The moments right after a car accident are scary and confusing. Simply finding what steps to take next can feel overwhelming.
Then, on top of that confusion, you need to remember the laws and limits regarding car accidents in your state. Here are the next steps if you get into a car accident in Jonesboro.
Call the Police
Even if you don’t feel like the damage or injury is severe, the police should be called if you feel there is any damage or injury worth more than $500.
If you don’t file a report there will be no way for you to be compensated if you later discover more damage or injuries. Having a report on file will help protect you.
Take Notes and Pictures
After the police have been called, make notes of any damage you find and any obvious injuries. Take as many pictures as you can of the scene, yourself and any passengers.
Get contact information from anyone else involved in the accident including any witnesses. The more information you can provide your insurance company the better.
File a Claim
Once you’ve gathered your notes and pictures, contact your insurance company to file a claim. If the police didn’t find you at fault for the accident then your insurance probably won’t have to pay for your damages, but you should still let them know an accident has occurred.
Get an Injury Screening
Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been injured, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for an injury screening. Some car accident injuries can take awhile to become noticeable, especially when adrenaline is involved, and can worsen significantly over the years.
In addition to the physical benefit of an injury screening, there’s a legal benefit. Georgia is a Fault State (meaning that your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company are responsible for all damages based on the degree of fault) with a two year Statute of Limitations on personal injury, so the sooner you can get any injuries diagnosed, the better.
On top of that, many insurance companies view even just a couple of days between an accident and an injury diagnosis as enough time to cast doubt on when the injury actually occurred. Basically, if you get into an accident on Monday and you don’t see a doctor until the pain gets to be too much on Friday, an insurance company can say that there’s no way to know if your injury is a direct result of the accident.
For the sake of your body and your insurance, see a doctor within 24 hours of when the car accident happened.