A patch of black ice, an inexperienced driver, bald tires, or faulty windshield wipers could turn your winter commute ugly in a hurry. Since snow is not prevalent in Georgia, local drivers are often unprepared or unskilled for the demands of slippery road conditions. Even if you are a good winter driver, your risk for a weather-related car accident is still high when you are sharing the road with drivers who have not taken reasonable precautions.
The auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo Jr., PC wish you safe travels, but we know that even prudent drivers cannot avoid all the hazards that come with snowy, icy roads. If you are in an auto accident this winter, know these important steps to take after the incident and that we are here to help you get the compensation you need to recover.
#1: Assess your Condition and Safety
Once your vehicle has come to a stop, evaluate your injuries and those of your passengers to determine if emergency medical assistance is needed. If so, call 911 immediately. If you are able to safely do so, check on the other driver to see if he or she needs emergency assistance.
Assess your vehicle's location and if it is safe for you to remain in the vehicle. Remember that if it is snowing or raining, other drivers will have limited visibility, which puts you at very high risk to be on the road. Take whatever action is safe for you to get out of harm's way. If your vehicle is drivable, move it to the side of the road.
#2: Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
This step is important for a couple of reasons:
Clear the Road
If vehicles are blocking the roadway or debris poses a risk to other drivers, it is important that the authorities are alerted to send help.
Insurance companies often require a police report as part of an auto accident claim. An objective report from law enforcement can prove you were not at fault, document if the other driver was intoxicated, and record other pertinent details that can impact your ability to recover damages.
If you are asked to make a statement, report the facts you remember, but do not admit fault. Accidents happen very quickly, and you may not be aware of all of the elements that factored in to the accident. Admitting even partial culpability could hurt your case.
#3: Gather Contact Information
Exchange contact information with the other driver, and be sure to get his or her insurance information. Additionally, if there are witnesses, get their names and contact information.
#4 Document the Scene
If it is safe to do so, take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Try to capture images of:
- The location of any vehicles involved in the accident.
- Damage to your vehicle.
- Skid marks or tracks that provide insight into what occurred.
If it is snowing or if law enforcement does not arrive to the scene quickly, some of this evidence may be covered up before an official report is made, so these photos can prove valuable for determining the cause of the accident. Additionally, taking photos of your vehicle immediately after the accident can help prove that damage was sustained due to the incident and not before or after, which can be crucial to maximizing your compensation.
#5 Speak with an Auto Accident Attorney
A car accident is a traumatic event, and one that most people have difficulty effectively handling. With emotions running high, physical pain from injuries, and the general stress of trying to manage a complex situation, it is easy to forget crucial steps or make mistakes that could cost you.
Our car accident attorneys can advise you every step of the way, and we can take on the complicated tasks of investigating the accident, negotiating with insurance companies, and fighting for a fair settlement. With over a decade practicing law in Georgia, we have the knowledge and experience to successfully advocate for accident victims.
Contact Us for a Free Auto Accident Case Evaluation
Call our office at 770-888-8901 to schedule your free consultation with one of our caring and dedicated car accident attorneys. We serve the communities of Atlanta, Marietta, Cumming, and the nearby areas.