Most of us don’t think we’ll be involved in a Georgia auto wreck. However, according to Forbes, an average driver will be in a collision involving an insurance claim once every 17.9 years.
Even though most of us will be in a car wreck at some time, few of us are prepared. If we end up in a collision, we may panic or fail to do things that will safeguard us.
Here are five things you should do if you are in a car crash in Georgia.
1 Ensure You Have Adequate Insurance
In Georgia, drivers must choose an insurance policy that, at a minimum, protects them from costs associated with a death in a car crash, or injuries and destruction of personal property totaling under $25,000. For accidents involving two deaths, an insurance policy has to cover up to $50,000 in costs at a minimum, according to a SafeAuto Insurance article.
Ideally, you should have more insurance coverage. If you are hurt by a hit-and-run driver or another driver has no policy, you may have to claim off your own insurance policy.
2 Call The Police
Immediately after a wreck, you should call the police, unless it’s a minor fender bender. It’s very important to be calm at the scene and call 911 for law enforcement to help you.
Initially, check on the occupants of the other involved cars involved in the wreck to determine whether anyone was injured. Call 911 and carefully describe the wreck, any medical requirements and the location of the crash itself.
If the vehicles involved in the crash can be moved, drivers are required by state law to move them to a safe, nearby location off the roadway, states the Atlanta Police Department.
3 Exchange Details and Collect Evidence
When drivers are waiting for police officers to arrive, they should exchange information at the scene. Each insurance policyholder should also get the names and contact information of every passenger or witness available. They should make detailed notes that include a diagram of the scene.
Parties to the crash should take pictures and video on their cell phones to give an idea of the conditions that day and the damage to all vehicles. If possible, get names of witnesses and even take video testimony on your phone. Police reports are not always reliable and this could help you in a subsequent lawsuit.
4 Don’t Accept Blame
Be very careful what you say to an investigating officer. Stick to the facts of the crash. Don’t lie but also don’t volunteer unnecessary information. Don’t tell an officer you were not hurt. Symptoms often set in later.
Drivers should avoid admitting fault and should only discuss facts or personal notes with investigators, insurance agents and personal injury attorneys. Even if you do not believe you were at fault, you should not leave an accident scene. You may be charged with hit-and-run.
If a police officer issues a ticket at the accident scene, drivers can choose to accept the penalty on their license and pay a fine or contest it in court. A traffic ticket will likely harm a subsequent lawsuit. Be very careful what you say to an insurance adjustor.
5 Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured due to the fault of another driver in a Georgia auto wreck, it makes sense to hire a personal injury lawyer.
An insurance company may persuade you to accept less than you deserve. Please contact the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.