Aftermath of a Georgia Auto Accident: What Should I Do Next?
It's a day like any other day as you climb behind the wheel of your motor vehicle and head out to take your children to school or drive to work when you are suddenly involved in a motor vehicle accident. Last year, almost 34,000 people were killed and another 2.2 million were injured in auto accidents. 1,603 people were involved in fatal accidents in the state of Georgia alone.
Many of us drive with a false sense of security, not realizing there are an average of 6 million car accidents every year.
Automobile accidents are not something one plans on nor do most people know what to do once a vehicle accident occurs. Most people are badly shaken when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident and may be overwhelmed by shock and anxiety. Tragically, a great many Georgia residents inadvertently hurt their chances of being fully compensated following an accident by not taking appropriate steps in the wake of an accident. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been helping those injured in Georgia auto accidents for over 38 years.
If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a Georgia motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you take certain steps to preserve and maximize your claim. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have sadly witnessed the results when Georgia auto accident victims fail to take measures to protect their ability to bring a claim, as well as protect the value of their claim. Here is a list of just some of the steps that can help you preserve the value of your auto accident case:
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment: Many people involved in accidents do not seek treatment because they do not feel that they have suffered anything more than minor scratches or bruises. Certain types of injuries such as spinal injuries, head and neck injuries, and soft tissue injuries may not become obvious immediately. A delay in medical care can mean that important tests and treatment are not conducted, leading to more serious medical conditions. An accident victim's failure to seek prompt medical treatment may also result in an insurance company's defense attorneys incorrectly claiming that subsequent injuries or symptoms were caused by something other than the auto collision.
Avoid Changes to the Condition of Your Vehicle: Frequently following an accident, the vehicle may be towed away causing the appearance or condition of the vehicle to be altered. If the vehicle must be moved, it should not be moved far. When the vehicle is moved, the appearance or condition of the vehicle can be altered making it difficult to analyze and explain what happened. If the vehicle must be stored or transported, tie-downs should be avoided because they can leave scratches on the vehicle. If the automobile must be stored it should be covered with something like a loose tarp.
Preserve All Parts of the Vehicle: A vehicle involved in a collision may litter the roadway with debris such as tire fragments or parts of the vehicle body. If there are tire parts or other auto wreckage, it should all be collected and preserved as it may offer insight into how the accident occurred.
Collect Evidence at the Accident Scene: It is important for you or, if you are injured, for someone close to you to collect as much evidence as possible at the time of the accident. Pictures of the accident scene and surrounding area as well as the condition of the vehicles immediately following the accident can be very helpful later. Witnesses can also disappear so it is a good idea to the get full names and contact information for witnesses at the scene of the accident.
Get Legal Advice at the Earliest Opportunity: The sooner you contact a qualified Georgia car accident lawyer, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome in one's auto accident case. An experienced Georgia auto accident attorney will get medical and accident experts involved early while the evidence and injuries are still fresh and before witnesses disappear or their memories fade. An auto accident attorney will also know what information to share with the insurance company.
To watch a two minute news segment featuring Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate talking about steps that you should take after an auto accident, and to get a free auto accident checklist to keep in your car, click here.
Remember, the above is just a partial list- every case is different and you should always get legal advice. If you or someone you love has been involved in an Atlanta car accident or one anywhere in the state of Georgia, the experienced Georgia automobile accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law are prepared to begin investigating the circumstances of your case, and take all actions necessary to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away.