue a successful personal injury claim.


    • Create a drawing. After you’ve completed all of the necessary steps following the car accident, try to recreate the scene by drawing a simple visual of the crash scene. Visualization is a useful technique for memorizing or recalling information (you may later need to do this for subsequent reports for the police report or the insurance company, so it’s best to do everything while it’s still fresh in your memory). Try to draw the intersection or lanes you were traveling in, as well as the positions of all the cars involved. This, along with your personal account of the event and the photos, may help you remember what happened.

    Gather contact information from witnesses

    Witnesses can help build a strong accident case. This will apply to anyone who witnessed your accident. Obtain the name, email, and phone number of a witness so that they can be contacted later.

    Obtain a police report

    Nashville police reports after a car accident are available from the Nashville Tennessee Police Department or the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security for involved parties, including passengers injured in the collision. Normally, they are available 7-10 days following the accident.

    Contact an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer

    Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer can ensure your rights are protected and put you in the best possible position to recover compensation for your injuries. The insurance companies are not on your side, let us be.

    If you’ve been injured after being rear-ended, call us today at 800-800-4600 for a free consultation.


    What causes rear-end collision injuries?

    During a car accident, your body continues to move at the same speed as before the collision. If you are hit from behind, your back will collide with your seat, propelling you forward.

    You will almost certainly react by slamming on the brakes. Your body will continue to move forward until it collides with a seat belt, dashboard, steering wheel, or airbag. Your body is then jolted again as it returns to its original position.

    When you rear-end another vehicle, either on a Tennessee highway, city street, or rural road, the opposite results happen. As a result of the sudden stop, you bend forward until you hit your safety restraints. You will then be thrown backward in your seat once your vehicle has come to a complete stop.

    These violent movements can cause a variety of injuries.

    Injuries resulting from rear-end collisions

    The following are some examples of common rear-end collision injuries:

    Bruising and strains on the chest

    A seat belt injury occurs in almost every rear-end collision. Your location in the car doesn’t matter. Whether you are the driver or passenger or sitting in the rear seats, your body will (or should) be restrained by your seat belt. This sudden stopping of your body can result in a bruise on your chest, neck, and shoulders. You may also strain your chest muscles and tendons.


    Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid, back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. This is a common injury in rear-end collisions. Whiplash occurs when your neck’s muscles and tendons stretch or tear. It can also be caused by the stretching or tearing of the ligaments that hold your cervical spine vertebrae together.

    Fractured vertebrae

    Your spine hyperextends and compresses as you jerk back and forth during a rear-end accident. This force can cause vertebral fractures. A fractured vertebrae can sever or compress the spinal cord. This can be a very painful and even life-threatening injury.

    Disc compression

    Discs are the spaces between vertebrae. They cushion the vertebrae and provide flexibility to your spine.

    Your discs can be damaged by hyperextension and/or compression of your spine. A herniated or bulged disc can injure the spinal cord by impinging (or touching) on the nerves that run through the spine. A herniated disc can also cause a pinch sensation on your spinal nerves that can be extremely painful for individuals.


    When your brain moves violently back and forth, moving around inside your skull, you can suffer a concussion. Even if the brain itself does not hit the inside of your skull, the pressure waves it encounters as it moves can cause serious damage.

    Headaches, confusion, and other cognitive symptoms may occur as your brain becomes inflamed as a result of the brain injury from the wreck.

    Facial bone fracture

    Airbags are not designed to deploy when a vehicle is rear-ended. As a result, in the event of a rear-end collision, you may strike your face on the steering wheel or dashboard. The force of the impact can fracture the bones in your face, which can require major surgical remedies to treat.

    Thumb injuries

    If the airbags do deploy, they can oftentimes fracture the thumbs of people who are driving and holding onto the steering wheel. The airbag’s explosive deployment from the steering column can fracture or sprain your thumbs. A fractured thumb may seem trivial, but trying to perform many essential daily tasks without the use of your thumb will quickly show you just how important this digit is.

    Frequently asked questions about Nashville rear-end collisions and helpful tips

    What to do after a car accident in Tennessee?

    Non-emergency highway incidents, call 847 (THP) on any cell phone! A trooper will be sent to you as soon as possible. For an emergency, call 911. Seek medical attention immediately, and contact an automobile accident attorney to ensure you receive every dollar you deserve for your injuries.

    Do you have to call the police after a minor car accident in Nashville, Tennessee?

    It doesn’t matter what the cause or extent of your injuries is, you are required by law to report any auto accident with a value of more than $400.

    For small, non-emergency accidents, please call the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing 847 on any cell phone.

    Is Tennessee a no-fault state for auto accidents?

    Tennessee is an “at-fault” state, and if you have suffered a car crash or highway accident in this state, you may be able to seek compensation.

    How long after an accident can you file a claim in Tennessee?

    You have one year from the date of the car accident in Tennessee to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit by this date, you may forfeit your claim and are typically barred from suing as a result of the car accident. The statute of limitations refers to the one-year deadline for filing a lawsuit.

    What are some rear-end collision settlement examples?

    Recently, our rear-end car accident lawyers obtained a $725,000 settlement for a Tennessee man involved in a Nashville rear-end crash. In this case, the initial settlement offer was only $65,000, but our team fought for maximum compensation and our client was successfully rewarded.

    Read more of our settlements and verdicts, and if you’ve been injured in a wreck, contact us today.

    We’re Here to Assist You

    In the event that you are involved in a rear-end collision in Tennessee, be sure to call the police and seek treatment first, then contact a Nashville personal injury lawyer from our firm. We have been assisting car accident victims in and around Nashville for decades, and we will fight for every penny you deserve.

    We have five law offices across Tennessee, located in Nashville, Columbia, Gallatin, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro. If you are not local, we can come to you. Give us a call any time at 800-800-4600 for your free case evaluation. Our team of injury attorneys will take the reins on your case so that you can focus on what matters most, your recovery. Call now.


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