More than 6 million people die in the United States every year from a car accident, according to stats. 72% of car crashes result in property damages, which means that the vehicle is being damaged instead of the travelers in most cases. But there are 27% of non-fatality injury cases, and sometimes these injuries lead to the deaths of the passengers.
If you are met with a car crash in Atlanta, there are certain points you should keep in mind to protect yourself and your belongings. The following are some important things to consider before contacting an Atlanta automobile accident attorney.
Stop the Car:
Do not try to escape from a car accident, no matter how severe or minor it might be.
Take Precautionary Measures:
You must protect the scene by setting up flares or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your car lights are not working, you should have a flashlight with you to keep you safe while you wait in your immobilized car or by the side of the road.
Make Sure Nobody Is Hurt:
It would be best if you determined the safety of everyone, including the other car’s driver or its passengers. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible if somebody is hurt. Even if you don’t feel instantly that you are injured, be more cautious when getting out of your car, especially if the car accident occurred on a highway or busy street. You may not be paying attention to the minor details, which could put you in danger.
Call the Cops:
Although it’s important to report a car accident, the police may not respond to a minor collision in some areas. Some police departments are transitioning to online reporting versus dedicating resources to the accident scene.
When the police arrive, take notes of the officer’s name, badge number, and contact information. Do not forget to get a copy of the accident report from the officer. If the police do not come, you can request a copy of the report from your Atlanta automobile accident attorney or through the insurance company handling your claim.
Tell Accurate Information:
When the police arrive, you must tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened to the best of your ability and knowledge. If you are not sure about some facts, tell the officer. Do not speculate, give an opinion, or misstate any of the facts.
If you are asked whether you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. The pain and injuries from car accidents often become apparent hours after the actual crash. You must also make sure the statements made by other persons involved in the accident are correct.
Collect All the Pieces of Evidence:
Collect as much information as you can by using your cellphone camera to take pictures of documents or, with pen and paper. Get the name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number of everyone involved in the car accident. If the driver’s name doesn’t match the car’s registration or insurance papers, determine the person’s relationship to the car’s owner.
Then, gather all vehicle information, including year, manufacture and model, color, license plate number, and vehicle identification number. Get the insurance policy number and the company’s phone number if the other person doesn’t report the accident. Try to collect information from the witnesses if there is any. You shall not share your social security number, the coverage limits on your insurance policy, or other personal information.
Document Every Detail of the Situation:
Using your smartphone’s camera, video, and voice memo feature, record as much detail about the accident as possible. Check all the damages to the car: Was it on the front side, driver’s side, or rear? Take a photo of the entire car and close-up photos of the damages to your car and the other party.
Write down the date and time of the accident, and photograph or video graph the entire accident act, including skid marks or property damage. Note street names and the direction each automobile was heading before and after the accident.
Most people forget to notice the position relative to the street. This is crucial information because it aids the adjuster to re-create the accident when you report the claim and sketch a crash scene diagraming the voice memo app on your phone, dictating what happened while the details are still fresh in your mind, including information about the weather condition and visibility on the roads.
Avoid Roadside Discussions:
A car crash or an accident can have a detrimental impact, and emotions can run high, so if you feel the other driver is under the influence or aggressive, trust your instincts and avoid arguments. It’s wise to stay in your car and don’t interact with the person because a police intervention might be necessary on the spot.
Contact Your Insurance Company:
Inform your insurance company about the accident at the right time after contacting your attorney. Although some insurance policies require immediate reporting, it’s wise to take your attorney’s advice first. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance claim. You pay extra for that type of coverage – so you should avail of it.
You must submit your accident-related medical bills to your insurance company to claim the compensation. A car insurance policy is most important for accident-related medical bills. Car insurance benefits are available to all automobile inhabitants. Your insurance rates should not increase due to submitting claims for car insurance coverage.
Seek Medical Help:
Sometimes injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately visible or felt. Most people report the pain or injury after one or two days of the car crash. Unless you are convinced you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician.
Even in accidents causing minor effects, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were stunned for even a short period following the accident, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause mental and behavioral long-lasting changes if not treated timely.
Use of Technology:
Many insurance companies now offer virtual tools such as a mobile phone app to allow you to begin the claims process online. Check your insurance card for instructions, or call the toll-free phone number of your insurance company. They will ask for lots of information about the accident and may even ask you to use a remote inspection tool via your smartphone.
Apart from documenting crash details, some insurers can send a tow truck, arrange a rental car, or provide other roadside assistance through their mobile app. Keep in touch with your insurance company after reporting an accident, and keep all your accident-related documents organized as you work with your adjuster to process your claim.
Report the Car Accident to Your Atlanta Automobile Accident Attorney:
After an accident, the most important thing you should consult your Atlanta automobile accident attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and ensure valuable evidence is not ruined. Most of the time, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. You must receive legal advice from your attorney before providing such a statement.
Your attorney can advise you on concerns ranging from ensuring you are fully compensated for your automobile to getting the best medical treatment available. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.