WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE INJURED IN AN ATLANTA CAR ACCIDENT?
After a car accident, the first 48 to 72 hours are some of the most important. Why? Immediately after an accident, several important events are going to take place that can affect the success or failure of your potential case. This article will make sure you are prepared if you are ever injured in a car accident.
Treatment after a Car Accident
The first area of importance is treatment. Whether or not you receive treatment, any insurance company will ask the following:
- Did the person receive treatment?
- How long did they wait before receiving that treatment?
Ideally, you received treatment the same day of the accident. It is best to visit your local hospital to ensure you have no broken bones or that no other permanent injuries have occurred. Then, it is best to begin chiropractic treatment to ensure the personal injuries you sustained heal properly and that the injuries are well documented. The documentation you receive from your doctors will determine how well your case settles or how the case does at trial.
This injury and treatment documentation, usually in the form of medical records, is your ammunition against the insurance companies. It is what is argued with the insurance companies, and it is what is presented to a jury at trial. So Rule #1 – get treatment immediately and maintain that treatment until your doctor releases you.
Phone Call from the Insurance Company
The second important event following the accident is the “phone call.” The next day or so after the accident, you will likely receive a call from the insurance company. You can talk to your insurance company as much as you would like, but do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Your only statement to them should be, “I have been injured and I am seeking treatment. I will have my attorney call you.” If not already done, refer the case to a good car accident attorney (Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines) and allow them to present and argue your case.
The Scene of the Accident
At the accident scene, even though it is the other driver’s fault (see How is fault determined?), do not make any statements such as “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see you.” Anything you say is admissible as evidence and will likely be used against you later. Also, always make sure you tell your side of the story to the police officer. Often times, a police officer may fail to get all of the witness statements or first-hand accounts of what happened. In doing so, the officer incorrectly assigns blame or tickets the wrong person. Unfortunately, it is like moving a mountain to get the officer to reverse his police report, and even more difficult is trying to get an insurance company to pay when the officer says it was someone else’s fault. So, make sure you speak with the police officer and give your story.
Additionally, always get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. In many cases, a police officer or courtroom is confronted with two opposing accounts of what happened. A favorable witness is a tie breaker that can instantly make your case successful.
Seek Good Attorney Representation
If you are ever injured in a car accident and need representation, call our office immediately; we have a highly experienced staff and a wide array of medical providers who can treat your injuries even when you lack insurance or cannot afford the medical treatment.