It can be difficult to remain calm after a car accident, especially when it appears to have been the other driver’s fault. However, remaining as calm as possible will allow you to think clearly and preserve evidence at the scene. This is important should you want to hire a Marietta auto accident lawyer and pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Wait for the Police to Clear the Scene
Even if you assume that both you and the other driver are okay, never leave the scene of a car accident until directed to do so by the police. You must also exchange basic information with the other driver such as name and insurance policy details. Be sure to turn on your emergency flashers and drive your car to the shoulder of the road if possible.
Determine if Anyone Needs Medical Attention
Check each person in your vehicle for obvious injuries and ask if they’re okay. Never move a person who appears unconscious or who claims to have neck or back pain. Instead, do your best to keep that person calm and call 9-1-1. If you smell gas or your car is on fire, evacuate each person immediately while supporting his or her back, head, and neck to the best of your ability. Obtaining medical help is the priority at this point. You should wait to contact a Marietta auto accident lawyer until you’re more stable.
Giving a Statement to the Police
When a police officer arrives on the scene, he or she will ask for your driver’s license, insurance information, and a brief description of how the accident happened. You should be as factual as possible while not accepting blame or assigning it to the other driver. The police officer should also give you a business card with his or her name and badge number. You may need this information later if you want to obtain a copy of the police report from the accident.
Get Witness Statements and Take Pictures if Possible
If anyone who was not riding in either vehicle witnesses the accident, ask if they would be willing to provide you with a statement. This information will be useful later if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit with help from a Marietta auto accident lawyer. The responding police officer will also obtain as many witness statements as possible, including from the passengers in both vehicles. However, statements from witnesses who were not in either vehicle tend to be the most useful since they don’t have a stake in the outcome.
If you carry a smartphone with a camera application, now is the ideal time to use it if your injuries don’t prevent you from doing so. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the road conditions, and injuries you or any passengers suffered. This often proves to be the most valuable evidence for your Marietta auto accident lawyer to prove how the accident happened as well as the extent of your injuries.
You have two years from the date of the accident under Georgia law to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. We encourage you to contact Morrison & Hughes as soon as possible to get your case started.