I just got rear-ended, what do I do?

I was just rear-ended at a stoplight. The guy didn’t hit me that hard, and there isn’t really any visible damage (my bumper has some dings, but I live in the city and don’t know if they are from this accident or just parallel parking hazards). I took the guy’s information. Do I need to worry about non-visible damage or can I just thank my lucky stars and move on?

Just to be safe you might have a body shop check it out. Does the rear hatch close the same as it did before?

Yeah, no problems with the hatch (I think he just hit the bumper, not the back door). The lights are all fine as well.

Even though it just hit the bumper, you’d be surprised at the damage that can be done. My son rear-ended a car at pretty low speed (bumper to bumper), but the car’s trunk wouldn’t close, the area next to the bumper was pushed in.

You can’t tell by looking. There are parts behind the bumper that are designed to absorb the force, but they are only good for one good bump. I had a cop rear end me once. He gave me all the information. The next day I looked at it and it had a few small scratches. I took it into the dealer (Mazda) and they said just a minute. They came back with a few blocks of Styrofoam. Replaced the ones behind the bumper and changed me $1.75 for each of the three. I never contacted the cop.

I’m Not Familiar With The Type Of Vehicle Called A Kia Rondo, But I Have Managed A Body Shop. I Would Have A Professional Body Man / Woman Check It Out.

Texases and Joseph Meehan have given you excellent advice. At the shop I would explain what happened and the pros will know where to look. Sometimes there can be damage forward of where the impact was concentrated. I’ve seen wrinkles in floor metal quite a distance from the impact site.

Also, exhaust system parts (hangers, pipes) can sometimes get knocked around and damaged when the bumper absorbs the force.

Do all doors on the car, rear particularly, operate (open and close) as easily and freely following the collision as they did before it ?

You are wise to consider possible “hidden damage” . Better to be safe than sorry.


Thanks everyone for your advice. After reading it I took the car to a body shop this afternoon and had the technician look it over - he said there was no damage and I should be fine. Nice to have the piece of mind.

Good to hear…

I had the same thing happen to me while driving the wife from the clinic to the hospital for labor & delivery - someone tagged us and I had to explain to them to hurry the $#@*%@! up with writing down their info (we knew she was nearly fully dilated)… Popped the bumper cover off the next day and the styrofoam looked perfect and there was no metal deformation at all… the only visible sign was the “imprint” of the license plate in the dirt on the bumper. Certainly felt more significant than it was…

It always sounds bad. Especially if a 1986 Dodge B250 van hits an Explorer on the receiver hitch. Sounds like the end of the world, just had tweaked bumper. (love steel bumpers)