Injured in a Car Accident? What Do You Do Next?
No one wants to be in a car accident, and it can be especially traumatic if you’ve been injured in an accident. The insurance settlement may be the last thing on your mind in these moments, but it’s always wise to think in advance about what you’ll do if the worst happens. As your grandmother might have told you: always expect the best, but plan for the worst.
Follow the Manual After a Car Accident
Immediately after an accident, always follow the official Georgia DMV’s manual instructions for what to do:
First, stop and pull over, but only when you find a safe place to do so. If you can’t get out of fast-moving traffic or if you have a reason to fear for your safety, keep going until you find a good spot to stop. Always activate your hazard lights once you pull over.
Get Medical Help
If anyone has been obviously injured, your very first step should be to call for medical help. If there’s been an injury but it seems minor, seek medical help anyway. The adrenaline rush that comes during and just after an accident can be enough to mask pain or other signs of injury, and seeking medical help shows that you are taking the incident seriously. This may be crucial to your case later on.
Report to the Police
Georgia law mandates that you call the authorities immediately under these conditions:
Someone was killed
Someone was injured
There’s more than an estimated $500 worth of property damage
This means you don’t have to call the police immediately after a minor fender-bender; however, it might still be in your best interest to do so. By reporting the incident, you can be sure there’s a record of the accident and that everything was done legally. If you discover an injury later, this could be crucial.
Be sure to get names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information from the other driver and any other parties involved. Give them all of your information.
Call the Wright Legal Group
As soon as everyone is safe and you’ve called for medical and police help, call the professionals at the Wright Legal Group. The other party’s insurance company will be on the move very quickly. They will want to minimize their losses and may engage in unscrupulous behavior to get you to admit fault or to try and claim your losses or injuries aren’t as great as they really are.
Our lawyers will help guard you against these tactics, talk to the insurance company on your behalf, and handle all the negotiations so you can focus on what’s most important: your recovery, your family, and dealing with your vehicle and any other important property loss.
After the Immediate Moments Are Over
Once you’ve taken all the immediate steps to protect yourself, there are some other things to do that will help you get the best settlement possible from the insurance company or establish your case if you file a personal injury lawsuit.
You should never endanger yourself or anyone else, nor should you neglect urgent medical care to do this. But if you have the opportunity, take pictures of the scene and the vehicles. If anyone was nearby and saw the accident, get their personal information so you can talk to them later.
Maintain Record If You’re Injured in an Accident
In order to be properly compensated for your injuries, you’ll need to keep clear, accurate records of all your expenses as well as your injuries and the state of your recovery. Keep a journal of how you feel and what setbacks and triumphs there have been in your recovery.
Keep records of all receipts and bills from your healthcare provider and rehabilitation specialists. If your car must be repaired or replaced, keep all the records. If you’ve lost wages or benefits, be sure to keep evidence of this.
You should also gather evidence of your pre-accident income, and this may be more than just W2 forms. If, for example, your employer regularly has 10 hours of overtime available each week, and you are normally able to pick up three of those hours, you may be able to claim compensation if you can prove this was a regular pattern.
Protect Your Rights
Don’t talk to anyone after the accident other than law enforcement and your lawyer. If representatives of the other party’s insurance company call, refer them to your lawyer.
Get the Insurance Settlement You Deserve
If you’ve been injured, don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact the Wright Legal Group immediately and get our professionals to work for you. We provide skilled, aggressive, and determined service to get you the settlement you deserve.