On average, a car accident happens every two minutes in Georgia – opportunities that are not favorable to Georgians when they get behind the wheel. Whether you live in Atlanta or elsewhere in the state, you can expect to be involved in a car accident at some point. This is why it is important to know what to do after a collision to protect yourself, your loved ones, and everyone in your car.
By taking appropriate measures, you can greatly simplify the legal aspects of a car accident. With your interests in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 11 key steps every Georgia resident should take after a car accident.
Step 1. Check for injuries
Before you call 911, check for injuries, ask if someone is seriously injured, and provide first aid if necessary. DO NOT comment on the facts of the accident to the other driver or anyone else involved. If they tell you something about it, write it down as soon as possible.
Step 2. Call 911 to report the accident, file a police report, and get emergency medical assistance
This step is required by law in Georgia if someone involved in the car accident is injured as a result. Even if it doesn’t seem like anyone has been injured, call 911 right away. In addition to filing an accident report with the police, you should also see a doctor. After speaking to law enforcement officers who will be on site with an ambulance, go to the nearest hospital. Never assume that you or passengers in your car emerged unscathed from the incident, regardless of the absence of pain or discomfort. Let the health care professionals assess your condition and provide appropriate care. This not only prevents further injuries, but also starts a paper trail in case of a possible personal injury.
Step 3. Secure the area while you wait
If you can, investigate the area in and around the accident site to keep everyone safe while you wait for the police. That means checking vehicles for oil and gas leaks, paying attention to additional traffic, and making sure there are no other hazards such as damaged power lines in the accident area.
Accident sites can worsen quickly if you do not maintain situational awareness of your surroundings. It is in the best interests of all parties to identify additional hazards until first responders arrive.
Step 4. Find eyewitnesses to the accident
Often times, eyewitnesses to a motor vehicle accident stop to offer assistance. Take a moment to identify eyewitnesses and describe what they saw. When they are ready, you will be given their name, address, phone number and email address. Your testimonial could be invaluable to you later.
Step 5. Take photos of all vehicles involved from every angle
Use your phone to take photos of all the vehicles involved in the collision from every angle and provide critical evidence that an insurance company cannot deny. If you reach out to a personal injury attorney who recommends filing a lawsuit, these images provide valuable evidence to support your case.
Step 6. Gather photographic evidence of the scene
In addition to taking photos of your car and any other vehicles involved, it is important to take photos of the scene of the accident, including any skid marks caused by vehicles slowing down quickly. Use the voice recording function of your cell phone or call yourself and leave a voicemail with the events leading up to the accident. You can use this recording to keep events in your mind updated.
Step 7. Take photos of any visible signs of injury such as cuts, scratches, and bruises
After a serious accident, you or others may want to be the last thing to take photos of their injuries. However, as with the vehicles and the surrounding scene, these images provide important evidence that you may need later.
Step 8. Exchange information
Exchange insurance and driver’s license information with the other party involved, but never admit to them that the accident was your fault.
Step 9. Talk to the police
When the cops are there, don’t tell them you are fine. As calmly as possible, explain the facts about what happened and describe your injuries in detail. All passengers should do the same before going to the nearest hospital for a medical examination.
Step 10. Hire an attorney
Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer after calling the police. An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that the consequences of the accident are mitigated as much as possible. DO NOT make recorded statements or speak to the insurance company without first speaking to your lawyer.
Step 11. Stay in touch with your lawyer and follow their advice
If you have followed these steps, you will have done everything in your power to ensure that the aftermath of this unfortunate event unfolds as smoothly as possible. All you have to do is keep in touch with your lawyer, take their advice, take care of yourself and wait.
Need an Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney?
When it comes to steps 10 and 11, you can count on the Greathouse Trial Law to defend your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly by insurance companies. Contact our team today at 678-369-9411. And download our free guide here, 5 Costly Mistakes Georgians Make In An Accident.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“Post”) is for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. The information contained in this post should not be construed as legal advice to the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended as a substitute for legal advice on any particular topic. No reader of this post should act on or dispense with the information contained in or accessible through this post without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice as to the particular facts and circumstances at issue with an attorney that is approved by the recipient state, state, or other suitable licensing jurisdiction.
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