Motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of injuries and hospitalizations in Georgia state.
An estimated 6.7 million collisions occur on the roads nationwide each year. Fulton County consistently ranks first for traffic fatalities in Georgia, with the NHTSA reporting 144 deaths in 2019 compared to 115 deaths just two years earlier. The minutes, hours, and days after experiencing a car accident can be overwhelming.
While calling the authorities and checking for injuries might come to mind naturally, there are additional steps that should be taken as soon as possible to ensure your personal, legal, and financial safety. Here's what you should do after an Atlanta car accident. You may want to save or print this guide so that you're prepared for the unexpected.
It's never easy but keeping your cool and being mindful will make it easier to handle the aftermath. The first thing you should do is move off the road and away from potential fire hazards.
If you or anyone else appears hurt, call an ambulance along with the police. It's wise to have medical assistance on the scene, even if it doesn't seem necessary, as there could be internal injuries that need attending to. The Insurance Information Institute also recommends pulling your car onto the shoulder to reduce the risk of another collision.
The next step is to record vital details about the incident. This includes the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved, including any witnesses. Be sure to take note of the vehicles and license plates as well.
Since most insurance companies only keep the model and vehicle identification number (VIN) of their client's car, you should try and get this information as well. To make an insurance claim, you'll need the following details:
A car accident form from the police
Photos of the scene
The date and time
The location and direction of travel
The other driver's insurance company and policy number
It's also useful to record the driving conditions regarding weather and visibility. Remember to take note of the officers' names, badge numbers, and contact details, too.
Contact Your Insurer and Lawyer
The sooner you call your agent or the emergency claims number of your insurance company, the better. A police officer can accurately provide the relevant information if you're still on edge. Whether or not you were at fault, you may need to let your insurer know that you were involved in an accident in case the other driver is uninsured.
If you received medical treatment for your injuries or paid for vehicle repairs, keep a record of the information. This will be vital to your case when you call an accident lawyer. Your chance of making a successful claim for all the damages is highest when working with an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta.
You'll likely be contacted by the other driver's insurance company. If this happens, take care to avoid answering questions where what you say can be construed as an admission of guilt.