Even the most cautious, alert, and law abiding motorist can be a victim of a car accident, especially on one of the six major interstates, or hundreds of traffic packed roads, in Atlanta. Hundreds of thousands of crashes result in serious but not fatal injuries. It is important to be prepared and know the proper steps to take if you’ve been in a wreck.
The following ten steps include everything you should do after being involved in a car crash:
- Remain on the Scene. Whether you are at fault or have been hit, remain on the scene if you’ve been involved in an accident, especially if someone has been injured or killed. There can be serious consequences for leaving the scene of an accident. After the accident occurs, if possible, pull over to a safe spot alongside the road staying clear of oncoming traffic. Never stay inside your car after an accident.
- Safety Check. After getting out of your vehicle, check to make sure all drivers and passengers are safe. Call for medical attention for anyone who has been injured. Try to stay calm and do not admit fault.
- Call the police. Call the police to have a proper report filed. If there is any physical damage, injuries or death you must call the police. They will make sure all information is accounted for.
- Assess and Document Property Damage. Walk around your vehicle to assess the damage caused by the accidents. Take pictures to show all damage done to all vehicles involved (not just your own). It is a good idea to also take photos of the scene.
- Exchange Information. Although the police report will contain all necessary information, you should exchange information with the other driver(s) as well. Important information includes: names (of both the driver and all passengers), phone numbers, mailing and email addresses, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, VIN’s and tag numbers. This will protect you in the case that any information is left out of the police report.
- Were there witnesses? Browse the accident area to see if there were any witnesses of the accident. If so, collect their personal information (name, address, phone number, email) and record as much information about what they saw as possible.
- Hire an Attorney. Hiring an attorney before contacting your insurance company can help you make sure everything is filed properly. It is an attorney’s job to ensure you are protected from the antics of insurance companies who are looking to settle as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Experienced personal injury attorneys can maximize your compensation for both physical damages and property damages. At Kaufman Law, we are with you throughout the entire case, making sure that you will receive proper medical treatment for your injuries and that you are compensated appropriately.
- Insurance Company. Notifying all involved insurance companies as soon as possible is essential, but speak to a personal injury attorney before doing so, if at all possible.
- Medical Treatment. If you or a passenger of your vehicle was injured in the crash, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even small injuries can manifest into something worse, so it is important to treat any symptoms you may be feeling as a result of the accident. Common specialists for treatment of injuries sustained in car accident include orthopaedists, neurologists, pain management doctors, and physical therapists. Getting an MRI and x-ray images immediately can expedite a diagnosis. Keeping documentation of all of your doctors visits, receipts, prescriptions and treatment received is very important for a personal injury claim.
- Settlement. Insurance companies are looking to settle for the lowest cost to them possible. Initial settlement offers tend to be unreasonably low and will be enough to not cover compensation for physical damages. Medical treatment take time to reach the highest level of comfort again. Do not rush to receive a settlement. Your Personal Injury attorney will guide you through this process in efforts of maximizing compensation.
The team at Kaufman Law, P.C. has gone up against all major insurance carriers to maximize coverage offers and settlement amounts. Our trial attorneys excel in and out of the courtroom in pursuit of fair compensation. When in doubt after a car crash, give us a call for a free consultation.