Figuring out what to do right after a car accident can be frightening and confusing. Even something as simple as remembering what steps to take next can be paralyzing.
It gets even more complicated when you consider that you have to remember the laws regarding car accidents specific to your city and state. Whether you’ve already gotten into an accident or you want to be prepared for one in the future, these are the steps to follow if you get into a car accident in Snellville.
Contact the Police
Even if you aren’t sure that the damage or injury is severe enough, you will need a police report for any damage or injury worth more than $500.
Failure to file a report will cause problems if you try to get compensation for any damage or injuries you might discover later. Having a report on file helps support your claim.
Take Pictures and Make Notes
Once you have called the police, take notes of any obvious injuries or damages you find. Take as many pictures of the scene as you can, including your vehicle, any other vehicles or property involved, yourself and any passengers.
The more information you can collect during this time the better off you’ll be should any problems from the accident pop up later.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance company to file a claim after you’ve taken plenty of pictures and notes. Your insurance provider probably won’t have to pay for any damages if the police didn’t find you at fault for the accident, but you should still notify them that an accident involving your vehicle has happened.
Get Screened for Any Injuries
Even if you feel generally fine, you should see a doctor for an injury screening just to be safe. Often, injuries from car accidents can take days, weeks, or even months to notice and can get much worse as years pass.
The benefit of an injury screening isn’t just physical, there’s a legal benefit as well. Georgia is a Fault State (meaning that your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company are responsible for all damages based on the degree of fault) with a two year Statute of Limitations on personal injury, so you put yourself doubly at risk if you don’t get checked out.
Also, most insurance companies will say that even just a couple of days between an accident and an injury diagnosis is enough time to allow questioning about when the injury actually happened. So, if you get into an accident on Tuesday and you don’t see a doctor until the pain becomes unbearable on Thursday, an insurance company may deny your claim because there’s no way to know if your injury actually happened during the accident. The best defense against this is to get screened within 24 hours of the time your accident happened.