It is pretty normal to not able to think straight after a car accident. The adrenaline rush prevents you from making any sound reasons. Your anxiety is sky high, and you do not know what the next step should be. You wait for an ambulance or police officers to arrive. Your first instinct should be to call 911.
Are you going the right way? Yes, calling 911 should be your first step. Is that enough? Well, no, if you are looking forward to receiving compensation, you must also hire a Fayetteville automobile accident attorney. Here is what you need to do after a car accident from a legal point of view. The right actions can help you maximize your compensation benefits.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Here are the actions you should take after a car accident in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Call the Police
If you are seriously injured, calling 911 should be the first instant. Allow someone else to do it for you if needed.
If you are conscious enough, call the police. If the police officers do not arrive at the car accident scene within a few minutes, it is good to confirm yourself. The accident needs to go into the police record. Police officers prepare the police report of the car accident that acts as evidence when you are claiming damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Do Not Admit Fault
When a police officer prepares a report, the police investigators interview the parties involved in the car accident. At this point, you should give precise answers. Say you aren’t certain rather than no if you aren’t sure. Anything you say is recorded and can be used against you in a court of law. You can also choose to stay silent.
Do not say anything to suggest you were at fault for the accident. In Georgia, your compensation can be reduced if you share fault for an accident. You can also choose to call your attorney at this point.
Next, you should collect your own evidence. Depending on the evidence collected by the police can be a poor mistake. Do not touch the accident scene and take pictures of everything before you. Photos of vehicle damage, the accident scene, and any injuries can be helpful.
Also, get the name, address, and contact number of the witnesses and the other driver as well. You should also ask for the contact of the insurance company of the other driver. This will also allow you to know if the other driver has an insurance company or not.
See if there are any cameras nearby. Get the camera footage for evidence, if possible. Also, get the police report number from the police officials. This reported number helps you in extracting the police report.
Notify the Insurance Company
The next important step is to inform your insurance company about the accident. This should be done as soon as possible. If your vehicle is insured, contact your insurance company and report the accident. Any delay in reporting can cause them to deny the claim, claiming you should have informed them sooner.
You should know the benefits covered under your insurance policy. Find if your insurance covers the insured motorist coverage, or if it has med pay coverage, etc. In the case of uninsured motorist coverage, if the other driver does not have the insurance company, your insurance company is liable to recover damages.
In the case of med pay coverage, the insurance company is liable to pay for the medical bills resulting from the accident injury. For this, you need to get the medical bills to file for the claim.
File the Claim
File the claim with your insurance company.
Nowadays, you can file a claim online through a mobile app. If your insurance company has a mobile app, you can upload all the necessary documents to file the claim and wait while it processes. They may call back to get the details of the accident before they process the claim. They may ask for the insurance card and ask you to use a remote inspection tool to gather information.
Insurers can also help the victim by sending tow trucks, arranging a rental car, and other assistance for their client online.
It is important to still keep your important documents nearby. If you are not satisfied with the amount of compensation covered under the insurance coverage, you can contact an attorney to protect your rights.
Seek Medical Attention
You may have been attended to by a doctor once during this time when you called 911. If there are no visible injuries, it is essential to get a medical check-up done again. Some injuries take time to show up. However, if they show up after a month or so, you may lose the chance to get the claim for them.
Therefore, if you are experiencing some minor symptoms, you should get a medical check done. If you are experiencing sudden back pain, dizziness, or other symptoms, you can contact a doctor.
It is important to get medical attention before injuries get worse.
Do Not Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Refrain from talking to the insurance company of another driver by yourself. You should ask your insurance company adjusters or your attorney to talk to the defendant’s insurance company.
An attorney knows how to deal with insurance adjustors. Insurance companies have a team of adjusters who perform all the legal work. Their job is to provide the minimum possible compensation to the clients. An attorney helps you negotiate with the insurance company and help in recovering maximum benefits.
What if the at-fault driver doesn’t have an insurance company? In such a case, you have the right to seek compensation from the driver directly. If the other driver is insured, your case will most likely be resolved through a settlement. If settlement negotiations break down, an attorney will be prepared to take your case to court.
A Fayetteville personal injury attorney helps present your case in a court of law. Your lawyer is responsible for convincing the judge that the other driver was at fault for the accident. An attorney can help recover the various economic and non-economic damages through the lawsuit.