In the confusion of a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do. Many drivers inadvertently say or do things which can affect their access to compensation for injuries and losses sustained as the result of a traffic collision.
Because of this, it is important that Atlanta injury victims have the advice of an experienced car accident attorney who can guide them through the hours, days, and weeks after an accident occurs.
THE DO'S OF CAR ACCIDENTS
First, always stop after an accident, regardless of which driver is at fault.
Section 40-6-270 of the Official Code of Georgia requires all drivers involved in an accident to stop at the scene of the accident.
Even if a driver was not at fault, he or she may be cited for failing to stop at the scene of the accident. Avoid unnecessary fines, fees, and administrative consequences by stopping at the scene and exchanging all required information.
Second, seek any and all necessary medical attention.
This may require calling an ambulance to the scene of the wreck. Some injury victims may be able to travel to an urgent care center or emergency department on their own.
At the very least, an accident victim should get a clean bill of health from a doctor before agreeing to settle a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Medical professionals may recommend longer-term treatments for pain management or mobility.
Physical therapy, appointments with specialists, and other treatments can take time. That is okay. Be sure to follow through with all treatment recommendations to ensure that your injuries are properly treated.
Injuries that do not fully heal tend to get worse. Failure to seek thorough medical treatment can also reduce the value of a personal injury award. For all these reasons, it is important to see a doctor and follow his or her recommendations for treatment.
THE DON'TS OF CAR ACCIDENTS
Don't post on social media about your accident, or discuss the accident with anyone other than your attorney.
Statements made online can be used as evidence against the victim. Defense attorneys and insurance claims adjusters may use the statements to minimize the value of the victim's pain and suffering or dispute the facts of the accident.
Even if a profile has private settings, other users may not observe the same privacy level. Messages can be forwarded and dispersed. This is an unnecessary risk for an injury victim to take.
Don't underestimate the value of your personal injury claim.
Claims adjusters are trained to pay as little as possible on as few claims as possible. They will attempt to value your claim as low as they can - especially subjective components such as pain and suffering.
Do not assume that your claim is worth the value initially offered by the other driver's insurance company. Physical, financial, and emotional losses caused by the accident are all subject to compensation in a personal injury award.
An Atlanta car accident attorney can help auto accident victims protect their legal right to be compensated for injuries and losses. It is important that victims exercise this right in order to hold negligent drivers accountable for dangerous driving habits. This makes the roads of Atlanta safer for everybody.