If you’ve been in an auto accident in Georgia, you need to focus on protecting your rights, avoiding mistakes that could harm your auto accident claim, and making sure that you do everything in your power to ensure that you are able to successfully pursue a claim. At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, we want you to be prepared; so, we’ve compiled the following lists of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for Georgia auto accident victims. Follow our advice, and you should have a solid case for receiving compensation for your damages after an accident.
5 Things You Should Do After a Georgia Auto Accident
1) Do: Call Police and Stay on the Scene
You should contact the police after any Georgia auto accident, even if it doesn’t seem serious. Then, remain on the scene until police arrive. The police will write a report, and they may issue a citation to any drivers who were in violation of Georgia traffic laws. You will need the police report when you go to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. This will prove that the accident happened and can provide evidence of the circumstances and details.
2) Do: Gather Evidence
While you are on the scene – perhaps while you wait for the police to arrive – you can gather a great deal of evidence that will prove valuable when you go to prove your side of an auto accident claim. For example, you can take pictures and videos and collect the contact information of witnesses. You can also write down what you recall from the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. All of this evidence will help your case, later.
3) Do: Seek A Full Medical Evaluation
If you have obvious and severe injuries, then this is going to be a given. However, many people refuse medical treatment after an auto accident because they don’t think their injuries are very serious. Then, a few days or weeks go by, and they realize that their aches and pains aren’t going away or actually getting much worse. It is important for your health and for your auto accident claim to seek a full medical evaluation after a Georgia auto accident.
4) Do: Contact Your Car Insurance Company
When you signed up for your car insurance policy, you may or may not have noticed that you also agreed to notify them of any auto accidents that might occur while you are covered by the policy. If you fail to notify your insurance company, you may be breaching your contract and disqualifying yourself from coverage. Further, you may need your own insurance company to cover some of your injuries and losses if you are partially responsible for the accident.
5) Do: Communicate With a Georgia Auto Accident Attorney
The sooner you communicate with a Georgia auto accident attorney, the stronger your case will be. An attorney can help you to navigate Georgia’s legal system and will protect your rights.
5 Things You Don’t Want to Do After a Georgia Auto Accident
1) Don’t: Admit or Imply Responsibility
It is important to avoid admitting or implying that you are responsible for the accident. This includes simply apologizing, which might seem like a natural response. Even if you think you are responsible or at least partially responsible for the accident, you should not say so or imply that this might be the case. You might be wrong, and this might be used against you later.
2) Don’t: Refuse Medical Care
You may be tempted to refuse medical care because you think your injuries aren’t that serious, and all you really want to do is get home and put the accident behind you. Nobody wants to spend unnecessary time in an ER. However, if you don’t seek a full medical evaluation, your minor injuries could become worse and some serious injuries could be overlooked until it’s too late. This will harm both your health and your case when you seek compensation.
3) Don’t: Agree to Leave the Insurance Companies Out of It
This another very common mistake that people make after a Georgia auto accident. Nobody wants to see their insurance premiums go up, and nobody wants to deal with the hassle of auto insurance claims. So, it can be quite tempting to simply agree with the other driver to leave the insurance companies out of it. The driver might promise to cover your damages, personally, to get you to agree to not contact the insurance companies. Unfortunately, this is a good way to ensure that you get no coverage or compensation at all.
4) Don’t: Leave the Scene
Whenever an auto accident seems minor, drivers might decide to exchange information and leave the scene without contacting the police. In some cases, you might forego even exchanging information because you think it’s not serious. Yet, you might find that your injuries or damages are much more significant than you thought. Then, if you haven’t exchanged information, you have no way to seek compensation from the at fault driver. If you exchanged information and then left the scene, then you might find you have inaccurate information. Without a police report, you won’t even be able to prove that the accident really happened.
5) Don’t: Hesitate to Contact a Georgia Auto Accident Attorney
While you might be worried about the expense of hiring an attorney, or you might simply think that you don’t need one, it is always in your best interests to at least seek a free consultation regarding your Georgia auto accident claim. Further, you can usually get professional legal representation without having to pay any upfront fees. For example, the attorneys at the Law Office of John B. Jackson work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we help you recover compensation for your losses. It is always worthwhile to get legal advice after a Georgia auto accident. The sooner you call, the stronger your case will be.
Follow this advice to ensure that your auto accident claim is successful, and contact a dedicated Georgia car crash attorney at the Law Office of John B. Jackson today for a free consultation.