I’ve been in a traffic accident – what now?
Despite living in Atlanta, a city of six million people, it is not unusual for someone to only recently have had their first motor vehicle accident. The first thing many people want to know is what do I do now? It is, of course, difficult to know what to do if you have never been through it before so let me see if I can help you.
Call the Police to report your auto accident
First, call the police to document your case. It is not unusual for the other driver to have expired insurance information, promise to pay you personally for your repairs, etc. That is all well and good, but call the police to get a police report. The reason is it is not unusual for people not to have insurance coverage or change their story once you present them with an estimate for repairs. Second, it is not unusual for your injuries to reveal themselves only after you leave the accident scene. Without a police report, you have less evidence to support your case.
Get Medical Attention
The next thing you want to do is treat your injury without guilt. A lot of people feel bad or have guilty feelings for seeking treatment because of their injuries. I am not a psychologist and cannot explain why, but the most important thing for you to do after an accident is to feel better. The best thing for that is to seek the medical treatment that you need.
Talk to Insurance Companies
Next, make sure you let both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company know about the accident. Why? Most policies, probably including the one you have, contain a “notice provision” which requires you to place them on notice of an existing or a potential uninsured motorist claim. It will not cause your premium rates to increase, but it is important to protect yourself should you need such coverage in the future. Further, you want to let the other driver’s insurance company know what happened.
Decide on a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Finally, you will need to make a decision on hiring an attorney. It is a very big decision and one that you will need to make with careful consideration. Of course, if you buy a piece of land or a home you will need a real estate attorney. If you are injured in a car wreck, you will likely need a personal injury attorney. Do so with not only their experience in mind, but also your comfort level with them. It is an important step and one that you will probably be wed to from anywhere from up to a year and possibly several years.
All of these issues are important and certainly there are many other factors to take into consideration when responding to a lawsuit. I hope this has given you some guidance on how best to protect your interests.