On average, a car accident occurs every six minutes in the US.
Car accidents can be devastating, but what you do immediately after one will have a sizable impact on the following events. It’s important to take steps to make sure everyone is safe and ensure you’re in a good position legally. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer in Decatur will help ensure you do things correctly if you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to do after a car accident, from ensuring you’re not hurt, to finding an Atlanta car accident lawyer. Keep reading for more.
Check for Injuries
If possible, you should pull your car over to a safe spot and put the hazard lights on. If you can’t, and it’s in a hazardous spot, you should get out of the vehicle (if you can) and move away from it so that you’re no longer at risk. Then you want to check yourself for injuries.
Sometimes a car accident injury can be obvious, but some may not be noticeable straight away. You want to make sure you’re not hurt before doing anything else as there could be a serious issue that needs to be dealt with quickly. Small scratches may not be too much of an issue, but if you have any larger injuries you should contact the emergency services immediately.
It’s important to note that it’s possible to experience shock during a car accident, and this might cause you to not notice injuries. As such, you should always see a medical professional after a crash, even if you think you’re not hurt.
As soon as you’ve checked on yourself, you should check on anyone else involved. This can include passengers in your vehicle, the other driver/passengers, and even pedestrians that could be hurt.
Contact Emergency Services
Even if it seems like no one is hurt, you should still contact the emergency services. A paramedic will be able to perform a better assessment of everyone involved to make sure there aren’t any injuries that need to be dealt with immediately. If anyone is hurt, you’ll need to provide information so that the paramedics will know what they’re dealing with and can provide suitable assistance.
Before talking to a car accident lawyer in Decatur, you should talk to the police. When on the phone, you’ll need to provide information about the accident such as the location and the people involved. When they arrive, they’ll take a report based on what’s happened, the information you provide, statements from witnesses, etc.
In some cases, you may not be able to file a report at the scene. This can be because:
- The police can’t get there
- They don’t come as no one is hurt/no vehicles are blocking traffic
- They have to leave before you have a chance to
In these situations, you can file a report at a police station. You should do this as soon as possible.
Gather Relevant Information
You should talk to the other driver, and try to do so calmly. If they’re at fault, it can be easy to get angry, but this can be unhelpful in the long run.
It’s generally best to avoid pointing blame, even when it’s obvious that the other driver is at fault. You also want to avoid accidentally admitting fault, as this can put you in a worse position.
It’s important to get their insurance details as well as their name, address, etc. You should also get the contact details of anyone else involved, and even statements from witnesses who weren’t involved. When speaking to an Atlanta car accident lawyer, having input from witnesses can be very helpful.
Something else you should do is take pictures/videos of the scene. The police should do this too, but having some of your own will help with your car accident case. The more information you can provide to your Decatur car accident lawyer, the better.
To make things easier for your Atlanta car accident attorney, you can get images to show:
- Damage from different angles
- The scale of the scene
- The surrounding area
- Damage to the vehicle’s interior
- Any car accident injury you’ve received
- License plates
- Insurance documents
- The police report
If there’s anything important that you miss, you might not have a chance to get the information again. Remembering all of this at the time isn’t easy, but getting things right can help your car accident case a lot. All of this will make things easier when talking to your lawyer and making an insurance claim.
Start the Car Accident Claim Process
In an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on the accident, the car accident claim process can sometimes take quite a while. The sooner you get things started, the sooner it will be done.
All the information you’ve gathered will help with this part. Make sure you ask questions about anything you don’t understand to ensure you get everything that your policy entitles you to.
Find Legal Representation
If you’re not at fault, you’ll want to get help from an Atlanta car accident attorney to help with your case. When talking to your lawyer, the information you’ve gathered will help.
If you don’t get any evidence and the other driver says that they weren’t at fault, it could simply be a case of your word against theirs. Having a good amount of evidence to show your Decatur car accident lawyer will make things much easier and can speed up the process.
The Right Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for You
Following these steps after a car accident can make things much easier when making an insurance claim and starting a legal case. It’s important to find a reliable Atlanta car accident lawyer that has the skills and experience to handle things correctly.
Scholle Law is a Georgia-based personal injury law firm. We have plenty of experience with car accident cases and can provide 24-hour turnaround. If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us today to see how we can help.