The screech of tires dispenses the smell of burnt rubber.
The horn blares and leaves a ringing in your ears.
And your heart pounds as you hope everyone involved is okay.
Many of us have endured a car accident; whether it is on the fault of others or ourselves. From the moment of impact, we know the phone calls should be made and the proper paperwork should be filed. In order to get these items complete, here are some helpful tips to follow immediately after a car accident.
1. Stop Your Car Immediately
a. No matter how small the accident may be, never leave the scene of an accident. If you fail to do this you may subject yourself to criminal prosecution, even if you weren’t at fault. As soon as you stop your vehicle, it is important to warn oncoming traffic in order to prevent further accidents. At night, use flares, reflectors or a flashlight to alert others.
2. Assist the Injured
a. Immediately call an ambulance or doctor if someone has been injured. Be as accurate as possible with the operator in describing your location so there is no delay. It is important to have the name and number of the road and the direction in which the accident happened. Normally, you should not move the injured person unless you have a professional medical background. If there is bleeding, apply pressure or a tourniquet.
3. Identify the Driver
a. Obtain the other driver’s name, address and license number of the vehicle. Also ask to see a driver’s license. If possible, obtain the name of the insurance companies and the policy numbers covering the other car(s) in the accident.
a. Obtain the name, address and phone numbers of those individuals who were all eyewitnesses. This can be extremely crucial in the case of a lawsuit or wrongful death accident.
5. Take Notes — Fill Out Accident Form and Diagram
a. Make your own written notes and do not be afraid to take pictures. Fill out an accident information form (it is a good idea to keep this in your glove compartment at all times).
Georgia law no longer requires a person involved in an accident to make a written report to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. You should immediately call your insurance representative and send written notice as soon as possible. The notice should contain sufficient information concerning the time, place and circumstances of the accident, as well as the names of any persons who were injured or witnessed the accident. Failure to notify your insurance company in writing within a reasonable time may constitute grounds for the insurance company to avoid all coverage for your accident. Therefore, it is essential to report an accident immediately.
In the state of Georgia, there are limitations to both parties involved in a car accident—whether you are at fault or not. This time limit, or “statute of limitations,” applies to injury-related personal injury cases in the civil court system. In the state of Georgia, you only have two years to file a lawsuit in court. The moment the car accident occurs, you should immediately contact your lawyer.
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A time limit, or “statute of limitations,” applies to all injury-related personal injury cases filed in Georgia’s civil court system. In Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. The “clock” on this deadline usually starts running on the date of your accident or whatever led to your injury. It is critical in understanding the Georgia statute of limitations, because if you refrain from filing within the two-year window, the court will most likely refuse to hear your case.
At Kaine Law, we want to help when an accident strikes. In order for us to obtain the best possible outcome, we ask you to contact us immediately when this event occurs. Our highly educated and trained auto accident lawyers are here in Atlanta to fight for your rights when dealing with unforeseen events such as a car accident.