Georgia law gives you a right to recover money for ALL your injuries and other costs related to your accident, no matter who is at fault. But insurance companies can be stubborn about paying claims. By being proactive in the days after your accident, you increase your chance for a full financial recovery.
After a car accident that’s not your fault, your best choice is to turn to an Atlanta car accident attorney who can help you understand the details of a personal injury claim. Our firm is with you every step of the way, from gathering initial evidence all the way to trial if needed.
What Should I Do at the Scene of the Accident?
Always call for emergency medical help if anyone needs it. If your injuries are not too serious, there are also some simple things you can do at the scene that will help you present a strong claim later. These include:
- Calling the police. A police report provides an impartial view of what happened and who caused the accident. In many cases, you need a police report to make an insurance claim.
- Talking to witnesses. There may be people at the scene who saw what happened or who witnessed events that led up to the accident. Find out what they saw and get their names and contact information.
- Taking photographs. With your cell phone camera, take pictures and/or video of the accident scene, the vehicle damage, your injuries, and any hazards or other factors that you think may have caused or contributed to the accident.
- Video recording the other driver. Sometimes, the other driver will become overly aggressive or will do strange things, like throwing bottles into the bushes. Odd behavior can be a sign of a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you suspect this, quietly record the other driver’s behavior with your cell phone.
- Watching your words. Occasionally, the other driver will become angry and yell at you. Or you may feel like you should say, “I’m sorry,” even though you didn’t cause the accident. Angry statements and innocent apologies can be used against you. Never, ever take the blame for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
What Should I Do in the Days After the Accident?
ALWAYS see a doctor after any car accident. You may think you weren’t hurt badly, but a doctor can give you a full evaluation and see that you get started with the care you need. This is important for two reasons.
- Many car accident injuries take time to develop, and they get worse if you don’t treat them.
- Seeing a doctor shows that you took your injuries seriously right from the start. This is important because some insurance companies try to avoid paying claims by accusing you of exaggerating your injuries.
You should also report your accident to your insurance company. Usually, the insurance company for the driver who is at fault will pay for your injuries and damage, but there are some situations where your insurance company might be involved too.
For example, if the other driver doesn’t have adequate insurance, your own policy’s uninsured motorist coverage may make up the difference.
Finally, you should talk to a lawyer. A car accident attorney can tell you if you have a claim and can connect you with doctors who know how to diagnose your injury and estimate its long-term costs. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company, helping you to get ALL the money you need to recover from your injuries as completely as possible.
What Should I Avoid Doing After a Car Accident?
Never take money or sign paperwork from an insurance company until you have talked to a lawyer. Insurance companies often come in and offer a quick settlement after an accident, but this money comes with strings attached. If you take it, you will give up your right to potentially recover much more later.
Because insurance companies are trying to make a profit, their first offer is typically much less than your claim is truly worth. It may not even be enough to pay all your current medical bills.
Always consult with a lawyer after your accident before you take an insurance company check, sign paperwork, or provide a statement.
Why You Should Speak With a Car Accident Attorney
After any car wreck (especially those in which you’ve received a serious injury), it’s crucial that you speak with a car accident attorney as quickly as possible. One of the main reasons is that Georgia’s statute of limitations under Ga. Code § 9-3-33 in these cases is only two years. Waiting after that deadline may mean that you can’t pursue compensation at all.
There are plenty of other ways an attorney can help you recover after a car crash in Georgia and maximize your settlement.
- Gathering evidence to support your injury claim
- Gathering evidence of the other driver’s fault
- Speaking with eyewitnesses, expert accident reconstructionists, and others
- Negotiating with the insurance company and opposing counsel on your behalf
- Fighting for compensation in court
Do You Have to Go Court for a Georgia Car Wreck?
No! In fact, most car accident claims are settled long before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. However, the important thing is that the opposing side knows you have an attorney who is willing to go to court to get justice.
This helps keep insurance companies and opposing attorneys more honest and fair in their settlement offers. When you team up with our Georgia car accident lawyers, the other side knows we are willing to take the case before the court in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have been helping accident victims recover money for decades – and we charge nothing unless we win you money. Let us give you a free consultation to discuss your case and talk about what you should do next. Get in touch via our contact page or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.