Dealing with the Aftermath of a Car Accident – Critical Steps to Take First

after car accident checklistA car accident can leave a person shaken. No one anticipates being in an accident when they leave their home or work. When it happens, it can be difficult to think clearly about what steps to take. Your actions, however, can greatly influence the outcome of a personal injury claim if you are seriously injured. That is why it is important to be prepared and know what to do in this situation.

Things to Do Immediately After an Accident

  1. Stop your vehicle. You are required by Georgia law to stop your vehicle – regardless of how small the accident. You are also required to exchange information with the other driver. If possible, leave your vehicle where the accident occurred. If the accident is minor, such as a fender bender, you can pull off to the side of the road before exchanging information.
  2. Aid the injured. If you, your passengers, or occupants of the other vehicle are injured, contact 911. This takes priority over anything else.
  3. Secure the accident scene. It is best to not move your vehicle after a serious accident until law enforcement has arrived.
  4. Call the police. Even if the injuries are minor or the damage is minimal, contact the police and report the accident. You are required by law to do so. The dispatch operator can then notify you if the police will arrive to the scene. If so, wait for their arrival and obtain information about (or a copy of) the police report.
  5. Get the identity and contact information of the other driver. You must ascertain the identity of the other drivers involved. That means writing down the driver’s license information, contact information, and vehicle information.
  6. Write down what you remember. Anything you can recall about the accident – including what you were doing before, during, and after it occurred – should be written down. Take detailed descriptions of how it occurred, including the time and place, any applicable weather conditions, as well as the road conditions. You should also explain via diagrams (if possible) so that your attorney can better visualize how the accident happened.
  7. Do not make any statements. While you might be tempted to show concern or even apologize (whether you were at-fault or not), do not make any official statements regarding fault to the other party. Instead, just exchange information. An apology can be considered an admission of guilt – even if you weren’t at-fault.
  8. Hire a personal injury attorney. The costs of a car accident injury are often more than more victims realize. You will have medical costs (including possible emergency room care), lost wages, property damage, and more. These costs can add up significantly over time – leaving you without recourse. An attorney can help seek compensation from the negligent driver, and help offset the stress of accident recovery.

Contact an Atlanta Accident Attorney

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact Van Sant Law, today. Schedule your consultation by calling 404-991-5950 or filling out our online contact form with your questions.

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