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What to Do When in a Car Accident

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A close up of a woman holding a phone taking pictures after a car accident.

No one plans on getting into a car accident. You’re just driving along, going about your day when it suddenly happens. It can take a minute to process what’s going on or longer if you’ve been hurt. You could be in pain or disoriented; at best, you’re probably feeling a lot of stress. It’s understandable if you can’t think of what to do right away, but once you get your bearings, there are some important steps to take to protect your legal rights.

Later on, you may need help seeking compensation for your injuries, and the best solution is to consult a Georgia car accident lawyer. Attorney Ali Awad has extensive experience taking on big insurance companies for his clients. That’s why he established the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm and quickly expanded it to become one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. When he’s not meeting with clients and fighting for their legal rights, he can be found on social media, delivering legal expertise with humor and wit.

First Steps After an Auto Accident

Here are some important steps to take following a car accident:

  • Once you can think clearly, turn on your flashers and check yourself and any passengers in the car for injuries.
  • Call 911 to report the accident immediately, even if you’re not hurt.
  • The 911 operator will probably ask if your car is driveable in the roadway. Depending on your answer, they may suggest you try to move it out of the road or just leave it there with the hazard lights on. They may also tell you to get out of the car if you can wait on the sidewalk or somewhere safe. You should follow the operator’s instructions, as they’re usually aimed at preventing any additional accidents.
  • If you’re not seriously injured and can get out of your car safely, take pictures of your car and any damage that occurred. This includes the other vehicle, pieces of debris that may have fallen off either vehicle and any witnesses who happen to be around.
  • Approach the other driver and exchange contact and insurance info, including policy and driver’s license numbers. Never admit fault – you probably don’t have a complete picture of what happened. However, you should avoid blaming the other driver or arguing with them. Try to stick to the topic of exchanging information.
  • You should continue this approach when the police arrive. Be honest when answering their questions, but don’t speculate about fault; never say that you think it was your fault. We’ve met a lot of people who were mistaken about their own role in an accident.
  • If other witnesses are around, try to get their contact information.
  • Get medical care or at least let the paramedics check you out, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. It may be a few hours or days before you start to feel the effects of some injuries, and seeing a healthcare provider can help reveal any issues that may cause you problems later on. Even if you’re not seriously hurt, the at-fault driver’s insurance is still obligated to pay for any diagnostic tests to determine if you’re all right.
  • If your medical exam shows no problems, you should still look for unusual pain or symptoms over the next few days. If these appear, don’t hesitate to return to the healthcare provider for another exam.
  • Report the accident to your insurance carrier, even if you think it was the other driver’s fault. Again, do not admit fault. Remember that giving your insurer a heads-up about the accident is not the same as filing a claim, which you will still need to do. However, if the other driver is at fault, you will be filing a claim with their insurance company.
  • Ideally, speak with a Georgia car accident lawyer about your insurance claim before filing. They can advise you on issues that may make it easier or harder to get your claim approved, or they can assist you with the process.

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident?

Under Georgia law, you should call 911 to report the accident immediately or as soon as possible. Technically you’re not legally obligated to report any accident where no one was hurt, and property damage did not exceed $500, but you should report it anyway. There are two reasons for this:

  • Unless you’re an expert on auto body repair, it’s difficult to look at a dented car and know what it will cost to fix the damage. Many people are surprised by the collision repair bill for what they thought was “minor” damage to their car.
  • As we mentioned earlier, some people don’t have symptoms of their injuries right away. If you wake up the following day with a painful, stiff neck and learn you have a soft tissue injury like whiplash, you may want to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But if you didn’t report the collision, the insurance carrier may deny your claim due to a lack of proof that the crash even happened, let alone caused your injury.

Do You Need to File an Insurance Claim Immediately?

No. In most cases, you should file a liability claim for medical damages within two years and a property damage claim within four years after an accident. It’s usually best to wait until you’ve received the bills for your medical care and have some idea of how long you will need to continue treatment if it isn’t complete. However, sometimes a car accident victim may have severe injuries that require ongoing care while also having pressing medical bills for the care they’ve already had. Unfortunately, unpaid bills can sometimes prevent you from getting further treatment. If you’re in a situation like this, call a car accident attorney immediately for help.

Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm

After a car crash, you or a loved one may be struggling with medical bills, lost time at work, car repair costs, and other damages like pain and suffering. Don’t deal with the insurance company on your own – they have many strategies to blame you for the accident and avoid responsibility for paying your claim. Instead, call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front costs if we take your case. We use a contingency model, so you only pay us after we win your case.

Find out what your case is worth. Experienced injury and accident attorneys are ready to take your call at 833-254-2923.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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    Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

    To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

    Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

    The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

    Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

    Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

    What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

    During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

    Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

    If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.