To protect your rights after a car accident, you can start by not admitting fault for the crash––even if you believe that you caused the collision. If you say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of fault, the insurance company can use your words against you.
Additionally, take notes about what you remember before, during, and after the accident. The aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic, and it can be difficult to remember exactly what happened without taking notes.
Finally, if you have suffered injuries, you should take advice from first responders about seeking medical care. If they say that you should go to the hospital and get checked out, you should heed their advice.
While receiving care, you should collect various pieces of documentation, including the names of your doctors, their contact information, and the names of your medications.
Seek Treatment for Your Injuries
One of the most important things you can do after a car accident is to visit a doctor. Seeing a doctor is the only way to prove that you were hurt.
Without documentation of your injuries and treatment plan, your personal injury case will be difficult to prove.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
After your doctor diagnoses your injuries and prescribes a treatment plan, you should follow through with their recommendations. You should not miss appointments with doctors, physical therapists, or other specialists.
If you skip appointments or fail to follow the doctor’s advice, the insurance company could argue that you are not as injured as you claim. They could use this argument to deny or devalue your case.
If you disagree with your doctor’s recommendations, then you should seek out a second opinion rather than refusing treatment altogether. Seeking proper medical attention for your injuries is crucial to proving your claim.
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Another way you can protect your rights after a car accident is to collect documentation.
You can do this by:
Ensuring an Accurate Police Report
The police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence in your claim. The police report will contain information regarding the accident’s location, its cause, and who was at fault. It may also include the contact information of the other driver and their insurance company.
However, if the police did not properly gather information or overlooked something, this could hurt your case. Be sure to request a copy of the police report and check it over. If you notice anything amiss, make a note of it and share your concerns with law enforcement.
Taking Your Own Notes
If you are able, you should take photographs or videos of the accident scene with your smartphone camera. Take some notes about what you saw leading up to the accident while the information is still fresh in your mind.
Keeping Your Accident-Related Receipts in a Safe Place
To aid with the negotiation process, you will need to have a clear understanding of what your damages are worth. You cannot approach the insurance company without proof of your damages.
Billing statements, invoices, and receipts as they relate to your losses could protect your right to fair compensation. The more information you have about your economic damages, the less likely the insurance company will be to dispute your claim.
Follow State Laws for Dealing with an Accident
Finally, one of the best ways to protect your rights following a collision is to remain at the accident scene. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §40-6-270 spells out what drivers must do in the event of an accident.
Some of these obligations include:
- Rendering aid to anyone who suffered an injury in the crash (if possible)
- Contacting emergency personnel
- Providing accurate information to law enforcement officials
- Remaining at the scene until the police give you permission to leave
You may not have to follow some of these procedures if you were seriously injured in the collision.
Ways in Which a Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
Hiring a lawyer can provide you with more insight into how you can protect your rights after a car accident.
A personal injury lawyer can help you in a number of ways by:
- Ensuring the accuracy of the police report
- Collecting and documenting the facts of your case
- Investigating the circumstances of the crash
- Speaking with doctors about your treatment plan
- Negotiating with the insurance company for you
- Defending you against bad faith insurance practices
- Standing by your side and representing you in court (if your case reaches that point)
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Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers will build your case in accordance with Georgia’s statute of limitations, which is spelled out under OCGA §9-3-33. You may have as little as two years to file your car accident lawsuit.
For a free consultation with our team, call us as soon as possible at (404) 888-8888.