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What are my first steps after a car accident?

Among the most shocking and jarring experiences a driver can face is involvement in a car accident. Unfortunately, avoiding collisions on Georgia roads is not always possible, so it’s best to have a clear understanding of what to do following one. Some judgment errors may lead to legal trouble, both criminally and civilly. For those reasons and others, knowing what to do in the aftermath of an accident is vitally important.

Some immediate steps to take

Leaving the scene of an accident ranks as one of the worst decisions a driver could make after a collision. In that case, the situation becomes a hit-and-run incident, and criminal charges may follow. Remaining at the scene and taking necessary responsibility could avoid such problems.

Self-assessing personal injuries and checking on the passengers’ condition rank as top priorities. That said, seeking a medical examination afterward might be highly advisable. An injured person might not be aware of severe complications that could soon develop. You should also check on the well-being of those in the other vehicle.

Engaging calmly and competently with anyone else involved in the accident, such as pedestrians or other drivers, is part of the process. Procuring insurance and contact information as well as witness information helps in the aftermath. That said, people could be hysterical, uncooperative or even dangerous. Calling the police is advisable, even when the scenario isn’t out of control. Besides helping to manage the situation, the police will log an accident report. That accident report could then find its way into court as evidence.

Other responsibilities and concerns after an accident

Taking pictures of the accident provides visual evidence that may prove invaluable when suing or filing a claim. Hopefully, the vehicle has a dashcam. Recorded dashcam footage may prove incredibly important in court since it visually documents some or all of what occurred.

Memories may fade, so taking notes about the incident could provide a log of details and thoughts. Smartphones come with dictation capabilities. Dictating information on the accident to a note file eliminates the need to rely on recovering everything from memory.

Anyone injured in a car accident may have a credible personal injury suit. An attorney could assist with litigation or an insurance claim.