Last Updated on August 10, 2021 by Theodore Spaulding
What should you do after a car accident? Attorney Ted Spaulding explains 11 steps to take after a car accident in Georgia.
Eleven steps to take after a car accident. Hi, I’m Ted Spaulding. I’m an Atlanta personal injury trial lawyer, and I am the founder here at Spaulding Injury Law. So I’ve compiled 11 steps to take immediately after a car accident. Now, a lot of these you guys already know. They’re pretty straightforward ones, but you’re gonna see there’s a couple of them that will probably make you go, “Huh? Okay. I didn’t think about that before.”
And so that’s the purpose of this list, is to remind you of the ones that you already know and to give you a couple of additional ones to help you out. So let’s start with the obvious, call 911. You got to get a police report. Why? Because that is an independent, basically, expert who’s going to determine who’s at fault. And then you can call that police officer at court to say, “Yes, that person I found to be at fault after I investigated it.” So call 911.
The next is check injuries, obviously. Make sure you and your passengers are safe. Make sure anyone else involved in the wreck is safe as well. And then the next step is, beyond making sure everyone is safe, don’t make any other statements to the at fault party, any of the passengers in that vehicle. Why? Because that comes back around if and when you pursue a personal injury claim. “Oh, well she told me she was fine at the scene.” While that’s understandable at the time, it’s still something that’s going to be used against you. So stay quiet as to anything else. Definitely check, make sure they’re okay, get them off to the side of the road, those sorts of things, but don’t say anything else.
The next set are taking photographs. So take photographs of the damage to the vehicle or vehicles. Take photographs of the scene of the wreck. Maybe where there’s scattered debris from one or more of the vehicles or leaking fluid or whatever. And then take photographs of any injuries. If you’ve got visible injuries, take some shots of that if you can, or at least do that the day of or the next day. Show, you know, like a shoulder strap from the seat belt, if it caused a bruise or something. That helps show the impact that was caused. So take all of those photographs.
Another one I’ve got, exchange driver information. Now, hopefully, all that will be on the police report, but it’s good to get it yourself as well. Another important one, gather contact information for any and all witnesses. This is huge because you think it’s going to be on the police report. Oftentimes we find it is not. The police officers, for some reason, do not put contact information of witnesses. So if you’ve got witnesses, go up to them, get their contact information so you can reach out to them later or your attorney came.
Another one is contact information for passengers. So passengers in the at-fault party’s vehicle, really important, because they may not make it on the police report. Another one is, don’t say you’re fine to the police officer. Even if you feel you’re fine, you don’t know for sure. I can’t tell you how many times injuries start to reveal themselves hours or days later. You’ve got a lot of adrenaline flowing, you feel like you’re fine. You make that statement, it’s in the record forever at that point.
Just say, you don’t know yet. You feel, you know, stoved up. I think a lot of people say, or, you know, you feel kind of sore or something like that, but don’t just say, “No, no, I’m good,” because you probably aren’t. So don’t do that.
And then finally, see a doctor. If you don’t go by EMS, it’s always the best thing. Go by EMS to the hospital to get checked out. At least go with a family member, spouse, go to the hospital, go the next morning. Don’t wait too much longer past that to get checked out and get the documentation of all the injuries that you have.
So those are the 11 steps to take, in my opinion, after a car accident, to preserve your rights, to preserve evidence, to make sure you don’t have things that come up that have to be explained away later no matter what it feels like at the time, that it feels normal, just don’t do it.
Insurance companies love to argue every little thing, don’t give them more ammunition than they already have. So hopefully this helps you the next time you’re in a car wreck. Hopefully, you aren’t ever in a car wreck, but this will at least give you some of those pointers in case you or a family member are.
If you have any other questions or if you have a claim or case that you would like to see if my firm can handle, respond to this video below. Go to our website, spauldinginjurylaw.com. We have a contact form on there. You can fill out or give me a phone call. Two phone numbers for you, 770-744-0890 or 470-695-9950. Thanks so much for watching this video.
For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.