Only those who have been in a car accident can truly understand the feelings that this situation can provoke. Panic, shock, and confusion are just some of the words survivors who come to our Atlanta personal injury firm use to describe the sensation.
With so many emotions involved, knowing what to do and how to do it can be especially difficult. That’s why we have put together this guide on what to do, and perhaps most importantly, what not to do after an accident. Read on to learn more.
DO: Make Sure Everyone Is Okay
Immediately after an accident, you are rightfully more concerned about the wellbeing of your loved ones and any other involved parties than you are about legalities. Take the moments directly after your accident to survey the scene and ensure that everyone is okay. Leave your vehicle if it is safe to do so and go somewhere out of harm’s way. If you have injuries of your own, make sure that you are seeking appropriate medical care. Unless absolutely necessary, do not move anyone who is unconscious or exhibiting back or neck pain.
DO: Call the Police
Whether your accident was severe or relatively minor, it is always a good idea to alert the authorities. Be sure to ask that a police report be filed. If you plan to seek legal action at a later date, this can be a vital piece of evidence. Make sure to also write down the names of the responding officers.
DO: Keep Diligent Records
Records from the scene of the accident will define any later legal action. Find a pen and paper or take out your smartphone and document all aspects of the scene, including:
- The names and addresses of all involved drivers;
- Any witness testimony from the scene, along with names and addresses;
- License plate numbers; and
- Insurance information.
Keep these records in a safe place and refer to them when appropriate.
DON’T: Leave the Scene
After your accident, remain at the scene until you are certain that you have taken all appropriate actions. Leaving an accident scene involving injuries or damages before it is appropriate to do so can result in severe penalties.
DON’T: Agree to Any Terms Before Talking to an Attorney
While it is important to be respectful of other drivers at an accident scene, you need to be very careful about the information that you disclose. Saying “I’m sorry,” for example, can leave you liable for damages. Additionally, you should never agree to immediate offers of a settlement from an insurance company or other involved party without first consulting with your attorney. The words you speak in all cases can be used against you, so tread lightly.
DO: Find an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been hurt in your car accident, it is vital to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your options. You will want an attorney with ample experience in car accident matters, as this can give you the insight you need to determine how to proceed with your case.
The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Angell Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively defend you in your personal injury case. For a free consultation to discuss your car accident claim, call 770-217-4954 or contact us online today.