Were you involved in a Clayton County car accident? Do you fear the perspective and you would like to know what to do? Remaining calm is essential in such situations. In Georgia, car accidents happen all the time. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the number of traffic accidents in Clayton County, GA is on the rise, almost 12,400 events taking place in 2014. Instead of wondering why it happened to you or losing your temper at the sight of the damage, you need to focus and follow a few simple but necessary steps.
7 Steps to Follow After a Clayton County Car Collision
Here is what you should do after being involved in a car accident in Clayton County, GA.
1. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe and Take Measures to Avoid Further Accidents
The first and most important step is to ensure you, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident are safe. Call for an ambulance if necessary. Help everyone get out of the car in case of fire, fuel, or oil leaks.
Once everyone is safe, you can focus on your car. Is it still on the road and drivable? After marking its position or finding position indicators, drive the vehicle to the road shoulder, to avoid traffic jams or further accidents. If you can’t move the car, signal its position accordingly, using the dedicated kit in your trunk.
If your vehicle does not impede traffic, avoid touching it. Knowing its position immediately after the impact will help the police officers recreate the event and figure out who caused or what triggered the accident.
2. Call the Police Department
Even in the case of a minor traffic accident, with no injuries, you should call the police and announce the event. They may not even come out for an investigation, but do your job. With law enforcement at the scene, you can avoid conflicts with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.
3. Take Photos, Notes, and Contact Information to Document Your Clayton County Car Accident
Until the police arrive, or even with them at the scene, take photos of the cars involved in the collision, from all angles. Make sure their license plates, identification numbers, and logos are visible. Also, take photos of the background, any skid marks, visible injuries, and other details relevant to the road and weather conditions.
Get the information of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. If an auto accident ends with a lawsuit, you will need to know the names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance ID numbers, and insurance providers of the car drivers and owners.
Write down the contact information of any passengers involved in the accident and witnesses. Document the statements of everyone present at the scene, from the other driver/s and their passengers to the insurance agents, doctors, lawyers, etc.
4. Be Careful What You Say
It is important to remain calm and polite. Do not apologize, and do not discuss blame or assume fault for the accident. Answer police officers’ questions briefly, and do not provide unsolicited details. Do not sign any other documents or statements besides the police report and, if applicable, the traffic ticket.
Avoid discussing the accident with anyone, and do not allow recordings of the conversations in which you participate. If the other driver apologizes or assumes fault, try to remember their exact words and write them down as soon as you can.
5. Call Your Clayton County GA Auto Insurer as Soon as Possible
Perhaps you don’t get a chance to call your insurer from the accident scene, but don’t let the day go by without contacting them. When you call them, give them information about the time and place of the accident, vehicles, and drivers involved, traffic and weather conditions. They may ask questions regarding injuries and damages. It is better to give such details only after consulting a doctor and a lawyer.
6. Gather All the Papers, Records, and Information Relevant to Your Clayton County Car Accident
No matter if you decide to hire a lawyer or defend your interests on your own, you will need all the information you can get. Here is a list of the documents you should obtain or prepare copies of:
- Your complete insurance policy, to assess what coverage you have available and under what terms
- Any bills and records of any medical consultations, care, and treatment received at the scene of the accident and within the following days, if you needed such services
- The photos, notes, and contact information you took after the accident
- The Accident Report and any related traffic ticket
To obtain the Accident Report, you will have to go to the Customer Service Window of the Records Unit within the Clayton County Police Department, or submit a request online (at www.buycrash.com) or by mail.
According to the institution’s website, you will have to provide the accident case number and pay a flat fee of $5, in cash, or by money order or cashier’s check. They issue Clayton County car accident reports within 3 to 5 business days, but you should hurry and request yours as soon as possible.
The address of the facility is 7911 N. McDonough Street, Jonesboro, GA, 30236, and the operating hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, public holidays excluded.
7. Consult a Clayton County Car Accident Attorney
If you don’t get a chance to call a lawyer from the scene, you should still do it the following days, the sooner, the better. Needless to say, you should look for a Clayton County car accident lawyer with several years of experience, and numerous favorable settlements.
At the scene of the accident, they can help you deal with the stress and panic caused by the event, prepare your statements, and prevent costly mistakes. Later on, they can save you time, money, and headaches by filing claims, negotiating compensations, handling the lawsuit if things end up in court, and protecting your interests in all situations.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Wade Law Offices now! Give them the details of your Clayton County car accident, and they will help you find and pursue the best legal options for your particular case. The preliminary case review is free!