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What Should I Do After a Wreck?

Maximize Your Car Accident Recovery

Car accidents happen every day throughout Atlanta often resulting in catastrophic injuries necessitating expensive medical care. Claims representatives and insurance companies in Georgia know how to handle claims and how to take advantage of injured Atlanta residents who have real need for medical care and financial resources to pay for that care. At the same time, most people don't know what they need to do after an accident. Actions you take immediately after an accident and in the weeks that follow will significantly impact any financial recovery you ultimately receive.

What Should I Do After a Wreck?

  • Get the care you need and follow all medical advice. First and foremost, get the care you need. With people literally flying around Georgia highways, accidents can and often do result in life changing injuries. It is vitally important to your health that you seek medical attention immediately and that you follow all medical advice you receive. Don't skip appointments. In addition to just making sense in terms of your health, if you fail to get medical attention quickly, or if you fail to follow all medical advice you receive, insurance companies will try to use that failure to argue that you were not really hurt or that you are trying to exaggerate your injuries. That effort will last throughout the life of your claim, and it will impact how much the insurance company is willing to pay to settle the matter.
  • Take pictures of your injuries. When you bring a claim for personal injuries, you have to prove the extent of your injuries. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Claims representatives, attorneys, and Georgia jurors understand injuries when they can see them. Written medical records will never be as effective as photographs in showing the extent of your injuries.
  • Take pictures of the cars. Jurors understand pictures of cars that have been damaged in accidents. They understand that people are really hurt when vehicles are significantly damaged. Unfortunately, defendants and insurance companies also know the effectiveness of pictures and will often repair vehicles that are significantly damaged before pictures are taken.
  • Do not give a statement to the other driver's insurance. It is normal procedure for insurance companies to have their claims representatives call injured drivers to try to get a statement. The claims representatives are trained to ask questions in a way to get answers that decrease and possibly eliminate the value of the claim. Provided that it is not your insurer under an uninsured motorist policy, you are not required to give a statement to the other driver's insurance and you shouldn't.
  • Do not sign a release or authorization. As with statements, claims representatives will often tell you that you have to sign an authorization so that they can get your medical records and employment records to evaluate your claim. The authorizations they provide normally give the insurers blanket authorization to obtain information about you that is totally irrelevant to your claim and that may reduce the value of your Atlanta personal injury claim. They may also request that you sign a release in exchange for some nominal payment. Signing that release without understanding what it means could be the end of your claim.
  • Notify your insurance company of the accident. Many automobile insurance policies in Georgia provide uninsured motorist benefits. In the event that the driver responsible for the accident does not have insurance or sufficient coverage to pay for your injuries, uninsured motorist coverage may provide benefits that protect you and pay for your injuries. However, most insurance policies in Georgia require prompt notification of the accident to the uninsured motorist provider. Failure to provide notice could result in the insurance company denying the claim. To make sure that you are not waiving potential benefits, you should notify your carrier immediately.
  • Contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. While most of the above advice seems simple, when you are hurt, the phone is ringing, and trained people are pushing you to provide information and sign documents, it can be intimidating and hard to handle. In truth, there are also numerous other things that need to be done to maximize the value of your Atlanta personal injury claim. The best way to protect your rights and interests is to hire an experienced lawyer to help you.

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you know have been involved in an automobile accident, call us. We're happy to answer any questions and to help you determine the best way for you to proceed with your claim.

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