What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident
It is estimated that over 300 car accidents occur in Atlanta each day. Certainly the number in Georgia is much higher. So no matter how safe a driver you are, it is likely that at some point in time, you may be involved in auto accident. When this happens, knowing what to do at the scene of the accident and shortly after can help protect your rights.
Every situation is different, but below are some generally accepted guidelines from the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Slater & Wilensky LLC.
1. Stop your Car and Stay at the Scene of the Accident.
It is very important that you do not leave the scene of the accident until it is appropriate to do so. If you fail to stay at the accident you may be subject to criminal charges. Move to a safe location, and do your best to warn oncoming traffic to prevent further accidents.
2. Check Everyone Involved in the Accident for Injuries.
Get medical attention for anyone who may need it before assessing the property damage. Unless there is a threat of sustaining greater injuries, if a person is unconscious or complaining of neck or back pain try not to move them until medical help arrives.
3. Call the Police.
The officer will make a police report of the facts of the accident. Obtain the city or county, name, and badge number of the responding officer.
4. Exchange Information with the Other Driver.
Talk to the drivers of any other vehicle involved in the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, driverâ??s license, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information.
5. DO NOT Admit Fault or Apologize.
Things are chaotic at an accident and it might not be evident who was at fault. Often times, accident victims are unaware of circumstances that may have caused or contributed to the accident, such as defective roads, inadequate signage, vehicle defects, and actions of other drivers.
6. Talk to Witnesses.
Ask every witness what they saw. Get their names, telephone numbers, and addresses. This includes drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
7. Take Pictures of the Accident.
Most cell phones have the capability of taking photos. Take pictures of the property damage, skid marks, debris, and any other items that may help determine exactly what happened.
8. See a Doctor if Injured.
If you are injured in the car accident, seek emergency medical treatment at a hospital. If your injuries appear minor, still go to your family doctor. Delays in medical treatment will be used against you by the insurance company if the injury lingers and you need to make a claim later on.
9. Contact Your Insurance Company.
Insured motorists have a duty to report claims as soon as possible, and cooperate with their insurance company in the investigation and handling of their claim. You are not, however, required to give a recorded statement to an opposing insurance company.
10. Do Not Post Any Information to Facebook, Twitter, or Any Other Social Media Website About the Accident.
This information can be obtained by opposing insurance adjusters and later used to defeat your claim for compensation.
11. Call an Attorney.
Most attorneys provide a free consultation to determine what rights you have to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been in a Georgia car accident, call our experienced legal team today at (404) 888-0500. We will review your vehicle accident case for no charge, and advise you on the best way to protect your rights and move forward.