Georgia ranked fourth for having the most fatal car accidents in 2021. Along with the accidents that led to fatalities, the entire state saw tens of thousands of other accidents ranging from minor fender benders to more serious accidents and serious injuries.
If you are involved in an accident in Gainesville, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and confused. You may also be in shock or have suffered a serious injury.
The things you do after a car accident can have a huge impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim. Keep in mind, though; it’s not just what happens while you are at the accident scene that impacts your case. What happens in the days and even weeks after the accident also impacts if you receive a fair settlement offer for the accident.
It’s a good idea to talk to our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C Hines as soon as you can. It’s also a good idea to keep the following tips in mind to ensure you protect your rights after being involved in a car accident.
1. Call and Report the Accident
After an accident, make sure you remain at the scene and call to report the accident. If possible, move your vehicle off the road and park it somewhere safe.
It’s important to report the accident and get an official accident report. While at the scene, the police will investigate what happened, which is beneficial during insurance settlements or during a personal injury lawsuit. While the police will file the official incident report, make sure you request a copy.
2. Seek Medical Attention
If you or someone in your vehicle was injured, be sure you remain still and wait for help. Even if you or someone else only feels slight pain, remember adrenaline will be high at this point, and you may not know you were hurt until you have calmed down.
Not seeking medical attention at the scene isn’t a good idea. If there is no ambulance on-site, go to the hospital yourself. Make sure you get copies of any tests that are conducted and keep all the receipts and summaries of costs and bills.
If you don’t get medical attention right away, if you file a personal injury lawsuit, the insurance company for the at-fault party may claim you were not injured or that your injury wasn’t as bad as you claimed it was.
3. Document Everything You Can
If you aren’t severely injured, pull out your phone and take as many videos and photos as you can. The goal is to document everything you can about the accident scene.
Get close-up pictures of the damage to your vehicles and any injuries. You should also document where every vehicle was going or coming from that resulted in the accident. If possible, document traffic patterns (i.e., was it congested, rush hour, etc.?), the weather during the time, or any debris in the road.
This information can prove invaluable when it comes to getting the maximum amount of compensation for your car accident claim.
4. Gather Contact Information
As mentioned above, the goal at the accident scene should be to document all the important information related to the crash. This means taking video or picture evidence if you can. You can also write down license plate numbers and the names of the other people involved in the accident. You should also gather information from witnesses and everyone’s phone numbers and addresses.
Having information from witnesses can be beneficial when trying to reach a settlement with the insurance company.
5. Get in Touch with Your Insurance Company
It’s up to you to report the accident to your insurance company. While this is true, be careful about what you say initially. Insurance companies aren’t willingly handling out settlements, and their goal is to minimize what you receive to boost their bottom line.
Your insurance company will use the information that you give them to reduce what you are paid. Because of this, it’s best to contact our law firm and let us handle insurance company communication on your behalf.
6. Don’t Sign Anything with Your Insurance Provider
Some insurance companies will provide you with a settlement almost immediately. It’s not a good idea to sign anything until you discuss it with your attorney. If you sign anything, it means you are giving up your right to receive additional compensation.
7. Never Admit Fault
You shouldn’t admit fault or apologize for the accident. This can be used to reduce your settlement or not give you one at all.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help
If you are involved in a car accident, give our Gainesville car accident lawyers a call to learn more. We can evaluate your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you suffered.