Having a car accident can be a life-altering event. In some cases, victims can inadvertently do additional damage to their own cases. When you’re in a wreck in Atlanta, GA, it’s often difficult to think clearly. But if you remember these tips, you may avoid some of the most common mistakes that accident victims make.
Do not leave the scene of an accident. Georgia law requires that motorists remain at the scene of an accident causing injury, death or vehicle damage.
Further, drivers involved in accidents must:
a) Provide his or her name, address, and registration number of the involved vehicle;
b) Show his or her driver’s license, upon request, to the other driver or an occupant of the other vehicle;
c) Render reasonable assistance to an injured driver, including arranging for transportation for medical treatment; and
d) Where a person is unable to communicate or appears deceased, ensure that emergency services and law enforcement are contacted.
Do not fail to report. Motorists involved in accidents causing injury, death, or apparent vehicle damage of $500 or more must immediately notify law enforcement.
Be careful with what you say. You should report basic information about the crash to the other driver’s insurance company. However, it is not recommended, and you are not required, to give a recorded statement to the other insurance company. You should similarly notify your own insurance company. They may want a recorded statement, and one may be required, but be careful. In the event of serious injury, your own insurance company could downplay your injuries, which may jeopardize your recovery.
Be careful with social media. In this day and age, it’s tempting to share your car accident with the world via social media. This can easily be used against you later. Although your accident may have happened in Atlanta, GA, assume that anyone, anywhere, can read about it online. There is a time and place to share your experience with others. But your best bet is to say as little as possible on the Internet immediately after the wreck.
Don’t miss the opportunity to gather evidence. After an accident in Atlanta, GA, you should immediately gather evidence to the extent you are able. Take pictures of the vehicles, of the scene of the accident, and of the weather and environmental conditions. Obtain a copy of the accident report from law enforcement as soon as it is available. Take notes and get basic information such as license plates and identification of all drivers and passengers. Finally, speak to witnesses and get their contact information.
Don’t wait too long. Time is of the essence after a vehicle accident in Atlanta, GA. This not only applies to reporting your accident to your insurance company. You also do not want to wait too long to file a claim. Waiting too long risks the loss of evidence and, more severely, running past the statute of limitations. Generally, the state of Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations expires, in most cases, your right to file a lawsuit will expire, too. This applies even in the case of serious accident or death. There may be exceptions with respect to the ages of the victims and when the time limit begins to run. Regardless, you should speak with an Atlanta, GA car accident lawyer immediately to know your rights and important deadlines.
Although the above points can help guide your case, they are not comprehensive. There are numerous other factors that may apply to your specific situation. Your rights and obligations will largely depend upon what you do in the immediate aftermath of an accident. That is why it is critical you speak with an Atlanta, GA car injury lawyer at your earliest opportunity. The experienced attorneys at Hammers Law Firm can guide you through this difficult process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today to set up a consultation.