It can happen to anyone. It’s a rainy evening in Augusta, Georgia and you’re heading home from the office and someone hits your car from behind. A car accident can happen to anyone. What do you do? You should get pull over to the side of the road (if possible) to keep your vehicle from sustaining more damage. Once you and your vehicle are out of harm’s way, you need to exchange information with the person that hit you. It is important you remain calm to avoid any altercations with the other driver. Here are some important steps for you to remember:
- Call the police. You will need a police report to report the claim to the other driver’s insurance carrier as well as your own. They can also intervene if tempers are flaring.
- Make sure all drivers and vehicle occupants are okay. Call for medical assistance for anyone in need and avoid moving unconscious people or anyone with back or neck pain unless there is a hazard present.
- Never leave the car accident scene. It is not a good idea to leave the scene of an accident, especially if there is property damage or bodily injuries. You could face criminal charges for hit-and-run driving.
- Get the information of the other driver and give them yours. Make sure you get the names and phone numbers of any passengers riding with them. Avoid making statements claiming fault and remain cooperative.
- Use your mobile phone to take pictures of any and all damages. You can also take photos of the other driver’s license plate if they attempt to leave the scene.
- Gather witness information. Collect the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
- Call your insurance company. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and truthfully explain what took place. Submit a copy of the police report to them.
- Seek medical treatment if necessary. Allow medical professionals to examine you even if you don’t feel any pain. Make sure you keep records of all medical appointments, treatments, bills, and any prescribed medications.
- Get estimates for the damage to your vehicle from your insurance carrier as well as two other repair quotes.
- Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than your lawyer. If a representative from the other driver’s insurance company calls, instruct them to call your attorney.
- Don’t take any settlement offers until you have had a complete evaluation of your injuries and have spoken with a legal professional.
Determining Fault in an Augusta, Georgia Car Accident
It’s crucial to prove who is responsible or negligent in a car accident. Even if it seems clearly visible, an insurance company will want proof. Present all evidence to ensure you have a strong case. Use police reports, witness statements, and Augusta, Georgia traffic laws to build your case. Make sure you use the wording of the code you are citing exactly. In this case, since you were hit from behind, you are most likely not at fault. It is a basic rule of driving to leave enough room between cars to allow for sudden stops. If the other driver ran into you, they most likely were following you too close. That driver may have a claim against the car in front of you stop short because of them. If your brake lights are out, you may be partially responsible and it is possible your reimbursement for damages will show that.
Motor Vehicle Laws in Augusta, Georgia
It is not always easy to determine fault in car accidents. In Augusta, Georgia, if you are speeding or make an illegal lane change before the accident. You may be at fault and have to pay damages if you don’t adhere to traffic laws (even if you are the one hit) while driving. If you lack liability insurance on your vehicle, it is possible for you to not receive damages (even if the other driver is negligent) when hit.
Augusta, Georgia Laws Governing Car Accident Fault
Common law and its four levels determine fault in a car accident. The levels are:
- Negligence – careless conduct that causes harm or damage.
- Wanton conduct (recklessness) – willfully ignoring the safety and well-being of others.
- Intentional misconduct – intentionally causing harm or damage to another person or their property.
- Strict liability – applies (even if not at fault) for defective or hazardous goods (i.e. transporting explosives).
Augusta, Georgia, along with other cities and states has set rules on how drivers have to behave while behind the wheel of their vehicles. Some statutes are versions of the common laws while others are legislative mandates. You should know that any violation of these mandates will be negligence according to the laws of the state. As a result, accident fault is often showing and citing a violation of a mandate. Anyone guilty of causing an accident by violating statutes or mandates must prove the negligence isn’t a contributing factor of the accident.
The best way to determine if you are eligible for damages after a car accident is to consult an attorney. They will review your police reports, witness statements, and vehicle repair estimates to determine the best cause of action for you. An auto collision attorney can help you work through all the documents to see what damages you can receive from the other driver and their insurance company. It is their job to protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf.
Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates to Discuss Your Options
Contact workers compensation attorneys in Augusta at the office of Ted A. Greve & Associates Injury Lawyers will work with you to determine which cause of option will work best for you. They can review your police reports and interview witnesses to gather the facts needed to negotiate your case effectively. If you are unsure if your vehicle accident qualifies for litigation, don’t wait any longer; call the office of Ted A. Greve & Associates Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.