If you do not need emergency care, stay at the accident scene, make sure the police are called and get the other driver’s information. Afterward, report the it to your insurance company, see a doctor, and get a free consultation from a personal injury lawyer.
Georgia law gives you a right to recover money for ALL your injuries and other costs related to your accident. 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.
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. First, many car accident injuries take time to develop, and they get worse if you don’t treat them. Second, 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 in Atlanta 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 shouldn’t I do?
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. And 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 before you take an insurance company check, sign paperwork or provide a statement.
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. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.