Getting rear-ended is an incredibly stressful situation. Yet, in Atlanta, it’s likely to happen. The Atlanta metro area is home to one of the deadliest highways in the country, I-285.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re rear-ended in Atlanta, do you know what you should do? You need to make sure that you’re aware of the proper steps to take to ensure that you are protected and potentially compensated later on.
The moments immediately following the accident are the most crucial. Keep reading to find out what you need to do if you’re rear-ended.
Immediately following your accident, you want to check yourself and others for any injuries. Your fight or flight response is likely to kick in, and you want to make sure that you remain as calm as possible.
It’s hard to do when your body is running on adrenaline. You may not notice any injuries to yourself at first. If you suspect an injury have the paramedics take a look at you at the scene of the accident and document everything.
If there are injuries at the scene, you need to dial 911 immediately. You need to give the operator the most important details about the accident.
Let them know the location of the accident if there are injuries and the types of injuries. You’ll also want to let them know if traffic is blocked by the accident. The more information you can give the operator the better prepared the first responders will be to handle it.
Be sure to file a police report of the accident as well. It’s best to stay at the scene of the accident and wait for the officer to complete their report.
At the scene of the accident, you’re going to want to take a record of everything you can. It may be a lifesaver later on if you find yourself in a legal battle.
If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident. You’ll also want to take notes of the time of the accident and other conditions.
For example, note the road conditions, such as potholes or slick spots in the roadway. The weather can play a factor, too.
A lot of cars contain data recorders, similar to a black box on airplanes. These devices can record the speed, engine power, and steering data. It’s important to preserve these records.
This cannot be stressed enough. You will be stressed. You’ll be full of adrenaline. The person who hit you from behind might be emotional and blame you.
You don’t want to react to their emotions, because that will only escalate and make the situation much worse.
Having a conversation where blame is assessed or saying that you don’t have an injury could be held against you if an issue comes up.
You’re putting yourself at risk because if you wind up sore or it turns out that you have something like a back injury a few days later, you have no way to prove the incident because it wasn’t reported to police or insurance because you decided that it wasn’t an issue.
Your insurance policy is something that you need to think about now, to make sure that you’re fully covered in case of an accident.
This is especially the case if you have a new car or a new driver. This is to make sure that you have liability insurance, which gives you additional protections.
Georgia law requires that you have insurance that will cover injuries or deaths. The minimum coverage that you have to have is $25,000 per injury per person and $50,000 injury for all persons and all accidents and $25,000 for property damage.
If you don’t have that coverage, get it now.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you’re in a situation where you’ve been rear-ended, you want to contact your insurance company ASAP. The longer you wait, the harder you make the situation on yourself.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a liability claim. You have four years to file car repairs. It will be more difficult to prove you’re the repairs and injuries were the result of the accident is you wait that long.
Exchange insurance information with the person who rear-ended you. They might ask you to sweep it under the rug and forget about it, especially if it seems like a minor incident.
The next thing you want to do is to contact an attorney, especially in instances where there is an injury or death as a result of the accident.
A personal injury attorney can take an objective look at your case and tell you what your options are. They may be able to guide you in dealing with insurance companies and medical claims. You want someone on your side who will protect your rights.
The first few minutes after a car accident are the most important. What you do in those moments could have long-term implications. They can determine whether or not you can receive damages.
You need to keep your cool and be smart about the actions that you take. Check for injuries, document as much as you can at the scene, and cooperate with the police. You also want to make sure that you contact your insurance company and an attorney to review your case.
If you’ve been rear-ended in Atlanta, contact the Law Firm of Christopher Simon today for a case consultation today.