The Six Steps You Need to Take After A Car Accident
STEP 1: What to Do After You are Injured in a Car Accident in Georgia?
It can be easy to panic after experiencing a car accident, especially if you or someone else is injured. The first thing that may run through your mind is, ‘what to do after you are injured in a car accident in Georgia’. Here is a quick list to reference what you are supposed to do:
Should I Call the Police to Come to the Scene of the Accident?
The short answer is Yes. If you watch the video, you will see that there can be negative repercussions to not calling the police after an accident in Georgia, especially when it involves an injury.
When the police come to the scene of the accident, they will investigate the scene, skid marks, testimonials of the drivers involved, and any witnesses. They will then draw up a Georgia Police Report, which can be crucial in a Georgia Personal Injury Claim. Without a police report, there might not be any other proof of how your injury happened. This can affect your case negatively if it goes to court, and might even get your request denied for compensation.
Good Guidelines to Follow:
- If you are in an accident and any damage to vehicles or property is estimated to exceed $1,000, you are required to call the police and file a report. This report is necessary in order to file an insurance claim.
- If you are involved in, or witness, a hit and run you should call the police immediately. The police will make a report and, if possible, try to find the other driver. A hit and run is when one driver hits another car and then drives away without stopping to provide their information. This is a crime in most states and the police will take it very seriously. If you have any information about the other driver, such as their license plate number, be sure to give that to the police.
- If you are involved in an accident, always err on the side of caution, and call the police. The officer at the scene can help to diffuse the situation and will file a report that will be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim.
What the State Bar of Georgia Says: If you’re in an accident in Georgia, the Bar recommends 13 steps to take after an accident, one being that you call the police. See these two critical steps listed below:
Call the police
Police officers are trained to handle any situation. Accident victims generally suffer from shock and excitement and have trouble thinking clearly. If you are in a city or town, call the city police. If you are on a highway, call the GA State Patrol or sheriff’s office. A report will be made.
Comments to the police
Keep your notes and information strictly to yourself. Admit nothing and sign nothing even if you think you are wrong. You may learn later that you were not at-fault, or that the other driver was partially to blame. If at a later date fact clearly shows that you were entirely at fault, that is the time to admit the blame.
If you have been in a car accident in Georgia, and especially if you think you have been injured, you should call the police to make sure that your statement is taken, and that the accident was recorded correctly. This can protect your rights later if needed in court or with the insurance company.
You may find that you are having trouble with the other driver’s (at-fault) insurance company. They may try to say that the accident was partially your fault or blame you entirely. Even if liability (whose fault it is) is clear, the at-fault adjuster may still use tricky tactics to get you to harm your case by what you say. They may try and get a recorded statement too, which can be very dangerous to your case.
Please take this opportunity to make a quick and easy appointment with James Murphy to discuss your Georgia auto accident case with him. He handles cases like yours every day and would be happy to answer your questions. Before you call the attorney, order his FREE CAR ACCIDENT GUIDE.
Disclaimer: It is important to note that this is general information and should not be considered “legal advice.” I have been handling personal injury cases for many years. I can offer general answers to common questions, but please do not construe anything on this website to be legal advice about YOUR CASE. Each case is different! An attorney can only give legal advice when he or she understands the facts involved in your case.
How Do I Prove the Car Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
- If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to collect the other driver‘s information. This includes their names, addresses, driver‘s license numbers, car insurance companies/policy numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses. It is also important to take down the license plate numbers of any vehicles involved.
- If you are in a car accident, you should always get a police report. The report can help you immensely with your insurance claim as it may contain the officer‘s opinion on who caused the accident.
- If you are involved in a car accident, you will need to take some steps in order to ensure that everything is properly handled. First, you will need to report the accident to local law enforcement if there was any injury or damage to vehicles. In some states, you may also need to notify the DMV about the accident and follow their required protocol. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that the accident is properly documented and that everyone involved is taken care of.
- Be sure to take pictures of any damage to your vehicle, as well as document the location of the damage. This can be helpful in proving who was at fault in an accident. In the event of an accident, be sure to take plenty of pictures of the damage done to your vehicle as well as the location of the damage. This will serve as valuable evidence as to who was at fault.
- If you know of any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. It is always helpful to have another person‘s account of what happened in an accident, especially if the other driver is trying to say that you were at fault. The insurance adjuster and your attorney will be interested in hearing what any witnesses have to say about the accident and what might have caused it. This can help avoid having the “Who was at fault?” question come down to your word against the other driver‘s.
- If you‘re in an accident, it‘s important to document the scene with photos. Get close–ups and shots from different angles, as well as pictures of any traffic signs, skid marks, debris, or road conditions that could help explain how and why the accident happened. This will give you a clear picture of what happened and will be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or police report.
- The first step to research traffic laws in your state is to look in the “Vehicle Code“ for the statutes. You can also find a book with basic traffic laws. For your accident, you would want to focus on traffic rules that might be relevant, and analyze the rules against any traffic control devices or other circumstances surrounding the accident. If you can build a case that the other driver committed a traffic violation, you may have a stronger argument for your accident claim.
- After a car accident, it is always best to seek some form of medical attention, even if you feel fine. Many times injuries sustained in an accident, such as whiplash, can take days or even weeks to present themselves. By getting checked out by a doctor or going to the ER, you can be sure that you are not injured and if you are, you can get the treatment you need. This medical attention will also provide documentation of your injuries in the event you need to file an injury claim.
- If you are in a car accident, you are obligated to tell your insurance company about it. This is important so that they can process any claims that may come from the accident.
- Filing an insurance claim after a car accident is important, and you should submit supporting evidence. Checking in with the insurance company periodically will ensure that your claim is being processed.
NOT SURE HOW TO READ YOUR POLICE REPORT? If you don’t think the accident was your fault, you can call James Murphy to get your police report and review it with you for FREE. Call 770-577-3020.
HOW TO GET YOUR GA POLICE REPORT: Most of these reports are available online (for a fee) at https://www.buycrash.com/.You can also contact the police station that was at the scene to see if the report is ready, and you can pick it up at the station.
As an experienced accident attorney, I can usually tell who is at fault once a client describes how the accident happened. The person will most often say, “I was rear-ended” or “the other driver ran a red light.” Usually, these types of cases are pretty clear, and it is evident that another driver is at fault in causing the accident. However, you should ALWAYS get a copy of the police report. This report shows how the officer stated the accident happened and is what the insurance companies will look at when determining how they will pay for an insurance claim.
My advice to clients is: if there is any question of fault, order the police report as soon as possible. I always tell clients not to talk to an insurance adjuster right away – this is especially true when there is some question about who caused the accident. The insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company could record the phone call and use what you say against you.
What if the Insurance Company Says the Auto Accident Was Partially My Fault?
If the insurance company is saying that you were partially at fault, there could be two reasons:
- Contributory Negligence
- Comparative Negligence
Contributory negligence is a law that recognizes that if a person was injured, in part, because they “contributed” to the Georgia Car Accident, the injured party would not be entitled to collect any/some of the money from another party who supposedly caused the accident. To have a valid injury claim, a person who is making the injury claim must not have somehow caused the injury by his or her conduct. They must use “ordinary care” to avoid the consequence of the other person’s negligence.
- EXAMPLE: If you are driving down the road and someone pulls out in front of you, if you can stop to avoid hitting the person, you have to stop. You cannot just run into the person, sustain an injury, and claim that the person is responsible.
Comparative negligence is a little different from contributory negligence. Comparative negligence is negligence in which two or more people both have some level of fault in causing an injury to occur.
So, if a person is somewhat at fault in causing his injury, that person’s error can serve to reduce the amount of money he may be able to recover in the proportion that his negligence compares to the other driver’s negligence. If the person who is claiming injury is considered more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, he will not be able to recover money from the other driver.
Here is an example of comparative negligence: You are driving down the road, not speeding, and you have the right of way. Suddenly, you see a fire off to the side of the road, and you become briefly distracted by looking at the fire.
Suddenly, someone pulls out in front of you, and you hit him and are injured. If you make a claim against the driver who pulled out in front of you, his insurance company will likely raise the defense of comparative negligence. They might claim that you could have avoided the accident if you had not been looking at the fire just before the accident occurred. It could be up to a jury to determine how much comparative negligence you have as the plaintiff and reduce the amount that your claim may be worth.
When there is some question about which driver caused a the car accident to happen, insurance companies and lawyers start to throw around terms, such as contributory or comparative negligence. Sometimes, it can get pretty complicated in analyzing how much contributory or comparative negligence may be involved. Every case and accident situation is different.