After a car accident, you should do the following to make sure you get every dollar you are legally entitled to under Georgia law. Literally, millions of dollars could be on the line on your case.
Immediately after the wreck, begin recording everything. This is a very significant legal development and only you can truly look after your interest. Make sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved and record any conversations with the other driver. If you use a dash camera on your vehicle preserve all video. Look for third-party witnesses and take video of their statement if possible.
Call the ambulance and police at 911 and insist on an officer responding to the scene. This will ensure an investigation into the incident and the filing of a report that includes insurance information for all drivers involved. Georgia is an “at-fault ” state, meaning the responding officer will make a fault determination in their report.
Go to the hospital or an urgent care: get yourself checked out and mention ANY injuries you sustained at all. Don’t simply say you are “okay ” but mention specific body parts that are sore, aching, or hurting. Your credibility will later be questioned by the insurance company, so if you have any injuries to your body, however slight, mention them to the emergency medical provider.
Hire Dunlap & Lakes, P.C. at 706-507-1381 (free consultation and no fee unless we recover for you on your case)
Obtain a Copy of the Police Report – many police departments have their police reports records available online. You can also generally get one in person from the police station. Dunlap and Lakes, P.C. is happy to assist you in obtaining a copy of the repor t.
Photos of your injuries must also be preserved. Bruises, lacerations, and any cuts or broken bones must be photographed during your recovery. As you heal and as time passes, you will forget how injured you really were.
Most insurance contracts require you to cooperate with them if it is your insurance. So, if you are making an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist claim, you will have to give a recorded statement to your insurance company in order to make a claim. They cannot cancel your insurance just for making a claim under Georgia law. It is important to retain Dunlap & Lakes, P.C. to assist you in making any recorded statement to your own insurance company.
Sometimes your automobile insurance will cover your medical bills after a car wreck. This is known as medical payments coverage. It is important to utilize this coverage if you have been in a wreck.
Preserve all bills you receive in the mail on your case and present them to Dunlap & Lakes, P.C. so we can recover those bills for you on your case. We will obtain copies of all your records and bills, but we would rather have multiple copies of the bill than not have a bill associated with your case.
Preserve documentation to support your lost wages claim by keeping up with lost hours at work . Dunlap & Lakes, P.C. will provide you with an acceptable form to use for your supervisor to sign. Or, you can keep a copy of your pay stubs for missed hours of work. If you are in a salaried position, keep up with any sick or medical leave days you take.
Work with your doctor and treatment providers closely. Make sure to be cordial and respectful to all medical providers during your case. If your doctor is not listening or their recommended treatment is not helping, consult with your doctor first, but also mention this issue to your attorney. It could be time for elevated treatment or perhaps even a second opinion with another doctor. You have everything to lose on your case. Don’t fall for the old “take t wo and call me in the morning line” if you are still in substantial pain after the car wreck.
Journaling your pain is also a helpful practice that some clients use to document their pain and suffering and emotional distress after a car wreck. With that being said, remember that your credibility will be attacked. If you are having a bad day with pain, note it, but some days will certainly be better than others.
Sometimes the insurance adjuster for the at-fault insurance company will want to take your recorded statement, usually immediately or very soon after the wreck. This is also very common with trucking company wrecks. You are not required by law to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s company. Sometimes, the liability adjuster will deny the claim if you do not provide a statement, particularly with trucking companies. Do not worry, Dunlap & Lakes, P.C. can assist you by helping you during the recording statement process or simply filing a lawsuit.