No matter how expert a driver you are, accidents can happen – even if it’s not your fault. And when that happens, you might find yourself stunned or maybe enraged by the other driver who ran the red light and caused this havoc. Before you call a Columbus, GA automobile accident attorney, do your best to stay calm!
Even amid the pandemic, auto accidents have become fairly common. You’d be amazed to learn that in 2019, over 36,000 fatalities occurred due to car accidents alone.
So the post-accident process should begin with a cool head. You need to remain calm and document the wreck more thoroughly in order for it to be accurately reported later on. This will be extremely helpful when you go through insurance claims or other legal proceedings that may arise from an accident.
The stressful process of dealing with an auto accident can be daunting, but there are some steps you should take before and after the incident to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Check for Injuries:
It is important to immediately determine whether anyone was injured in the car accident. If so, call 911 and get them help as soon as possible! Even if the incident was minor, consider calling the police because you’ll have an official report for your insurance company too.
Also, don’t forget to call your insurance company just because you may have an obligation to undertake their guidelines regarding handling these types of incidents before anything happens further, which could cause more complications later down the road.
Get to a Safer Area Immediately:
If there are still operational vehicles involved in an accident, get them off the road and onto a shoulder or other area that will be less dangerous for you and others. A Columbus, GA automobile accident attorney recommends that you should make sure to pull completely off when it is safe, so you don’t get hit by approaching cars!
When an accident happens, place flares or reflective emergency triangles in front of your car. If there is any danger that the explosion might cause widespread destruction to other vehicles nearby, it is best for you and others nearby to get out of the way as quickly as possible.
When you are involved in a car accident, your emotions may get the best of you. Try to stay cool and collected so that you do not admit any guilt or responsibility while interacting with the other driver. Avoid getting into a conversation with the other driver in this situation.
Providing them with your name and insurance information when asked by law enforcement at the scene of an auto collision will help protect both parties going forward from any potential legal trouble down future paths. Generally, you should only give your name alongside any relevant documentation such as vehicle registration plate number, etc. to the other driver.
On your part, you should make an effort to collect as much information as possible, which includes:
- Police report
- Photos of the damages
- Witness contact information
- Other driver’s contact information
- Make notes of the accident in detail, so you can remember later on
- Contact information of the police officer who comes to the scene of the accident
Determining the Insurance Coverage:
In the event of a car accident, there are many factors that can affect your recovery. One significant aspect is what type and how much coverage you and the other party have for damages. But let’s say that the other driver was at fault.
This is what insurance coverage would look like:
- For Your Vehicle: The other party’s property damage liability coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle as per the policy limit.
- For Your Medical Bills: Your medical bills would be covered up to the limits of the other party’s bodily injury liability coverage. Most states usually require this coverage in the U.S. In 12 no-fault states like California and Hawaii, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) comes into play instead.
- Uninsured Motorist: The uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will help you if the other driver does not have insurance and can pay your bills. This type of protection is required in 21 states as well as Washington DC!
File a Claim:
If you cause an accident and the damages look minor, it can be tempting to accept if the other driver offers to pay for the repairs. However, you may experience delayed pain from injuries after a car accident.
You should notify your insurance company and report the accident. Georgia is an at-fault state for car accidents. This means that the insurance company of the at-fault driver is responsible for paying.
Insurance companies want to protect their bottom line, so it’s not uncommon for them to try to pay people less than they deserve. A skilled Columbus, GA auto accident attorney will review any settlement offer by the insurance company so you aren’t tricked into accepting an amount that is too low.
Reach Out to a Columbus, GA Automobile Accident Attorney:
We’re here to help! If you’ve been involved in an accident and need someone who knows how important your side of things is, reach out to a Columbus, GA personal injury attorney. We have years’ worth of experience dealing specifically with these types of accidents so we can make sure everything gets covered properly. We will use documents such as police reports that detail exactly where/when it happened to prove your case.