After a car accident, call for emergency medical help if anyone needs it, and stay at the scene to talk to the police and gather information. In the days that follow, call your insurance company, see a doctor and schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer.
The actions you take after an accident can speed up your recovery and help you make a strong insurance claim. Use this checklist to make sure you take the right steps:
What to Do at the Accident Scene
Immediately after the accident, if you are not too seriously injured, it is important to try to keep your wits about you and take some simple steps to protect yourself:
- Call for emergency medical help for yourself and anyone else who seems to need treatment right away.
- Call the police. The police will talk to you and the other drivers and witnesses and prepare an accident report. The accident report proves that the accident happened and offers and objective view of events. It is an essential part of your insurance claim. You are required to report an accident in Georgia if there are injuries or significant property damage.
- Exchange information with the other drivers, including drivers’ license information, auto insurance company names and policy numbers, and license plate numbers.
- Talk to people at the scene who may have seen the accident or what caused it. Get their names and contact information.
- Take photos with your cell phone camera of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, and your injuries.
- NEVER say the accident was your fault or apologize for it. These statements can be used against you later.
What to do Within a Few Days of the Accident
After the accident, there are three important things you should do to follow up.
- Report the accident to your insurance company within a day or two. Wait until you feel calm. Give the insurance company the basic facts—when and where the accident occurred and what vehicles were involved—but don’t speculate on the cause. Never apologize or take the blame for the accident.
- See a doctor. Some common car accident injuries don’t show up until days, or sometimes even weeks, after the accident. Seeing a doctor right away can speed up your recovery and help you make a strong claim.
- Schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney in Atlanta Georgia. A lawyer can tell you whether you have a claim, help you get a full medical evaluation, and take care of negotiating with the insurance company. Insurance companies don’t like to pay out claims because it eats into their profits. A lawyer knows how to build a strong case that will force the insurance company to negotiate a fair payment. Just having a lawyer can often mean you recover far more money.
What to Do When the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Calls
Within a few days after the accident, you may get a call from an adjuster with the other driver’s insurance company. The adjuster may ask to record your statement and may offer you money to resolve your claim.
- NEVER let the insurance company record you. Recorded statements are not required by Georgia law, and the questions are designed to trip you up and get you to say things that will allow the insurance company to deny your claim. Always talk to a lawyer before giving a recorded statement.
- NEVER take insurance company money or sign paperwork without talking to a lawyer first. The money can seem tempting, but once you take it, you will give up your right to ever recover anything else. You don’t yet know what your injuries will really cost, and many people take this quick cash and then find out they will need much more to recover and rebuild their lives. Always consult a lawyer if you are considering an insurance company settlement.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have built their careers on helping people recover money for their car accident injuries. We never charge you anything unless we get money for you. Let us give you a free consultation to explain your rights and show you how we can help you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.