Columbus, GA- There are approximately 2.3 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S. tied to traffic accidents involving motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Sadly, one day you may happen to be in an auto accident that leaves you injured or takes the life of a loved one. If and when you are in an accident, you need to know what to do in the immediate aftermath. USAttorneys will share some tips you can follow to ensure you don’t cause permanent damage to your injury claim.
Law enforcement officers and insurance adjusters are used to car accidents, they deal with them regularly, so they are well-versed in the routine that follows. You, on the other hand, aren’t used to being in a traffic accident, so what happens next is a mystery. Our team of accident lawyers in Columbus, Georgia will explain some steps you should take following your accident.
Don’t apologize at the scene of an accident and refrain from giving out any sensitive information to anyone other than police.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in a past survey of motorists, found that a majority do not know what information they needed to share with law enforcement or the other drivers in the aftermath of a collision. Many survey respondents assumed they should share their home address along with their phone and driver’s license numbers with the other motorists involved. That isn’t so, and you could have your identity stolen if you share such personal information with a stranger. The only person at the scene of an accident you need to share that information with is the responding officer. As for the other driver, pedestrian or cyclist, the only information you need to share with them is your name and the name of your auto insurance company.
A successful injury claim requires evidence, and one of the most valuable sources of proof in a personal injury claim is photographs. Photos will show the severity of a crash and will document the seriousness the victim’s injuries. Eyewitness testimony can also be compelling evidence, so if you can, we recommend you take photographs and get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
USAttorneys also suggests you download one the many apps available that have step-by-step instructions on what to do in the aftermath of an accident. Each app is different and can assist you with anything from creating accident reports to giving you instructions on who to take better photos of your auto and the scene. You should also check with your auto insurance company to see if they have an accident app you can download.
You should also seek medical attention. Your injuries may be worse than you realize with all the adrenaline rushing through you and end up causing more damage later. Let the medical professionals decide if you are hurt and how badly.
One thing you should NOT do is apologize or admit to any fault, no matter how minor, to anyone. Of course, you need to tell an officer everything and admit to any wrongdoing, but he or she is the only person you need to share that information with at the scene or later. That is because the primary goal of an insurance adjuster is to limit their liability, so they will use anything you say to accomplish this aim often to your detriment.
You may not know at first how you will resolve your accident, but following these steps will assure that if you do file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you won’t be shortchanged in the end. You speak with a legal professional before you decide how to resolve your claim. We have a compassionate and dedicated team of accident lawyers in Columbus, Georgia we can connect you with to talk about your accident and decide what steps are next.