There are several steps drivers should take after they are involved in a car accident to preserve their best legal interests and safety.
Every day in Georgia, people are involved in fatal and injurious car accidents. According to Forbes, the average driver will file an insurance claim following a car accident every 17.9 years. Since car accidents are so prevalent, drivers should know what to do before they are involved in one, so they are able to protect their best interests.
Immediately after the crash
After a car accident, it is normal to feel frazzled, frustrated and a variety of other emotions. However, drivers should take the following steps after the collision to protect their safety:
- If the accident is minor, the vehicles involved should be moved to a safe place away from the scene of the crash.
- Once the vehicles are moved, they should all be shifted into park and their hazard lights should be turned on.
- If available and accessible, flares, warning triangles or cones should be used for additional safety.
After these steps have been taken, all people involved should be checked for injuries. If there is any doubt about an injury, an ambulance should be called regardless. The police should also be contacted, even if the accident is minor. Following an accident, a police report can serve as an invaluable asset during the claims process when establishing fault for the collision.
Information to gather
Following a car accident, those involved should gather information from other passengers, drivers and witnesses. For example, the names and contact information of all drivers and passengers should be gathered as well as all of the driver’s license numbers of those involved and the license plate numbers of all the vehicles affected. Drivers should also collect the insurance company information and policy numbers of all the other drivers, the name of the police officer who came to the scene and information about the scene of the accident.
In addition to this information, drivers should take pictures of all the vehicles and the accident scene. Drivers should also be polite to everyone else involved, but not tell anyone else the accident was their fault, even if they believe it was.
Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning drivers have to pay for any accidents that occurred because of their negligent actions. For this reason, it’s important to prove who caused the accident.
When you are in an immense amount of pain, filing a claim might be the last thing on your mind. You might not have the mental or emotional capacity to think about the deadline, let alone how you’re going to get through the week.
Contact an attorney
Drivers involved in a car accident in Georgia may incur serious injuries that cause severe emotional, mental and physical harm on a short and long-term basis. For this reason, one of the final and most important steps drivers should take following a car accident should be contacting an attorney to discuss their legal rights.