A car accident can often leave the driver and passengers in shock and confused about what happened and what they should do. There might be a need to get immediate medical attention or start gathering evidence at the accident site. In the aftermath of the car accident, the victims may also need to pursue legal action through a car accident attorney. While every car accident can have its unique circumstances, there are a few general steps that one should take after a car accident.
Check for Injuries
Your first priority after any car accident is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the car accident. Alert the emergency services if anyone needs assistance. If you are able to move your vehicle, you should move it to a safe spot and turn on the hazard lights. You don’t want to necessarily impede the flow of traffic. However, in some situations, the vehicles or the injured cannot be moved until emergency services arrive.
Once you are in a safe spot, carefully assess your injuries. It is common for car accident victims to be in a state of shock after the accident, and in this condition, they might not be able to process all the injuries they have suffered. With the adrenaline rush, your after-accident pain may be masked, so you might realize all the injuries you have suffered. Don’t try to do anything that can aggravate the injuries, such as excessive stretching.
Get Medical Attention
You should consider getting medical attention to ensure there are no medical issues that need attention. While it is common for car accident victims to not seek medication attention for minor injuries, this move can harm their claim or lawsuit.
When you get medical attention, you establish a record of your injuries. In addition, some injuries don’t show symptoms until a few hours or days after the accident, or the pain that you thought would subside in a few days does get better. This includes injuries such as whiplash, which can take time to become apparent.
Most importantly, getting medical on time ensures that your injuries don’t worsen or cause further complications. If you seek compensation for your medical expenses or other types of damages caused by the accident, establishing proof of your injuries is a crucial step.
Whether you need to get medical attention first or exchange information with the other driver depends on the severity of your injuries. In some cases, victims of car accidents need to be taken to a medical emergency facility immediately after the car accident. If you are in stable condition at the accident site, you should exchange contact information and insurance details with the other drivers involved in the accident.
The contact information should include the name, address, vehicle’s license plate number, driver’s license, and telephone number. Ideally, you also want to exchange the names and contact details of accident witnesses. It is possible that some people will be unwilling to share their contact information. There is no need to argue or behave aggressively with them.
If law enforcement officials have arrived at the accident site, they will most likely make an incident report, also known as a police report. This report is a crucial piece of evidence in car accident claims, so you should cooperate with the officers. In some cases, the officers also include their opinion on who was at fault in the accident, so it is important that you share the details of how the accident happened.
Start Gathering Evidence
You can start gathering evidence at the accident site, such as taking photos and videos of the vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, and anything else that can help strengthen your case. This sort of evidence can help establish liability for the accident. For example, the damage can help determine the angle of the collision and demonstrate who was at fault for the accident. You can also request a copy of a police report or medical records of your treatment.
You can also get expert opinions as evidence for your case. For example, accident reconstruction experts, car repair specialists, or medical experts can provide valuable testimony to support your case.
Notify Your Auto Insurance Company
You want to notify your auto insurance company as soon as possible to ensure you meet any applicable notification deadline. Notifying the insurance company will help initiate your claim. It is important to be honest and thorough about the details of the accident so there is no contradiction between your statement and the actual evidence. Also, the insurance company needs to know exactly what happened so they can fight to obtain compensation from the driver who was at fault in the accident. Georgia is an at-fault state, which means the driver that has violated the law is at fault and has to compensate the other parties that were not at fault.
A claim can be filed by you if you are seeking coverage under your policy, or it can be filed by the opposition party claiming that you are at fault for the accident. It is in the best interest of all insurance companies to minimize their payout, so don’t be surprised if they use tactics in an attempt to lower your claim amount.
Contact an Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney can evaluate your claim to guide you to the best legal course of action. They can also help you gather evidence to build a solid case. There might be some evidence that you might not be able to obtain, but the attorney could use their resources to access it. For example, car accident attorneys might know of experts that can provide their testimony to your case or help you get surveillance footage from where the accident happened. It is important to choose an attorney that is honest with you and guides you on the merits of the case. Avoid attorneys that guarantee an outcome in an attempt to secure you a client. Look for an attorney who is honest and transparent about the merits of your case. Check this website for more information.