There are around 6,000 road traffic accidents reported in Georgia every year. Being involved in an auto accident is not something anyone is expecting. Yet, it affects so many Georgian residents every day.
Being involved in an auto accident can range from a minor bump or a “fender bender”, to life-changing injuries.
Here at The LaScala Law Firm, we’ve been representing victims of auto accidents for years and have helped numerous clients seek acceptable compensation for their injuries.
You’re not always in control of whether or not you’re going to be involved in an auto accident. What you can do, however, is prepare yourself should the worst case happen.
Here are the steps to take after an auto accident to ensure you’re able to get back on the road and claim any compensation you’re entitled to:
Steps To Take After an Auto Accident
Secure the Scene
Being involved in a road accident can be a scary and confusing experience. Even if it was a minor incident, it really shakes up most people.
The first thing you need to do is to try to keep a clear head. Then do what you can to secure the scene to prevent further accidents.
Check what kind of injuries you and your passengers have before exiting the vehicle. Then switch on your hazard lights to warn other road users, and exit the vehicle if it’s safe to do so.
Now you can also check on the other vehicle and persons involved in the accident. Finally, move your car to the side of the road if it’s causing an obstruction to over vehicles if possible.
Call the Police
It doesn’t matter how serious the accident was or how much damage was caused, you should always call 911 and report the incident.
Even if you don’t think there will be any follow-up, filing a police report protects you against any future issues. Such as later realizing you actually are injured or having the other party dispute the incident.
Also, if you or the other party are going to need to involve your respective insurance companies, you will need a police report number. A police report also provides an unbiased account of the accident which will be pivotal when filing a claim.
Exchange Details with the Other Driver
You need to keep a clear head and remember to obtain as much information about the other driver and passengers involved in the accident.
If there were any witnesses, it can also help your case to take down their details in case they need to be contacted.
It’s important to be mindful of the fact that you’ve both just been involved in an accident. Be careful about what you say to the other driver.
Don’t admit liability, and don’t blame them. Try not to talk about the incident so shortly after it happened as emotions are often high.
Ask them for their insurance information, driver’s license, and phone number and any other contact information you might need. Take pictures or note down their details, along with their vehicle license plate.
Likewise, be prepared to hand over your insurance and personal details should you ever find yourself involved in an auto accident. Always have these details on you or hidden in your vehicle.
It’s never been easier to take pictures or video footage. Almost everyone carries a mobile on them at all times.
It’s easy for memories to change in the days following a crash. Or, for one of the parties to remember the accident differently from the other.
Pictures do not change or lie. They also provide some of the best evidence if you’re going to be making a compensation claim and filing for damages with your insurance company.
Take plenty of pictures of any damage caused as a result of the crash. Also, take pictures of any injuries you and your passengers sustained.
Seek Medical Attention
Unless your injuries were so serious that you were rushed off to the hospital, once you have all the necessary information from the incident you should seek medical treatment as soon as you can.
Not all injuries are obvious or felt right away. It’s always a good idea to get a professional medical evaluation, even if no injuries are obvious.
Not only to be on the safe side in regards to your health but also because medical reports form a crucial part of any insurance claim.
Call your Insurance Company
You should call your insurance company as soon as you’re able to. They will need the police report number and some other information, but they can open a file and get started with your case.
Again, be careful about what you say at this point. Simply inform your insurance company that you have been involved in a car accident. Tell them you will get back to them with more details once you speak with a personal injury lawyer.
They will understand this and advise you of what they need next to start work from their side.
Talk To a Personal Injury Lawyer
The next call you make should be to a personal injury lawyer. You’re not expected to know the law and what you are or aren’t able to claim in the event of an auto accident.
That’s for a personal injury lawyer to advise you on.
There is a good chance that you will be entitled to claim compensation for any losses you’ve suffered due to the auto accident.
This means repairs to your vehicle, medical bills, lost wages if you’re unable to work, and more. Your lawyer will pick up all the paperwork for you, make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, explain the legal-speak, and fight for your rights on your behalf.
Arrange a Consultation with Michael LaScala
Michael LaScala is a former prosecutor and has litigated complex and high-profile auto accident cases on both sides of the law.
He’s one of the leading criminal defense and personal injury lawyers in Georgia. By hiring Michael LaScala, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands. He will fight for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.