Many of us drive every day and, unfortunately, accidents can happen to even the most careful of drivers. According to Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, there were 133,399 injuries from car accidents in the year 2006 alone. Of those, 6,377 injuries were serious. The numbers are staggering when you think of not only the pain of being injured, but also the effect it can have on your lifestyle. Being seriously injured in a car accident can mean serious medical bills, and with an injury, it is likely you will miss out on time at work. Such physical and monetary losses can be devastating to recover.
One of the worst areas for accidents in the state of Georgia is Atlanta. Lawyers know best how to handle lawsuits and settlements involving personal injury and can offer insight and prior experience into a personal injury case. It is important to discuss all of your potential options with an experienced car accident lawyer.
If you have been in an accident there are some things you can do to protect your rights in the future:
Get a Police Report: Filing a police report will help to determine fault, while also making an official record of what happened.
Get Contact Information: Taking down the license plate number, address, insurance information and phone number of the driver of the other vehicle ensures you will be able to reach him or her if you need to follow up about the accident. If there are any witnesses or passengers, you would be wise to get their information too.
Take Photos: If it is at all possible, you should take pictures of the damage. It will be important for insurance purposes later.
Don’t Discuss the Accident: Avoid discussing the accident with the other driver. You don’t want anything you said at the scene while in shock to be brought up in court months later.
Seek Medical Attention: It is important to be treated for all injuries sustained. Even simple injuries can worsen in the future and you want to be sure you won’t be paying medical bills for years to come because of an accident that was found not to be your fault.
Seeking medical attention may be last on the above list, but it is certainly one of the most important steps. Many people experience shock after a car accident, and a mixture of shock and adrenaline can make you feel invincible. The problem with this feeling is that it wears off, and any injuries you sustained in the accident could become worse if left untreated. A bonus of being treated for any injuries is that there will be a record of the injuries in case you need them later in court. It is also a good idea to keep a journal of your injuries and to document treatment.
Many Personal injury cases are settled out of court. While there is nothing wrong with this, you should speak to an accident attorney to ensure you are making the right choice. It is important to think not only of current medical bills, but also loss of work and any medical bills that will be happening in the future (surgery to fix a particularly bad injury, for instance). These costs can be forgotten in the heat of the moment, but to protect your way of life, it is important you are aware of all your options. If you have injuries from a car accident, call The Patterson Cozzo Law Firm at 770-422-8840.