What Not to Do After a Car Accident
After being involved in a Georgia car accident, particularly a serious one that could have lifelong ramifications, most injury victims feel somewhat overwhelmed, and are unsure of how to proceed. This is perfectly normal. Those unfamiliar with litigation may not fully understand their rights, and may not realize that the steps they take in the wake of an accident can play a significant role in their eventual lawsuit.
Consider the following tips. Remember, these are basic guidelines. For further guidance, you’ll want to consult with a qualified Georgia car accident attorney who has experience litigating such claims.
Tips and No-No’s After a Car Accident
Do Not Admit Fault
In Georgia, some of your statements may enter the police report as an admission of fault, so make sure to avoid doing so. Though the hearsay rule prevents the introduction of certain out-of-court statements into evidence, Georgia law sets out a number of exceptions, making it difficult to ascertain what statements will be used against you in a court of law. Instead of navigating the evidentiary minefield, it is best to keep conversation to the minimum necessary before you can consult with your attorney for further guidance.
Avoid Speaking with Insurers
Insurance companies are not your allies. If you speak with your insurer without the assistance of an attorney, they will take advantage of the fact that you are not being represented by an attorney and will attempt to force you to make admissions that will minimize your potential claim for damages. Even in situations where liability is clear, the insurer may attempt to undermine your claim and negotiate a lower payout. Avoid speaking with insurers until you have consulted with an attorney. Your attorney will handle all communication with the insurer, and will push for a full and adequate payout.
Do Not Delay Medical Attention
In Georgia, as in other states, injury victims have a duty to mitigate their damages. In other words, you must make reasonable efforts to recover from your injuries. If you fail to do so, and you suffer from additional injuries (or worsened injuries) as a result of your failure to seek adequate medical help, then your damages claim could be reduced significantly. As such, it’s important that you avoid delaying medical attention. After the accident, make sure to go to a healthcare facility and have all the necessary diagnostic tests (and treatment) taken care of. If the defendant is found liable, they will have to pay for your medical expenses, so don’t worry about the cost.
Do Not Sell or Junk Your Car
Your vehicle is valuable evidence in a car accident lawsuit, so make sure not to junk it, sell it, repair it, or otherwise distribute it into another’s possession. For example, if there are no videos of the accident, and there are conflicting reports of how the collision occurred, investigators can use your vehicle to reconstruct the accident (and the impact forces involved), thus helping clarify the actual events that took place.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Today
Here at Ponton Law, we have decades of experience representing clients on both sides of injury litigation — Attorney James Ponton has spent the past ten years working with injured plaintiffs to recover compensation on their behalf, and previously, worked with insurance companies as defense counsel. This experience has gifted Attorney James Ponton with a unique and valuable perspective that has helped him more effectively litigate claims for his injured clients, and obtain maximum damages on their behalf.
If you’ve suffered injuries (and other losses) in a car accident, you may have a legitimate injury claim for which you can recover significant damages, pursuant to Georgia law. Call (404) 418-8507 today to get connected to an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney here at Ponton Law. We look forward to assisting you.