Get the Medical Treatment You Need After Sustaining a Georgia Auto Accident
What to Do Following a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car crash, you should seek immediate medical attention, even if you have only minor symptoms. Often minor symptoms mask serious, debilitating injuries that are not immediately apparent. Depending on the circumstances, your physician may suggest diagnostic evaluations including x-rays, MRIs or CT scans to help them fully diagnose your injuries so that they can make sure you are properly treated.
In terms of a personal injury claim, a full diagnostic exam can be helpful in establishing the value of your car accident claim by preserving evidence of injuries, and helps to prevent insurance company claims that your injuries were caused by an incident that occurred after your car accident. It is also important to attend all medical appointments and complete the full course of treatment.
Preserving as much evidence as possible immediately following a car accident can be valuable, and in some situations is crtical to establishing liability. When dealing with the insurance company for the other driver, your case will have more value if evidence of fault and the injuries you suffered are well documented. The following steps have the potential to strengthen your case and increase its value:
- Obtain contact information for witnesses that observed the at-fault conduct of the other driver
- Take photos of the vehicle damage, vehicle positions, any injuries and surrounding accident scene
- Summon law enforcement and inform the officer of reasons the other driver caused the accident
Dealing with the Insurance Company
If you have been injured by someone else's carelessness, it is never advisable for you to negotiate directly with the insurance company adjuster nor should you agree to provide a written statement without consulting with legal counsel first. The role of the insurance adjuster is to deny your claim by shifting blame to you or to minimize the amount that you receive. You should never assume that the insurance adjuster has any interest in such things as “the truth’, “the actual value of your claim” or “reaching a fair settlement”. The insurance adjuster has one and only one main goal, which is to pay you as little compensation as possible.
If you are involved in a car accident with significant property damage and injuries documented through objective medical scans, the insurance company will typically make an offer. If you suffer only soft tissue injuries or there is no significant property damage, you are likely to hear dismissive statements like “low impact collision” or “minor accident”.
Whiplash, which is the most common injury that affects the back, neck and shoulders, refers to an injury where the force of a car accident suddenly jerks your head forward, then backward, like the cracking of a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion. Do not be fooled! Whiplash injuries to the neck, shoulders and back can cause a great deal of physical pain and debilitation for months, pain can linger for well over a year and sometimes can cause permanent and disabling injuries as well.
The insurance adjuster will try to discourage you from seeking assistance from a qualified car accident lawyer. The adjuster will tell you that the attorney will take part of your claim and that you will receive the same amount of recovery. However, the insurance industries own studies show that accident victims get paid a lot more money when they are represented by a lawyer! Many times the insurance company will barely offer enough to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. The adjuster may even argue that these amounts are inflated. Never settle a car accident claim until you have obtained legal advice and have a clear understanding of the full extent of your injuries. The best advice is to consult with an experienced Georgia auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
Our Georgia auto accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.