After a car collision, you need to take certain steps to protect your right to compensation. If you don’t, then it is much harder for your accident lawyer to get the information needed to negotiate fair compensation on your behalf. For this reason, we offer a checklist that you should keep handy in your glove compartment box in the event of a crash.
Stop Your Vehicle
It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident, so stop your car. If it is still operable, you should pull over to the side of the road. Of course, the crash could be so serious that parts are everywhere and you can’t move the car, in which case you will need to have your vehicle towed.
Check if Anyone Needs an Ambulance
Make the health of all people involved a priority. If someone is so badly injured that they need an ambulance, call one. If you are badly injured, ask someone else to call emergency services for you.
Report the Accident to the Police
Call the police and tell them the location of the accident. If it is serious enough, the police should send an officer to the scene to write a police report. This report is a critical piece of evidence that could play a big role in how your case is resolved.
Swap Insurance and Personal Information
Make sure to get the following from the driver of a vehicle involved in the collision:
- Their name and driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Address and home phone
- Name of insurer and contact information
You should also provide this information to other drivers.
Don’t Admit Fault for the Accident
Because the other driver and their insurance can use any statements against you, you should not discuss your fault in the wreck before you consult an attorney. Georgia is a state that allows for “contributory negligence“, therefore any small part you admit to in causing the wreck, even if the other driver admits it was their fault, can be used against you and reduce your recovery amount.
Take Pictures of the Accident
It is virtually impossible to recreate an accident scene for a jury. However, you can do a good job by taking a lot of pictures as you wait for the police officer to arrive at the accident scene. We recommend that you take pictures of the following:
- All vehicles involved in the crash. Take at least one picture of every side of every vehicle. This way you can document whether there was damage. If you see dings, dents, or scratches, zoom in and take pictures from many different angles. Some damage shows up better at different angles because of lighting.
- The scene of the accident before the vehicles are moved. Cars will need to be pulled to the side of the road to not obstruct traffic. Try to get at least one picture of where all the vehicles ended up after the collision.
- Any obstructions that might have contributed to the accident. Was foliage overhanging a stop sign, or was a parked car obstructing your view? Get pictures of them.
- Debris and skid marks. These pictures can show how the accident unfolded.
You can use your smartphone to take pictures. Remember to make sure the date and time stamp is accurate. If you were too injured to take pictures on your own, you can ask a passenger or witness to do it for you.
Speak to Witnesses
People who saw the accident can also provide helpful evidence. You can ask them what they saw, but you can also let your attorney interview them later. What you need at the scene of the accident is personal information:
- Phone number
- Email address
Armed with this information, your attorney can interview them about how they thought the accident unfolded.
Contact Us Today
This is a critical step, and one you should not skip. An attorney can gather the necessary evidence while you rehab your injuries. An attorney can also deal with pesky insurance adjusters so that you can heal in peace.
For help with your car accident case, reach out to MG Law today. We offer a free initial consultation to those who contact us. Please avoid delay.
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