Although almost everyone has been in at least one motor vehicle accident, most of us still wonder what to do after an accident. Often times when motor vehicle accident victims seek compensation for their injuries they learn they do not have all of the information they need.
Whether you are involved in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any combination thereof here is a checklist of the top 10 things you should do after an accident to protect yourself and your rights. Bookmark this page so the next time you or a loved one is an accident, you will know exactly what to do.
1. Ensure the Safety of Yourself and Others
When possible get yourself and others out of the way of moving traffic. In Georgia, the law also requires you to move the vehicles out of the roadway, if there are no apparent serious personal injuries or death, the vehicle is capable of being normally and safely driven without further damage or hazard to the vehicle, traffic elements, or to the roadway. If there are apparent serious personal injuries or death do not move the vehicles until the police arrive and finish their investigation.
2. Get A Police Report
Call the police immediately and report the accident. No matter what offer the other party makes always report the accident and wait for the police to arrive so that a police report can be made. If you make a deal with the other driver and do not get a police report you may cause even greater harm to yourself - especially if they do not keep there end of the deal.
3. Watch Your Mouth
Be mindful of what you say and don't make any admissions. Any admissions made at the scene of an accident can be used against you. By no means are we advising you to lie to the police. Answer the questions asked by the police honestly, but limit your conversations with the other driver, passengers, and witnesses.
4. Exchange Information
Exchange insurance information with the other driver and make sure you get their name, driver's license number, address, and phone number as sometimes the insured is not the driver. You should also get the other vehicle's tag number.
5. Get Contact Information From Witnesses
If you notice anyone who may have witnessed the accident obtain their name, address, and telephone number as soon as possible. Many times witnesses leave once the police arrive and the safety of the accident victims are secured.
6. Take Pictures and Make a Video
If you have access to a camera or a camera phone, take pictures of the accident and/or make a video. Make sure you record the condition of both vehicles, the conditions of the accident scene, and the condition of the people involved in the accident. (If family or friends arrive at the scene this is a great task for them.)
7. Seek Medical Attention
Health is wealth, so don't gamble on your health. If an ambulance arrives on the scene let them check you out. Once you have been evaluated you can determine what additional emergency medical treatment is needed. If you don't need emergency medical care, you should still seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure that you don't have any hidden injuries because after an accident, most people are shaken up and do not feel any pain right away.
8. Take Notes
At your earliest convenience, begin taking notes of the circumstances of the accident. If you are able, write down information while you are still at the crash site when it is fresh in your mind. The more details the better. Things to note include but are not limited too:
If it is determined that you need further medical treatment then it is imperative that you follow the doctor's orders. Don't skip appointments, therapy sessions, etc. If you are not satisfied with the treatment you are receiving, then switch doctors as soon as you find someone you are comfortable with.
10. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Some advertisements may lead you to believe that if you were in an accident you are automatically entitled to money. However, that is not the case. The earlier you contact a personal injury lawyer, such as Maya Simmons Rogers of Simmons Rogers, LLC, the better. An attorney will evaluate your situation and determine if you have a case. If you have a case, your attorney will begin preserving and perfecting all of the necessary evidence. Whether you have a case or not, a good personal injury attorney will also advise you on how to further protect your rights.
Even if you feel the accident is your fault, you should still follow these steps because the information you provide and collect might be useful as a part of your defense.
Simmons Rogers, LLC
Simmons Rogers, LLC is a full service civil law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We provide legal services as well as mediation and arbitration services, to businesses and individuals throughout the state of Georgia and beyond.
This blog is not intended to be a complete explanation of the law. Its purpose is to inform, not to advise on any specific legal problem or legal rights. If you have specific questions regarding any topic in this blog, you are encouraged to consult the Atlanta based law firm of Simmons Rogers, LLC or an attorney licensed in your