What is the first thing I should do after being involved in an auto/commercial vehicle accident?

Accidents can occur without warning, leaving drivers in Atlanta shaken and unsure of their next steps. Whether it’s a fender-bender on Peachtree Street or a more severe collision on the I-285, the initial moments after an accident can be crucial for your safety, health, and any potential legal actions you may consider. Taking the right steps can mitigate potential complications, ensuring you and other parties involved are protected. 

The first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is call the police. If it’s an emergency, you should call 911. If not, you can just call the regular line, then call that line. But 911 is probably preferable. Once the police are gone and once you’ve been issued an accident report number, you should wait for the accident report to come out. In the meantime, though, you could contact your insurance company, make a claim, and if you have the name of the insurance carrier for the other driver, you can make a claim there if they’re at fault.

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Immediate Actions to Take Post-Accident

The moments after an accident can be disorienting. Whether it’s the blaring of car horns, the flashing of police lights, or the concerns about possible injuries, one’s mind might race through a myriad of thoughts. However, amidst this chaos, it’s imperative to:

Ensure Safety: Before anything else, ascertain your safety and that of any passengers. If it’s safe to do so, and the vehicle is operable, move it to a safe location away from the flow of traffic.

Check for Injuries: While visible wounds are easily noticeable, internal injuries or trauma might not manifest immediately. If anyone seems injured, call for medical assistance.

Inform the Authorities: Dial 911 to report the accident. The responding officers will fill out an accident report, which can be crucial for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Exchange Information: If you wish to do so it’s a common practice to exchange information with the other driver involved, however, you can also choose not to and wait until the authorities arrive to give them your insurance information. Ensure you obtain their name, contact details, driver’s license number, and insurance information. If there are witnesses, gather their contact details as well.

Avoid admitting fault or discussing the accident’s specifics with anyone but the police. Anything said can be used against you later. For professional guidance, reaching out to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer can be instrumental in understanding your rights and potential legal routes.

After the Immediate Aftermath

For commercial vehicle drivers, accidents in a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) have a particular order of steps mandated by their companies and federal regulations. These might include drug and alcohol testing, notifying the employer, and more.

For personal vehicle drivers, the following steps are essential:

Document the Scene: Take photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, license plates, road conditions, and any injuries. These will serve as evidence if there’s a dispute later.

Seek Medical Attention: Even if you “feel fine,” it’s advisable to see a doctor. Some injuries, like whiplash, may appear days after the accident.

Notify Your Insurance: Begin the claim process by informing your insurer about the accident. Avoid giving statements to the other driver’s insurance without consulting a lawyer.

Consult a Lawyer: Especially in accidents with significant damages or injuries, it’s beneficial to seek advice from a Car Accident Lawyer. They can guide you through the complexities of the legal system, ensuring your rights are upheld.

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Accidents can be traumatic, but taking the right steps ensures you’re covered legally, medically, and financially. Always prioritize safety and consider seeking professional advice to navigate the complexities post-accident. Remember, you’re not alone in this – there are experts ready to assist.

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