Car accidents happen – even to the most careful and conscientious drivers. After a car accident, you may feel shocked, enraged, and full of adrenaline. If the accident was caused by someone else, you may be tempted to unleash your frustration. But should you? Or better yet, what should you do if you are involved in a car accident?
Put together by a car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA, here are 6 things to do if you are involved in a car accident in Georgia. Remember these tips if you are involved in any sort of car accident, be it your fault or someone else’s, whether you are injured or not. Making wise choices in the immediate aftermath of an accident can save you a lot of headache down the road.
With a rush of adrenaline and emotion, your actions following a car accident may be out of the ordinary for you. Our advice, stay calm and follow these steps:
Check for Injuries
Before moving too much, assess yourself and any passengers to see if anyone is injured. If you are able, check the scene to see if anyone else is injured.
Move to Safety
If possible, move yourself and others to a safe location. If your vehicles are disabled on the busy Atlanta roads, turn on your hazard lights and move to the side of the road until police arrive. If your vehicle is not disabled, pull it off to the side of the road and wait in a safe area.
Call the Police
It doesn’t matter how minor or serious an accident is, you should always call the police after a car accident. If anyone is injured, request medical assistance as well. Having police on scene can help defuse the situation and keep everyone calm. Police officers also can fill out reports for everyone involved, which is important when filing an insurance claim. Remember that when filling out the report, only state the facts. Do not admit fault or place blame on someone else. Just give the officer a factual statement of events.
State laws vary on exactly what information you should provide to another driver after a car accident. After a car accident, you should exchange information with more than just the driver, however. In Atlanta, Georgia, it is recommended to collect the following:
- Name and contact information for other drivers
- Insurance information of other drivers
- License plate information of vehicles involved
- Name and contact information of any witnesses
- Police officer’s name and telephone number
- Police report number
Only communicate with other parties as much as necessary. Avoid the opportunity for conflict by sticking to the facts and getting the information that you need.
Document the Accident Scene
As much as you are able, document the accident scene. The police report will include basic information about the accident, but it may not include photos and other information. It is recommended to document the accident scene by doing the following:
- Photograph the entire scene
- Photograph any property damage
- Photograph the road, debris, or tire marks
- Write notes about what happened just before the accident
- Record video of your vehicle being moved or towed from the scene
- Photograph any injuries that you have (immediately after the accident and also during treatment)
Documenting the scene can be an important element in proving your claims if you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a car accident and someone else is at fault, contact a car accident attorney to find out if you have a personal injury claim. If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.