What Should I Do If I Get In A Car Wreck?

Car accidents can be scary and confusing. One minute you’re driving down the road, the next you’re dealing with dented bumpers, shaken nerves, and maybe even injuries. Here at Morain & Buckelew, LLC, we understand that the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. That’s why we want to walk you through the key steps to take if you’re ever involved in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia.

Check for Injuries and Secure the Scene

The moments following a car accident are critical, not only for your safety but also for the legal and insurance processes that will inevitably follow. Here’s what you should prioritize immediately after the crash:

  • Prioritize Safety: Before anything else, ensure you and all parties involved are safe. Check for injuries diligently. In the case of severe injuries, try not to move the injured unless absolutely necessary to avoid further harm.
  • Call for Emergency Services: If there are any injuries, dial 911 immediately to get medical help and report the accident. This step is crucial, as emergency responders can provide necessary medical care and secure the area.
  • Use Hazard Lights and Safety Equipment: To prevent further accidents, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights. If you have safety cones or triangles, place them around the accident scene if it’s safe to move around.

Call the Police and Exchange Information

Getting the authorities involved provides an official record of the accident, which is essential for insurance claims and legal matters.

  • Insist on a Police Report: Even if the accident seems minor, a police report is invaluable. It provides an unbiased third party’s perspective on the accident, which can be crucial during insurance claims or legal proceedings.
  • Exchange Details Carefully: Swap contact and insurance information with the other driver(s), including names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance policy numbers. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information as well.

Document the Scene (If Safe)

Gathering evidence at the scene can significantly impact your ability to claim insurance and seek legal recourse.

  • Take Comprehensive Photos: Capture all relevant details of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any injuries.
  • Note the Environment: Pay attention to the weather, lighting, and any potential road hazards that might have contributed to the accident.

Seek Medical Attention, Even for Minor Injuries

Documenting your medical state after an accident is crucial for both your health and any future compensation claims.

  • Visit a Healthcare Provider: Even if your injuries seem minor, symptoms of certain conditions can appear days or weeks later. A healthcare professional can assess your condition and provide a medical report, which is vital for insurance and legal purposes.

Don’t Discuss Fault with the Other Driver or Insurance Company

The immediate aftermath of an accident is not the time to determine fault or liability, as emotions can lead to misstatements.

  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Conversations at the accident scene can be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Focus on gathering facts and let the insurance companies and legal experts determine fault based on evidence.
  • Communicate Wisely with Insurance Companies: When reporting the accident to your insurance, stick to the facts without speculating about who was at fault. Remember, insurance companies’ interests often lie in minimizing payouts.

Remember, your actions immediately following a car accident can significantly impact the outcome of any insurance claims or legal proceedings. By following these guidelines, you can protect yourself, ensure everyone’s safety, and secure the information necessary for the road ahead. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the process, consider reaching out to a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the steps and advocate on your behalf.

Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents can involve complex legal issues, especially when determining fault and recovering compensation for damages.  An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer can:

  • Investigate the accident and gather evidence to build a strong case.
  • Handle all communication with the insurance companies, protecting your rights and fighting for a fair settlement.
  • Represent you in court if necessary.

At Morain & Buckelew, LLC, we understand Georgia’s car accident laws and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and car repairs.

We’re Here for You

Getting into a car accident can be a life-altering event.  If you’ve been injured in an accident in Atlanta, don’t hesitate to contact Morain & Buckelew, LLC. We can help you overcome the legal process, determine fault, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers understand Georgia’s laws and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. Call us today at (404) 448-3146 or online. We’re here to help you get back on your feet.