A Comprehensive Guide on What to Do After a Car Accident

The Dressie Law Firm can shed light on what the law says about what to do after a car accident. Book a free consultation with us today.

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Key Steps to Take After a Car Accident

You may feel confused, scared, or understandably angry when you get in a car accident. You may also sustain physical injuries, property damage, and financial losses. In such a challenging and never-anticipated event, you may not know what to do or how to behave.

This is why knowing well in advance what should be done following a traffic accident is essential.

In a nutshell, these are the most important things you should do after a car accident:

  • Call the police and get a police report
  • Exchange your details with the other drivers involved in the accident (i.e., name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, type color, and model of vehicle, etc.)
  • Take videos and pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries.
  • Consult a car accident lawyer
  • Initiate the claims process

Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.

    Steps to Take After a Car Accident

    What you do at the accident scene and onward has a significant impact on whether or not you can recover compensation.

    Here is a step-by-step guide to what to do after a car accident:

    Assess Your Injuries

    First, you should check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Call 911 or ask anyone nearby to do it for you if anyone is hurt. If you have serious injuries, do not move. Wait for emergency services to arrive.

    Relocate to Safety

    If you can, move your car to the side of the road or a safe place. If not, get out of the car and find a safe spot away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and use road flares or reflective emergency triangles from your emergency kit to warn other drivers.

    Contact Emergency Services

    If you and the others involved are OK, contact a non-emergency police number to report the accident. However, you should still seek medical attention after the accident to ensure everything is OK.

    Once the police arrive, they will write a police or accident report that documents the facts of the incident, including the date, time, location, cause, and drivers and motor vehicles involved. The report will also include statements from witnesses and evidence. You will need this report for your auto insurance claim and legal action. Ensure you take the police officer’s name and badge number. 

    Exchange Information

    You should exchange your contact and insurance information with the other car driver. Get the other driver’s insurance company, name, address, phone number, policy number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. You should also give them your information. Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident, as this could affect your claim. You should also avoid discussing the details of the accident with the other driver or the bystanders.

    Document the Incident

    Take pictures and videos of where the accident occurred and the damage caused to the involved cars. You should capture the position of the cars on the road from multiple angles, any skid marks, weather conditions, vehicle registration numbers, license plates, and any injuries. These photos and videos will help you determine liability and support your claim.

    Consult a Car Accident Attorney

    Before moving forward, it’s crucial to consult an attorney. Things will get complicated from then on and require legal knowledge and negotiation skills. An experienced car accident attorney will give you personalized legal counsel about what should be done and how to do it.

    A lawyer may also be better suited to estimate your damages and losses, such as

    • Medical bills and expenses

    • Repair costs

    • Rental car expenses

    • Lost wages

    Initiate the Claim Process

    After the accident, you must notify your insurance company, which will inform the other driver’s insurer. After investigating and preparing the case, your lawyer will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

    The insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate the accident, determine liability, and decide on a settlement amount if your claim is valid. Your lawyer will negotiate with the adjuster for a fair settlement.

    You must know that insurance companies will always try to avoid paying you. An experienced attorney may be your only chance at settling out of court. However, if negotiations fail, you can take your claim to court.

    Do you need further legal assistance in Atlanta, GA? Reach out to us at the Dressie Law Firm today.

    How an Attorney Can Assist After a Car Accident

    Consulting a car accident attorney is very important after a car accident. They can handle the insurance claim process and relieve you of all the involved paperwork and back-and-forths.

    Here’s how a lawyer can help you after a car accident:

    • Investigating the car crash: Car accident attorneys conduct a comprehensive crash investigation to gather crucial evidence like witness statements and surveillance footage. We may also consult with officers and experts to:

      • Reconstruct the accident scene

      • Obtain and analyze medical records

      • Evaluate the accident scene

      • Obtain traffic camera footage

      • Locate witnesses

    • Handling the claims process: Car insurance companies prioritize their interests and financial gain. Having a skilled lawyer representing you ensures you receive fair compensation. Car accident attorneys handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company and adjuster.

    • Calculating future medical costs: Beyond current medical expenses, car accident injuries often require long-term treatment. Personal injury attorneys can itemize these costs to determine your settlement. These often encompass the following:

      • Lost income

      • Property damage

      • Present medical bills

      • Pain and suffering

      • Future medical expenses

    A detailed breakdown of damages strengthens your case.

    • Negotiating fair settlements: Insurance companies frequently offer low settlements to avoid large payouts. Your lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement and take your case to court if necessary. While the insurance company may refuse to pay you, they may be forced to settle out of court to court if necessary. While the insurance company may refuse to pay you, they may be forced to settle out of court to avoid a lengthy and costly trial.

    • Representing you in court: If negotiations fail, your lawyer will represent you. Though rare, it may be the only option if your injury is severe and insurance companies refuse to pay. Your attorney will do everything possible to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!