10 Things to Do After an Auto Collision in Atlanta, GA
The Law Office of John B. Jackson presents a list of the top 10 things to do after you’ve been in an auto collision in the greater Atlanta area. Within our list we address the most common questions drivers have about auto collisions, including what to do immediately after the vehicle collision, what information to provide insurers, why it’s important to take detailed notes about the accident and injuries, how to determine fault in an auto collision, and more. Should you have any additional questions after reading our list, please feel free to contact us directly.
Take a deep breath and try to remain calm.
We understand how being calm immediately after an auto collision is much easier said than done, but it’s of high importance that you do your very best to keep a cool head. Staying calm will allow you to properly handle the routine legal matters that are initiated and documented at the scene of the accident.
Contact police immediately after the auto accident.
After an auto collision in Atlanta, GA, you should contact police immediately. We urge you to contact the police even if the accident is minor. Police are needed to produce an unbiased and detailed report on the auto accident. Most insurance providers nationwide require this type of official report before they’ll even consider paying for repairs. That’s because the police report is needed to determine who is at fault for the collision. Resolving who is at fault plays a key role in determining if your car insurance or the other driver’s car insurance will be legally obligated to pay for repairs.
Relocate to a safe place away from traffic.
Recent studies reveal that a high percentage of auto collisions take place in high traffic areas. The best thing to do in this case is to move to a nearby location where you can keep a safe distance from traffic. If your vehicle is still operational, move it onto the side of the road as far from the path of traffic as possible. That way you can avoid any further accidents or injuries. Also, consider turning on the hazard lights to warn unsuspecting drivers to be cautious as they approach the area where the auto accident has taken place.
Exchange driver information.
Without going into any detail with the other driver, you’ll want to ask for his or her name and their general insurance information. Also, be sure to jot down their license plate number in the unlikely event that they decide to flee the scene of the car accident. Better to be safe than stuck with the bill.
Do not discuss the car accident with the other driver(s) involved.
The best thing to do after an auto collision is to keep quiet until police arrive. It is perfectly fine to be polite and concerned, but do not discuss the auto accident with the other driver involved or speak with their insurance agent. Everything will turn out better for you, in the end, should you only reveal details about the auto accident to the police, your insurance agent and your auto collision lawyer.
Above all, do not admit fault, and do not agree to sign any document or written statement unless it’s for the police.
Take detailed notes while you wait for police.
While details of the auto accident are still fresh in your brain, take down a few notes as you wait for police to arrive. Make sure to write down any details on what led to the auto accident and any damage done to the vehicles involved. Also, make sure you include witness information and personal injuries you suffered. Such details are highly important to both your insurance agent and personal injury attorney.
Take photos of the car accident.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth more than a thousand words.” So it’s easy to see why photos are especially valuable should you end up in court. For this reason, we strongly suggest that after an auto collision, you pull out your phone and take pictures of both vehicles involved. If you’re able, get a wide shot of the complete scene of the accident and close ups of the damages.
Speak with witnesses.
Ask favorable witnesses to wait and speak with the police to give their account of the accident. Jot down their names and numbers if they are willing to provide their information to you. You can even ask nearby Atlanta residents if they’ve ever witnessed any other accidents in the same location as yours. The reason for asking that question is to determine if the particular location is prone to auto accidents. Some places are prone to frequent car collisions that are due to circumstances beyond a driver’s control. For example, obstructions of view or faded traffic lines on winding roads, etc. Your insurance agent and auto collision lawyer will find this type of information particularly useful.
Contact your insurance company.
One of the obvious things to do after any auto accident, great or small, is to notify your auto insurance company. Present them with as many details possible. Review your notes from the accident, tell them if you obtained witnesses and share the pictures you took. Most importantly, try not to stress. They are there to guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim and will let you know if additional documentation is needed. Just make sure you stay in contact and answer their questions to the best of your ability.
Consider hiring an attorney.
It is imperative to contact an auto collision attorney before signing any legal documents such as a settlement agreement. That is especially true if you suffered any physical injuries from a traffic accident. It is likely that you may be entitled to further financial compensation. To make sure you are aware of all your rights and options, contact a collision attorney before making any final decisions.
Why You Shouldn’t Admit Fault After an Auto Collision
You would be shocked by how often drivers will assume they are at fault even when they are not. After an auto collision, don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you genuinely think it was.
Police are more informed on traffic rules than most drivers and can contribute an objective point of view. So let the police officers do their job. The last thing you need is a high ticket to pay and an increased insurance premium, especially if it’s due to an auto collision you didn’t cause.
On the contrary, if you are found to be at fault for an auto accident, but don’t believe you are, you should seek out an auto collision lawyer to fight the allegations on your behalf.
If you or someone you know have recently been involved in an auto collision in Atlanta, GA, please feel free to contact our team here at The Law Office John B. Jackson for legal assistance. We are proud to say we’ve been assisting drivers throughout the greater Atlanta area for more than 20 years. Click, call or stop by today to learn how one of our Atlanta auto collision lawyers can assist you too.