At Díaz & Gaeta Law, we have experience helping people pick up the pieces after a car accident. As a result, we have gained a lot of insights about mistakes that are made after being involved in an accident. We also know first hand, what steps you can take to minimize the negative consequences after an accident in Atlanta, Georgia.
In this blog, Díaz & Gaeta Attorneys at Law talk about the steps you should follow before, during, and after a car accident in Atlanta. The blog also explores different mistakes that are usually made, so that you can avoid them and be victorious with the help of Diaz & Gaeta Law as your car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Simple ways to help you avoid a car accident in Atlanta
Atlanta is a big city, and just because of its size, it is more dangerous for drivers. There are many more people who live here and commute, plus there are tourists and travelers that fill up the roads, especially major highways. Because of the congestion on the roads, it is very important to plan ahead and leave yourself a cushion of time to get to where you are going. The longer you have to get somewhere in Atlanta, the less likely you are to rush and drive distracted. Keeping distracting items out of your vehicle or away from you while driving is also helpful. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is actually illegal in the state of Georgia. Keep your hands free of anything but the steering wheel and focus on the road, without distractions.
What to do moments after a car accident?
Even if you plan ahead, drive carefully, and avoid distracted driving, you could still find yourself in an accident. The first thing you may experience is a surge of adrenalin right before an impact and immediately after. It is important to note that adrenalin can make it difficult to think clearly, so if you can, try to calm yourself. Take a deep breath, get out of the car (if you are not injured), and evaluate the situation.
If you or any passengers are injured, you should call the police and medical services immediately. If your injuries are severe, you should hop in an ambulance and focus on taking care of your injuries. If your injuries are less severe or if you don’t feel any injuries at all, you can then prioritize talking to the drivers involved to exchange insurance information. If you were not at fault, and/or any other drivers get a citation from the police, the next thing you should do is contact a lawyer.
What to do within 48 hours after a car accident?
After reporting your accident to the police and getting medical treatment to fit the gravity of your injuries, you should contact a lawyer in Atlanta as soon as possible who can analyze and study your case. If you were not at fault, you might hear from the other driver’s insurance provider, but they are not likely to pay out a maximum compensation unless you have an auto accident attorney defending you.
You need to hire a lawyer who knows how to navigate car accident cases and laws in Atlanta. Regulations that come into play in an auto accident may vary in each state, but here in Georgia, the person deemed responsible for causing the accident is often the driver responsible for the injuries and damages. More specifically, their insurance carrier can be lawfully demanded to pay for damages. At Díaz & Gaeta, we are experts at obtaining the maximum compensation from the insurance policies of the at-fault drivers.
why hire a lawyer who specializes in car accidents in Atlanta:
- Having a lawyer will help you get what’s fair. Many people lose out on benefits because they don’t know how to ask for them the way an attorney does.
- Having the help of a lawyer who is an expert in car accident cases in Atlanta offers you all the necessary information you need to truly know what sort of compensation for damages you are entitled to.
- Attorneys can also advise you on how to protect yourself from insurance adjusters who may ask seemingly simple questions but are only looking to use your own words against you. People without a lawyer can hurt their own case without even realizing it.
What mistakes should you avoid when you have a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia?
Don’t admit that you were at fault in the car accident
After a car accident, you should not, in any way, express that the accident was your fault. Even if you feel like the accident was your fault, it is important to stick to the facts and let law enforcement make the determination of who was at fault. Admitting even a partial fault can be used against you when you seek compensation for damages and injuries that resulted from the accident. Some people make the mistake of saying that the accident was either completely or partially their fault when the evidence suggests otherwise, but because they blamed themselves, their case is not as strong. Don’t make the mistake of declaring something is your fault, because even if you are wrong, it may affect your case.
Don’t forget to take pictures and exchange information at the scene of the accident
All of the evidence that you can collect at the scene of the accident can be used, with the help of a lawyer, as vital evidence in your case for compensation: weather conditions, road conditions, damages, injuries, and the accident scene itself. In addition, gathering contact information from witnesses who are or have witnessed the accident may be used as evidence. Take pictures and write down as much as you can.
Don’t wait to notify the insurance company
In the state of Georgia, you have a time limit to notify the insurer of your accident. If you don’t do it in time, you can lose the right to any compensation for your injuries. If you talk to a lawyer right away with experience, they will remind you, but it is your responsibility to report your accident to your own insurance company right away. If another party was involved, you can also reach out to them to file a claim, but here’s where you need to be careful. Generally, the interests of the insurance companies that represent at-fault drivers are to discredit evidence against their insured driver. A lawyer specializing in car accident injuries will protect your best interests and can speak to the insurance companies on your behalf.
Don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention
It’s common for people not to feel the full extent of their injuries right away. So they may forego seeing a doctor altogether. Even if you think you are okay, it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the injury so a medical professional can assess you. The adrenalin after an accident can mask injuries that your body may not feel or manifest until days or weeks after the accident. However, the earlier you seek treatment, the greater your odds of recovery and for a larger compensation. If you are worried that any medical costs you incur may cut into the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, you may want to think twice. An experienced attorney knows how to argue for higher compensation to cover higher medical bills.
Don’t be afraid to call the police
After an accident, you may be tempted to settle the matter with the other drivers on-site, without involving the police or even insurance. This can be a mistake that can cost you dearly. The other driver may change their mind regarding your arrangement and file a police report later, and even accuse you of a hit and run. Your injuries may also be more extensive than you realize, and without a police report, it may be more difficult to seek compensation for damages. The best decision you can make is to call the police to document what happened in an official accident report. The police can reach a conclusion about the cause of the accident based on statements given by everyone involved and even witnesses.