Car accidents are far from uncommon. In fact, there are six million car accidents every year in the United States due to reckless driving. Nearly 50% of those accidents result in someone being injured. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Safety, in the most recent year that statewide data was available, up to 1,223 people were reported to have been killed in an auto accident.
It’s important as a driver to know your rights and responsibilities at the scene of the crash. To reduce your own anxiety during a worst-case-scenario, here are some of the basics of what to do after a car accident.
Before a car accident can happen, it’s best to be prepared. Purchasing liability insurance before driving a new car is the best decision you could make. This insurance protects you from paying thousands of dollars in damages if the car accident was your fault.
Liability insurance is also good to have even if the accident was only slightly your fault. The State of Georgia’s liability laws and personal injury law require parties claiming personal injury to pay the damages they’ve caused if up to 50% or more of the damages were their own fault.
Georgia also requires you to choose a liability insurance plan that will assist you should any damages you cause cost less than $25,000. These damages may include property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death.
Directly after the accident
According to the Georgia Driver’s Manual, after an auto accident has occurred you must pull over to a safe place and report the accident immediately to local law enforcement. Put on your hazard lights so those who are passing aren’t likely to hit you as you assist the other driver.
Be sure that you have your insurance information on hand for the other driver. Also be sure to collect the other driver’s insurance information as well. Do not, under any circumstances, leave the scene of the crash.
Know who to notify
Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Then contact a car accident lawyer, your own car accident lawyer or a recommended car accident lawyer, in order to ensure that you do not say or write anything that may be detrimental to your case.
It’s essential that you don’t write about your accident online. Stay away from Facebook and Twitter as these statements can be easily collected by the other driver’s car accident attorney and be used against you.
In the event of a car accident, it’s especially important that you know your rights and responsibilities. Seek medical attention if necessary, but do not leave the scene of the accident until law enforcement assures you it is safe to leave.