In the aftermath of a Georgia car wreck, many people are shocked and confused about what to do. Although most of us will be involved in a wreck at some point in our lives, few of us are prepared for it.
However, our actions in the hours and days after a Georgia car wreck can have a bearing on the success of an insurance claim. If you are injured in a car crash in Georgia, it’s important to avoid making mistakes and to act in a way that will protect your future interests.
A detailed list of actions you should take are provided in the Georgia Drivers’ Manual published by the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
Here are five things you should do after a Georgia car wreck
1 Stop and Pull Over in a Safe Place
You should always stop after an accident in Georgia. Under the state’s code a driver who is involved in a wreck that causes death, injury, or damage to a vehicle must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close to it as possible and return to the accident scene.
Leaving the scene of an accident can land you in jail and paying a fine up to $1,000. If the crash occurs in the middle of an interstate and you can still drive your vehicle, you should drive to the side of the road or another safe place away from approaching traffic if possible. In many cases, chain-reaction accidents are caused when vehicles hit cars stopped due to a wreck.
2 Report Injury Accidents as Soon as Possible to the Police
Whenever anyone is hurt or injured, you are obliged by law to contact the police. This is also the case when damage of more than $500 is caused. Most property damage caused to vehicles in accidents exceeds $500. The exception may be a fender bender at low speed that causes a scratch.
Contacting the police may also help your case in a personal injury lawsuit because the officer will compile a report relating to what happened. Although the insurance company will conduct its own investigation, a police report is very important in a subsequent lawsuit.
3 Render Assistance and Call a Medical Provider
If other people are hurt in a wreck, you should provide assistance if it’s feasible. If you experience pain or other symptoms after an accident, you should see your medical provider as soon as possible. Symptoms may not become apparent until a day or two after a wreck. Be careful about any statements you make related to your condition at the accident scene. Saying you are fine to a police officer may later be used against you by an insurance company.
4 Use Your Vehicle’s Hazard Lights
Often motorists forget to activate hazard lights after a crash. These help alert other drivers to the crash. If you have an emergency warning triangle or flares, also place them in the area in front of the crash if it’s safe to do so.
5 Get as Much Information as Possible
The parties to an accident should exchange their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance information and license plate numbers after an accident. You can do this when you are waiting for a police officer to arrive after a Georgia car wreck. You should also talk to witnesses if possible. Use your phone to take pictures and videos of the scene. The officer who attends the scene may miss important details.
At a time of more fatal accidents on the highways of Georgia, taking precautions after a wreck can save your life. If you have been hurt in a car wreck or have lost a family member, please call our Newnan car accident injury lawyer at (404) 913-1529.