In metro Atlanta, traffic can be a problem and accidents are common.
So it’s important to know what steps you should take before you find yourself saying, “I just got into a car accident in Lithia Springs, what should I do now?”
Car accidents can be disorienting, so in addition to making sure you have your important documents (driver’s license, car insurance card, health insurance card, vehicle registration, list of emergency contacts, etc.) in your purse or wallet, along with a pen, it’s a good idea to keep a checklist of post-accident steps to take somewhere easily accessible in your vehicle.
Also keep your phone charged at all times (or keep an emergency charger with you) and if your car insurance company has an app, have it installed.
Following these tips will help you keep calm and do the right things after an accident.
Immediately After Your Car Accident:
Move to the Side
If no one is seriously injured and all cars are drivable, move them over to the shoulder and out of the flow of traffic.
If there are serious injuries or either vehicle is too damaged to move, leave it for a tow truck to handle.
Call the Police
The police may not need to file a report if the accident is minor, but it’s best to call no matter what. If you don’t call and it turns out you needed an officer to be present, it can result in a serious fine or worse.
If an officer doesn’t need to be present and both cars are drivable, just exchange insurance and contact information (after taking note of any damage and how the accident occurred for insurance purposes). Otherwise, remain at the scene.
If you leave the scene of the accident, especially if anyone was injured, you could face serious consequences. Put on your hazards and wait until you’re given permission to leave.
If you installed the app for your insurance company, you should be able to take pictures of the damage and input information directly to your insurance provider.
Otherwise, take pictures and notes to have on hand when you call them.
It’s a good idea to get screened for any injuries within 24 hours of a car accident, even if you feel okay.
During the confusion of an accident you may not immediately notice any injuries, but if you start to feel unwell later it may be too late to prove the accident caused your injuries, leaving you without the medical compensation.