If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you could benefit from a comprehensive Georgia car accident checklist. This checklist could ensure that you avoid legal pitfalls and protect your rights in the aftermath of a crash.
While a checklist is a useful tool, it is only one of the ways you could protect your legal rights and improve your chance of a successful personal injury lawsuit. The guidance of a Georgia car accident lawyer could be an invaluable resource for you when seeking financial compensation.
Remain Calm and Notify the Authorities So They Create an Accident Report
A car accident can be a stressful event. If you are involved in an accident, remaining calm could help you avoid worsening your circumstances. You could avoid endangering your health or future personal injury case by staying composed.
Once you have composed yourself, you must notify the police of your accident. If injuries or property damage are involved, the police will appear at the crash scene shortly.
Seek Medical Care to Establish That the Accident Caused Your Injuries
If you sustained an injury in the accident, you must seek medical treatment right away. Even if your injuries appear minor at first, they could worsen over time. That is why it is important to seek medical guidance even if you feel your injuries are minor.
It is not enough to visit a doctor once. You must also follow the treatment plan laid out by your doctor. Following your doctor’s guidance could protect your physical health and strengthen your personal injury case.
If you fail to follow your doctor’s orders, it could result in setbacks for your health. The insurance company could also argue that your damages should be reduced since you failed to mitigate some of your own medical costs.
Stay at the Scene So You Are Not Charged with a Hit-and-Run
In most accidents, it is necessary to remain at the collision scene until the police arrive. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270 requires that you remain at the scene of the crash if your accident resulted in physical injury or death of another person. What’s more, you must notify the police of any notable damage to your vehicle as well.
Given that virtually all collisions between two or more vehicles fall into this category, you should plan on remaining at the scene until the police arrive. Exceptions are made if your injuries require immediate medical attention.
Move Your Vehicle Out of Traffic For Other Drivers’ Benefit and Your Safety
In addition to remaining at the accident scene until the police arrive, you must also avoid any risk of additional injuries. If you are physically able to do so, it is best to move your vehicle out of traffic.
You can ignore this step if attempting to move the vehicle is unsafe. Outside of clearing the accident from the roadway, it is best to leave the vehicles as-is and remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Speak With the Other Driver to Ensure They’re Okay
You must contact the other driver involved in the accident under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270, but you should choose your words carefully. The law requires that the parties involved in a collision exchange insurance information. While you are obligated to give your name and policy details, you should avoid discussing the nature of the accident entirely.
It is especially important to avoid discussing fault in the accident. Admitting to fault or offering to pay for the other driver’s damages could harm your personal injury case, even if you were not at fault.
Look For Witnesses That Could Support Your Testimony
One of the most compelling pieces of evidence during a personal injury case is testimony from an independent witness. A party with no ties to either person involved in the accident could sway a jury by giving their unbiased take on how the accident occurred.
The window of time to identify witnesses after a car accident can be limited. If a witness leaves the scene of the collision without sharing their contact information, it could be impossible to track them down in the future.
Given the limited opportunity to contact these witnesses, you must speak with them at the crash scene. You could improve your chances of a successful personal injury case by securing their contact information.
Seek Out an Attorney So You Can Focus on Recovery
Few items on the Georgia car accident checklist are more important than seeking out legal counsel. Your attorney could advise you on how best to pursue a compensation claim. This could involve negotiating with the insurance company or filing suit against the party that caused the crash.
George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers is prepared to guide you through the injury claims process. Our team of attorneys understands what is at stake, and our car accident lawyers are ready to serve as your advocate during this challenging point in your life. Call (888) 612-7001 for your free consultation to get started on your case.