When a Georgia automobile accident occurs, it catches most people by surprise, and they are usually unprepared. The most important thing to do first is to determine injuries and to call for an ambulance if someone needs to go to the hospital emergency room. Georgia law requires that the accident be reported to the police when there is an injury or death or property damage in excess of $500.
If the police come to the accident, they may be able to determine who was at fault and whether a driver may have committed a driving infraction or a more serious crime such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the police can issue citations. Be sure to obtain a copy of any investigation report. It normally takes about 3-5 days after the accident before it is ready. There may be a fee. Contact the agency that took the report for more details.
You will also need to do the following:
- Exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get the driver’s name and contact information, license number, insurance information, the name and contact information of the owner of the other vehicle if different form the driver, any passenger’s names and contact information.
- Names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Take photos of the damage of the vehicles before they are towed away, photos of injuries and photos of the people who get out of the other vehicle to protect you against any accident insurance scam.
- It is a good idea to go to the doctor right away even if you don’t think you are seriously injured because many times injuries don’t show up immediately, and your injuries could end up getting worse. It is important that you tell your doctor about your symptoms. Be sure to mention that your injuries are related to an automobile accident.
- You should immediately hire an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney. Give the attorney all the detailed information you have collected about the accident. The attorney will be able to determine what is important to your case.
- You will also need to notify your insurance company right away. It is recommended that you only provide the basic information regarding the names of the parties involved, the types of vehicles, license numbers, driver’s license information, name of the other driver’s insurance policy and policy number if you have it. Direct the insurance company to your attorney for any more detailed information about the accident.
- Avoid speaking to the insurance company for the other driver. Refer them to your own attorney or your insurance company.
Be sure to keep accurate records of your medical bills, car repair receipts, car rental, missed work days and loss of income, and other expenses related to the accident so that the information can be used to help get you reimbursed for expenses and in settling the case. Even if the accident was your fault, you may still be able to recover damages under Georgia law, as long as you were not 50% at fault. Keep in mind that under Georgia law, there is a two year statute of limitations from the date of the accident in which to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits also have a two year statute of limitations, which runs two years from the date of the death of the person killed in an automobile accident. Contact my office today to discuss your accident.