Car accidents are confusing and painful experiences for everyone involved, but there are steps that you can take to protect yourself in the event of a car accident in Georgia.
What you do after a car accident can determine whether or not you will be compensated for the injuries suffered as a result of the accident.
The following are six steps to take after a car accident that can protect your claims for damages, and the personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Sinowski are here to provide you with top-tier legal representation for your case.
Step One: Seek Medical Treatment
The most important thing after an accident is your personal health and well-being. After an accident, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment right away. Even if you believe that your injuries are minor, seeing a doctor right after the accident can help in a number of ways.
First, it gets you the medical treatment you need and ensures that your health is being taken care of. Second, a doctor can check for any internal damage or other injuries that may not present immediately after the accident but are still serious and require immediate care. Third, seeing a doctor right after the accident memorializes your injuries in the immediate aftermath, which helps significantly with your later claims.
Step Two: Report the Accident to Police
Georgia law requires that car accidents involving personal injury or significant property damages be reported to the police. The police will come out and take an accident report, which can be very helpful later in the case. They will talk to witnesses, take photos, and gather information about the crash. You may also need a police report in order to file a claim with your insurance for personal and property damage.
Step Three: Collect Evidence
If possible, collect evidence yourself at the scene. Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Speak with witnesses and collect their personal information so your lawyer can speak with them later. Take photos and videos of the scene or request that anyone who has send them to you. Set up flares or put your car flashers on to make sure no one damages the scene of the accident until evidence collection by you and the authorities is complete.
Step Four: Hire an Attorney
After the accident, it is imperative that you hire an attorney right away. A lawyer will immediately launch their own investigation into the case, which the insurance companies will do in the immediate hours following the accident. A lawyer will also protect you from making a statement against your best interests to insurers or the authorities. An attorney handles all negotiations with insurance companies while you focus on what is most important – your recovery.
If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached for your injuries, a lawyer can take your case to court and make the best possible arguments for compensation for your claims.
Step Five: Maintain Records
In the days, weeks, and months following the accident you should try to maintain accurate records for your attorney. This includes a daily journal of your injuries and recovery, including how you feel, and the progress being made. Make copies of all photos and videos taken at the scene of the accident as well as copies of all contact information of witnesses who were there. Keep all receipts and records of medical bills, rehabilitation, property damage, lost wages, and lost benefits. Also, maintain records of all communication and documentation sent by your insurer.
All of this documentation is helpful in determining the true value of your claims and helps significantly in the negotiation process with insurance companies.
Step Six: Protect Your Rights
The last thing to do after a car accident is to protect your rights to compensation for your injuries. Speaking with an attorney before doing or saying anything about the accident is the best possible way to protect your rights.
It is important to have an attorney present or be available for advice before making any type of statement to insurers or authorities, especially if anyone was seriously injured or died as a result of the accident. Your lawyer will also know where to get the best treatment for your injuries and how to fully protect your claims for compensation in a case that could take a considerable amount of time to settle.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney that has handled car accident cases in Georgia is the best way to protect your rights, and our office is here to help.
Let Us Help You Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Cobb County, our office is here to help. Call or contact us today at Cohen & Sinowski to schedule a free consultation of your car accident case with one of our experienced and local personal injury attorneys.