What To Do When You’re In A Car Accident
The stats are in, and they’re not looking good. According to the most recent statistics from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, crash data indicates an alarming trend for traffic related injuries and deaths.
Based upon the most recent 3 year average computed by the office, we average 1,333 traffic related fatalities in Georgia per year with additional injuries totaling 114,279 per year. Approximately 280 deaths are alcohol related, 182 the result of speeding and 165 involving pedestrians. The majority of car accidents, however, can be attributed to distracted driving and other factors.
What does this mean to you? It’s more important than ever to drive carefully, and know what to do if you’re involved in a car accident.
Call The Police After Your Car Accident
First, ensure that you are in a safe place and call 911. Describe the type of help you need from the police and medics. Get medical attention as soon as possible if you need it. This is no time to be stoic about your pain.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys
Second, protect yourself against further damage by following these steps:
Get as much information at the scene as possible such as photographs of the vehicles and scene location and names of witnesses. Exchange insurance information with the other driver.
Contact a personal injury attorney whose focus is in car accident claims. Most car accident attorneys don’t charge anything for a consultation. If you delay in calling an attorney, it could result in loosing certain rights you may not be aware of, costing you thousands of dollars and ultimately make a bad situation even worse.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your own insurance company ASAP, even if it is the other driver’s fault. You more than likely have a mandatory reporting requirement in your insurance contract and if you need them to step in and help pay for things, they may very well have an exclusion if you don’t tell them soon enough.
Don’t accept a cash offer from the other driver’s insurance company without talking to a car accident ttorney first, and definitely not before knowing the true nature and extent of any injuries. The insurance adjuster is trying to save as much money as possible for the insurance company and will probably give you a low ball figure on the value of your claim.
Often they will try to get you to settle before you have finished treatment. That would be a terrible mistake. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and lost quality of life. Also, an insurance adjuster may ask you for a recorded statement. Say “no thanks” to the recorded statement and refer the adjuster to your attorney if you have one or tell them you want to talk to an attorney first if you don’t have one. This statement may be used against you if the case proceeds to litigation.
Keep Medical Records Related To The Car Accident
Keep records of all medical expenses related to the accident. Use your health insurance if you have it. If a provider says they don’t take health insurance in accident injury cases, call a car accident attorney at once. If your health insurance provider pays some or all of your medical costs, they may have a right to reimbursement (called “subrogation”), but it will still save you money to go through your health insurance as opposed to self pay or payment through a lien. The health insurance company may also claim they have a right to subrogation, when they really don’t. It takes a skilled professional to negotiate these issues to put the most money in your pocket as possible.
Take Evidence of Your Vehicle Damage
Immediately, or as soon as possible, take photographs of the damage done to your vehicle. It’s also important to keep good records of any estimates or expenses related to your car damage, including the cost of a rental car while your car is repaired. When negotiating with the insurance company for damage to your vehicle, it’s also key to understand that you are entitled to the diminished value of your car, in addition to the repair costs.
Contact Southside’s Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been involved in a wreck that resulted in an injury, the car accident attorneys at Southside will be happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your options.