As a motorist in Atlanta, you’ve likely witnessed or heard about devastating car accident cases in the city. The financial costs of severe traffic collisions in medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, etc., can be overwhelming. As such, many injured persons have no choice but to seek compensation with help from an Atlanta automobile accident attorney.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car accident in Atlanta is a wise idea. An attorney’s presence in your case will significantly boost your chances of success. However, the case’s success isn’t always entirely dependent on your attorney. You also have a part to play in ensuring that your claims process goes smoothly.
That’s why we’ve dedicated this article to instructing you on how to handle your car accident in Atlanta. Let’s get started.
How to Avoid Traffic Crashes
It’s important to know what to do when you’re in an auto collision in Atlanta. However, it’s always better to avoid being in such situations in the first place. While you can’t eliminate your risk of car accidents, careful driving ensures that you’re not at fault in a collision.
Here’s how to avoid causing a car accident:
- Avoid tailgating.
- Don’t drive beyond the recommended speed limit.
- Be extra cautious under adverse climatic conditions like heavy rain and fog.
- Don’t drink and drive or operate a car under the influence of drugs.
- Avoid making unsafe lane changes.
- Don’t drive when tired or sleepy. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. If you get sleepy when driving, pull over to a safe place to take a nap before you continue.
- Always ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy before driving.
What To Do if You’re Injured in an Auto Accident
No matter how careful you are, another driver’s irresponsible behavior can cause a motor vehicle crash. If that’s the case, your priority should be your quick recovery and getting as much compensation as you can.
You can achieve this by taking the following steps after your auto accident:
Remain Calm and Stay Out of Harm’s Way
There’s no foolproof way to prepare for a traffic collision. However, you must be careful not to respond irrationally to the unfortunate event.
Remaining calm ensures that you’re in a good frame of mind to make the right decision. If you can, take a deep breath and move over to safety. If the collision happens at night, be sure to remain visible to other vehicles by turning your hazard lights on.
After removing yourself from harm’s way, the next step is checking yourself for injuries. If you notice any, call for medical attention by dialing 911 immediately. Check other victims for injuries and keep examining yourself for any health changes if you don’t notice an injury.
Dialing 911 also alerts law enforcement that there has been an accident. Having a police report can help to prove your claims later on.
Exchange Contact Information
There’s no need to hurl insults at anyone, even if you think they’re responsible for your crash. Instead, approach the other parties in the accident and politely ask for their contact information. Be sure to write down their names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information.
Talk To Witnesses
If there are any witnesses at the accident scene, politely ask them for their recorded statements. It’s also important to ask them for their names and contact information. You don’t have to wait for law enforcement to arrive at the site before you do this. That’s because some vital witnesses may leave before the police officers show up.
Taking pictures at the crash scene is one of the most effective ways of preserving evidence. Ensure you capture your injuries and damage to property. Also, pay attention to the other driver’s car.
Remove Valuable Possessions
Get your valuable stuff out of your vehicle as soon as possible. That’s especially if your car is being towed or you’re going to the hospital in an ambulance. It’s important to have your precious items with you because you have no idea when you’ll see your vehicle next.
Consult a Good Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve decided to pursue an auto accident claim, now is the time to contact an experienced attorney. Ensure that your lawyer specializes in auto collision cases and is empathetic about your situation.
What Not To Do After a Car Accident in Atlanta
Now that you know what to do after a car accident, here’s what to avoid doing.
Fleeing the Scene of the Collison
Fleeing the accident site before law enforcement arrives may lead to a criminal charge in some circumstances. Don’t do it.
Accepting Responsibility for the Crash
Never do anything to indicate that you caused the accident, even if you feel that way. Don’t apologize too. Insurance companies can use your apology as an admission of wrongdoing.
Not Making Records
Record keeping is essential for a successful compensation claims process. If possible, always ask for extra copies of every document related to the accident.
Blaming the Other Driver
Just as you mustn’t accept responsibility for the accident, don’t point fingers too. Placing the blame on the other driver can complicate your case further.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
The first offer from your insurance adjuster is usually lower than what you deserve. Insurance companies try to bait claimants into accepting such offers to maximize profit. So, instead of going for the first offer, negotiate your settlement sum upwards till you reach a favorable agreement.
Delaying Court Action
Filing a lawsuit can be scary, and many claimants try everything to avoid going to court. However, you may have no other choice in some cases. That’s especially if the insurance companies deny your claim in bad faith or refuse to give you adequate compensation.
If that’s your situation, delaying court action can mean forfeiting compensation if the statute of limitations catches up with you.
Hire an Excellent Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Immediately
Were you hurt in a car accident in Atlanta? Then contacting a car crash attorney is one of the best steps to take if you want adequate compensation. While hiring a lawyer is important, you must ensure that they have the relevant experience/skill to handle your case.
That’s why you should only speak with Atlanta personal injury attorneys from The Weinstein Firm. With our professionalism and detail-orientedness, we guarantee you the best experience. Give us a ring today to schedule a free case review.