Few things are as quickly devastating as the aftermath of a serious car or truck accident in Georgia. Serious personal injury and major property damage can result, leaving victims feeling as though their lives have been turned around. In these situations it can be difficult to think straight, however there are steps that every accident victim should take to ensure their rights are protected after a crash.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision because of somebody else’s negligence, it is especially important to take steps to ensure that you don’t compromise your accident case. The insurance company will be looking for ways to pay you as little as possible – if at all – so you don’t want to ruin your case before it has begun.
Steps to take after a serious motor vehicle accident
- Call the police and ensure they write up an accident report: even if the other driver doesn’t want to call the police, do it. Drivers who cause accidents can be very nice and apologetic when the accident happens, but may change their tune when it comes time to discuss fault. Protect your rights by ensuring the police write up a detailed and accurate accident report.
- Seek medical help: if you were injured in the crash, you should seek medical attention. Without medical care, your claims that you were badly injured in the crash won’t hold much water. You also risk the other insurance company claiming that you were suffering from a pre-existing condition if you don’t have medical records to back up your claim.
- Get information about the other driver: make sure you write down information from the other driver including their full name, address, phone number, license plate number, details of the car they were driving and their insurance information.
- Get contact information for witnesses: if there were any witnesses to the crash, get their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Their eye-witness testimony could be very important in your case.
- Write down everything you remember about the crash: as soon as you can, write down everything that happened including time of day and weather conditions. Over time you may forget key details so it is important to record events as soon as possible.
- Do not admit fault or give a recorded statement to the insurance company: after an accident it can be tempting to tell the other driver that you may have contributed to the accident or try to make them feel better by telling them it wasn’t their fault. To avoid problems with your claim down the road, don’t discuss fault. In addition, if the insurance company wants you to give a recorded statement, wait until you have talked to an attorney before you agree. Your words could be used against you later.