Important Steps to Take After an Accident
Statistics from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) indicate that there were 331,710 total traffic crashes statewide in 2020, causing 135,751 injuries. In Georgia, accident and personal injury victims may be eligible to pursue fair financial compensation for their injuries and damages through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
However, the steps you take after the accident can have a huge impact on the outcome of your personal injury claims. An experienced Georgia personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal processes involved and help you seek the justice you deserve to move forward with recovery.
The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, is committed to offering trusted legal guidance and compassionate representation to accident victims in their injury claims. Attorney Walter Gabriel can enlighten you about the next steps to take after the incident, help file your claims, and attempt to recover the maximum available compensation for your injuries and damages. The firm is proud to represent clients across Atlanta, Dunwoody, and Alexandria, Georgia.
Steps to Take After an Accident
The moments after being involved in a traffic crash can be unsettling and confusing to sort through. Nevertheless, what you do – or do not do – can affect the outcome of your injury claims. Therefore, when involved in an accident, you should take the following steps, where applicable:
Perform a Safety Check
If possible, pull over to the side of the road, then determine if you or anyone else in the vehicle has been injured. Remain calm and exit your vehicle carefully. Help other passengers exit if you’re able to safely do so.
Seek Immediate Medical Help
Call 911 to get immediate medical attention for your injuries and injuries to other victims. Generally, you should seek adequate medical attention from a professional doctor for the following reasons:
For your overall health, safety, and general well-being.
To determine the extent of your injuries.
To detect any hidden injuries and symptoms that are yet to fully manifest
For official documentation of medical diagnosis when filing your claims
To remain compliant with the insurance requirement.
To mitigate potential issues with the insurance provider.
Report to Police
Georgia law requires any person involved in a crash that causes bodily injury, death, or property damage of at least $500 to immediately report the accident to the local police department, state patrol, or county sheriff.
Complete Necessary Documentation
Obtain and document the following records and information:
Relevant information about the other driver, such as the driver's name, insurance information, address, phone number, license number, and vehicle registration
Accident scene pictures
Witness statements and testimonies
Medical records, including medical reports, medical bills, and doctor's appointments
A personal account of the incident and its impact on your daily life and ability to work
Inform your insurance company about the accident. Some Georgia insurance providers require claimants and policyholders to notify them immediately after the incident or within a couple of days.
Hire an Attorney
Hire an experienced lawyer to help file your personal injury claims, negotiate a fair settlement with the insurers involved, or take additional legal action where necessary.
However, it is imperative that you act as quickly as possible — to avoid forgetting vital information or misplacing crucial documents. A reliable car accident attorney can assess the facts of your case and educate you about the potential pitfalls to avoid.
Potential Pitfalls to Consider
When seeking damages after an accident, it’s in your best interest to avoid the following pitfalls:
Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for personal injury and auto accident claims in Georgia is generally two years from the date of the injury or accident. Therefore, you should be prepared to file your claims within the specified time limit.
Ensure Medical Expenses Are Final: However, never settle your insurance claims until you attain the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The MMI is the stage at which you have fully healed, or your health condition can't improve any longer.
Don't Accept the First Settlement Offer: The initial settlement offer from your insurance company may not cover all damages, injuries, and accident-related costs. Your legal counsel can help you negotiate an improved settlement or file a lawsuit.
Consider All Accident-Related Costs: Also, be sure to consider all accident-related costs and damages before accepting the insurer's settlement offer. Your attorney can assess the extent of your injuries and losses to determine the appropriate amount of financial compensation.
Uninsured Driver: Was the driver responsible for your accident uninsured? In most cases, they cannot pay the compensation amount for your injuries and damages. Alternatively, you can file an uninsured driver's claim with your insurance provider.
Rely on Experienced Representation
Getting hurt in an accident can be devastating and permanently affect your financial, mental, and physical health. However, the next steps you take after the accident can massively impact your ability to seek claims and the amount of compensation you may recover. Attorney Walter Gabriel has devoted his career to offering elite legal services and advocating for the best interests of accident victims.
As your personal injury attorney, he can review and investigate every aspect of your claims, gather substantial evidence to establish liability, and determine the magnitude of your injuries. In addition, Attorney Walter Gabriel can help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer or take additional legal action where required.
Contact The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, today to schedule a simple case assessment with a seasoned injury lawyer. Attorney Walter Gabriel will guide you through the claims process and advocate for the financial justice you deserve. His firm is proud to represent clients across Atlanta, Dunwoody, and Alexandria, Georgia.