Step 1: Safety
After getting into a car accident, safety is the number one priority. Everyone involved will be experiencing a wide range of emotions, so it can be overwhelming to comprehend what to do. First, take a deep breath. Then, calmly assess the situation.
Was Anyone Injured in the Accident?
Before doing anything else, evaluate your own condition. Could you have sustained a serious injury? If so, do not move. Try to remain calm and wait for help to arrive. If you are able to speak, call out to alert others of your condition and whereabouts. If you feel okay, after establishing that you are stable, determine if anyone else was involved in the accident. Take into account the injuries of the passengers in your own vehicle and safely try to analyze the injuries of the people in the other car.
Are You Located in a Dangerous Zone?
Attempt to move your vehicle to a safe and nearby area free from harm such as a parking lot, shoulder of the highway or other safe territory. If your car is immobile, turn off your engine, turn on your hazard lights to alert other vehicles, and safely move yourself and the other passengers to a safe area. When possible, protect the scene by using road flares, orange cones or other road safety tools.
Step 2: Do Not Admit Fault
Never admit fault for a car accident. Simply saying “I’m sorry” could be an admission of guilt. Even if you think the accident was your fault, it’s possible the details of the collision are vague to you due to shock or injury. Also, you may be oblivious to additional factors out of your control that could have caused the wreck.
Georgia Contributory Negligence Law
Some accident survivors make the mistake of not pursuing legal action. Either the accident victim thinks they were at fault or believes there is no basis for a claim. However, Georgia operates under a modified comparative negligence law. Under Georgia law, victims can recover damages if they are 49% or less responsible for the accident. Their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. If they are deemed to be 20% at fault for the accident, under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law, they will receive 80% of the damages awarded.
Step 3: Call the Police and Seek Medical Attention
No matter how big or small the accident, it is important to report the incident to local law enforcement. In fact, it is required by law in Georgia. Be informative and cooperative, but again, do not admit fault. The police officers will complete an accident report which will help document exactly what happened. For your own records, write down the names and badge numbers of each officer.
After exchanging pertinent information with law enforcement, seek medical attention. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, remember that some injuries cannot be seen. For example, it is possible to suffer from brain damage after a car accident and be unaware. It could take days, weeks or even months for brain injury symptoms to appear.
Step 4: Call a Lawyer
Laws surrounding car accidents can be difficult to understand. In order to minimize the stress of the overwhelming circumstances, it’s best to call an attorney following your recent car accident. There are specialized car accident law firms whose attorneys are experts in these types of situations and can help you achieve the most desirable outcome.
To be connected with a professional and skilled car accident legal team today, call 205-649-7140 or fill out the form below.
Car Accident Injury Lawyer
After a bad car accident, recovery from injuries should be your main focus. Calling an attorney for assistance can relieve the anxiety that often accompanies a car accident and will allow you to put your energy into healing. Injuries sustained may have far reaching impact and can end up costing a significant amount of money. Working with an experienced car accident injury attorney can ensure you’re taking the proper steps to get the maximum settlement and cover the lofty expenses you may incur.
Car Accident Property Damage Lawyer
As a result of the accident, your car will likely be damaged. In extreme cases, your vehicle may be completely unusable or totaled. A car accident property damage lawyer will help you understand what legal options are available to you. Insurance companies can be aggressive and often will try to encourage you to take unfairly low settlement offers. A car accident property damage lawyer will help you understand everything you’re entitled to as a result of the damage to your vehicle, and won’t allow insurance companies to take advantage of you.
Car Accident Wrongful Death Lawyer
People often succumb to their injuries from especially bad car accidents. If your loved one was killed in a fatal car accident, you may be entitled to certain damages. It’s important you call a car accident wrongful death lawyer who will help you decide if a wrongful death claim is viable. They will be able to guide you through the complicated process. Losing a loved one to a fatal car accident is tragic, and you deserve assistance when facing these incredibly difficult circumstances. What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you are seeking damages for injuries you incurred, for physical damage to your property, or on behalf of a deceased loved one after a recent car accident, The Law Center is here to help. Call 205-649-7140 or fill out the form below to be connected with an expert car accident attorney today.
What Evidence Will My Attorney Need for My Car Accident Lawsuit?
Obtaining and collecting proper evidence is important for your claim and to maximize your compensation. If it’s possible, you should collect most of the evidence your attorney will need at the scene of the accident itself. However, if you or a loved one was immediately taken to the hospital or another extenuating circumstance occurred, you may have to collect this information at a later time.
An accident report should have been completed and filed by the police officers who were called to the scene of the car accident. When the officer completes his or her report, ask how you can obtain a copy. The accident report will provide detailed information and is essential if you are seriously injured and were unable to personally obtain details immediately following the accident.
Information of Everyone Involved
Georgia state law requires all parties involved in an accident to exchange:
- Vehicle registrations
- Driver’s licenses
You should also secure the phone numbers of each person involved, including witnesses. This information is important so that your attorney is able to contact all parties if necessary.
Witnesses are integral to your car accident case as they observed what occurred most likely without any bias. If there are multiple witnesses, they may have seen the accident from a variety of angles. Your attorney will probably contact any witnesses and ask them to detail what they saw for an official witness statement.
Photos & Videos
Take photos and videos, and take a lot of them. Capture pictures of the inside and outside of your vehicle, videos of the scene of the crime and noticeable injuries on anyone present. The more documented evidence, the better.
Other Helpful Items
- Location of cars before and after collision: Try to remember where the accident originally occurred especially if you have to move your vehicle after the accident for safety reasons.
- Obvious damage on either vehicle: If possible, take photos of damage to the other vehicle. Otherwise, make a note of any damage you can see.
- Injuries, however major or minor: Document any injuries that were sustained by you or anyone else involved. A visit to a medical facility is important so that these injuries can be formally documented.
- Weather conditions: What was the weather like on the day of your accident? Make a note as soon as possible about the weather conditions, because you may forget later. Factors like rain, wind, fog or extreme sun could have contributed to the collision.
- Road conditions: Take a moment to observe the conditions of the road. Are they wet or icy? Was there an inanimate objection in the road that could have resulted in your car accident?
- Time of day: You may simply remember if your accident happened during the day or at night, but there are other more specific details of time that could be helpful to note. Were you driving home from work? Did you pick up your kids from school? These details could help narrow down a timeline.
Step 5: Dealing with Insurance and/or Filing a Lawsuit
Working with car insurance companies can be extremely frustrating. They are often aggressive and chances are, they aren’t looking out for your best interests. Having a leading car accident attorney in your corner can make all the difference to the compensation you are awarded.
The Law Center can connect you with a top car accident attorney who can help you handle insurance companies or take the proper steps in filing a lawsuit. Call us at 205-649-7140 or fill out the form below to speak with a specialized Georgia car accident lawyer today.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier That You’ve Been in a Wreck
When you are safe and able, call your insurance provider to let them know you’ve been in a recent car accident. Relay to them the factual details of what occured, but do not discuss any irrelevant information as it could end up hurting your claim. If you’re unsure how to proceed, consult your attorney.
Should I Contact the Other Driver’s Insurance Carrier?
You are not required to speak with the other party’s insurance provider, and you shouldn’t. The goal of the insurance companies is to pay you as little compensation as they can get away with. Working with an expert car accident attorney can be incredibly beneficial as they have the training and experience necessary to negotiate with insurance companies to help you maximize your compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
The statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Georgia is two years from the date of the car accident for injuries and four years from the date of the car accident for property damage. However, you should file a lawsuit as soon as possible. An experienced car accident attorney will help you meet filing deadlines and get the most out of your lawsuit.
How Can We Help
Car Accident Attorneys in Georgia
Turnbull Law Firm specializes in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and are especially skilled in lawsuits for injuries that result in brain damage after a car accident. Their trusted team of attorneys is committed to looking out for you and your best interests. This includes helping you stand up to insurance companies and large corporations to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Law Center
The Law Center assists injured parties in connecting with the best local legal teams and attorneys who specialize in recovering compensation for the victim’s particular circumstances. If you are looking to hire highly experienced and expert legal professionals to start working towards seeking justice and obtaining compensation, call 205-649-7140 or fill out the form below for immediate assistance.