As our last post discussed an increase in dangerous auto accidents in Georgia (as well as nationwide), now is a great time to discuss ways to protect your rights in the event of an auto accident. Almost everyone is involved in an auto accident at least once in their lives. Undoubtedly, involvement in an auto accident is a stressful and expensive experience, often resulting in serious injuries and financial strain. Accidents often can be prevented if drivers avoid distractions and drive responsibly. Unfortunately, you can’t trust other drivers to drive cautiously, which is precisely why it is important to know what to do to protect your rights when involved in a car accident.
Remember: you do not have to face this situation alone. The attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C. have years of experience assisting auto accident victims with their compensation claims for their injuries and other damages, and we can help you too. Time is of the essence, so please contact us today.
Contact Police Immediately
When involved in an auto accident resulting in injury or property damage, the first thing you should do is notify police. Police will assist with investigating the cause of the collision and direct traffic around the accident. In the event of a lawsuit, the police report is important in determining who is at fault in the accident, as well as to confirm information such as the accident location, time of the collision, information of those involved in the accident and eyewitness accounts.
Take Pictures of the Scene Immediately After the Accident
If there are people involved who are not seriously injured as a result of the crash, take pictures of the scene of the accident. If possible, it is important to document the damage to your vehicle and any driver/passengers involved. A few key things to take pictures of:
The accident scene;
Damage to all vehicles;
Any other damage caused by the accident;
License plate number of the other vehicle(s) involved; and
Any noticeable injuries to victims of the collision.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver and any Potential Witnesses
Be sure to obtain the contact information of the other driver involved in the auto accident. You should make sure to get as many contact and identifying details as possible, including their full name and contact information, license plate number, driver’s license number, and auto insurance information. Be sure to also obtain the contact information of anyone who may be able to act as a witness and verify the events that caused the accident and what happened afterwards.
Contact your Insurance Company
It is vital that you notify your insurance company of an auto accident as soon as possible. Many auto insurance policies have strict reporting timelines and the failure to abide by the timelines may provide the insurance carrier an opportunity to later deny insurance coverage. However, our law firm encourages any auto accident victim to speak with an attorney before contacting any insurance company and especially before providing any recorded statement to an insurance claims adjuster.
Seek Medical Attention
Make it a priority to seek the care of a licensed medical professional. This is true even if you do not require emergency medical attention or do not believe your injuries are that serious. Often times, auto accident victims are in shock or are frightened immediately after the wreck. The pain may set in later that day or even the next day. It is important to have a doctor examine and document all injury complaints as soon as possible. Whenever accident victims try and tolerate the pain on their own, insurance companies generally try to deny the pain ever existed or deny it is related to the accident.
Contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C.The attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C. are here to help you after an accident. Please do not hesitate to call our law firm with any questions. We provide an initial free consultation and we are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized attention.