After an accident, you may have serious injuries and extensive property damage. You may worry about paying for repairs, replacements, and medical care. If someone else is responsible for your accident, however, you could file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault party with a personal injury lawyer.
To prove your right to compensation, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that establishes the at-fault party’s liability. In the days following your accident, you will need to take careful steps to preserve and document evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the very first steps you should take after an accident is to seek medical attention. You should always go to the hospital or doctor, even if you do not feel hurt. This is because your medical records will serve as vital pieces of evidence in your case, establishing the nature and extent of your injuries as well as your required treatment.
If you do not seek medical attention after the accident, the insurance company or defense attorney could use this information to claim that your injuries are not very serious. You may also have internal injuries that could worsen without immediate treatment, or shock may be numbing the pain. By seeking medical attention, you establish a record of your injuries and you can receive the care you need.
Call 911 to bring emergency medical attention and law enforcement to the scene. Calling the police is not necessary after all accidents, but Georgia law does require drivers to report certain motor vehicle collisions. The police officer will create a report that details how he or she believes the accident occurred and includes important information, such as the names and contact information of everyone involved. If you have very severe injuries, you should always call 911 to receive emergency care.
What to Do After the Accident
Evidence is freshest in the moments immediately following an accident. If you can move around the accident site safely and without putting yourself at risk of injury, you can take the following steps to preserve evidence.
Take as many photographs of the accident scene as you can. Try to take these photos from as many angles as possible. Photograph your visible injuries, property damage, any debris or physical evidence, and the area around the accident. If a hazard caused your accident, take photographs of it as well.
Locate witnesses at the scene. These witnesses can corroborate your story and provide valuable testimony on your behalf. Ask these witnesses if you can have their contact information for use in your future case.
Exchange contact information with the at-fault party. If you are in a motor vehicle accident, collect his or her insurance and license information as well. Keep your interactions with the at-fault party brief and do not volunteer information.
What to Do in the Days After the Accident
After you receive medical attention for injuries, make sure to preserve any and all physical evidence related to the accident, such as clothing or damaged possessions. You should also write a detailed account of the accident from your point of view. Keep a journal and record details about your treatment, injuries, and how the accident has affected your daily life—you can use this information to establish your right to certain damages, such as pain and suffering.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, an insurance company may reach out to you and ask for a statement. You should decline to speak with the adjuster until you speak to a Georgia personal injury lawyer. After you seek medical attention, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and optimal pathway to compensation.