What to Do at the Scene of a Car Wreck
An accident can seem traumatic enough. Knowing what to do at the scene of a car accident can make you feel more confident. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 guidelines, you may not be sure what’s safe. Do you know what to do at the scene of a car wreck? How can you protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and to make sure that you adhere to car accident laws in Georgia? What do you say after a car accident? You do not want to walk away from a car accident uninjured, only to discover days or weeks later that you contracted COVID-19 during the accident or potentially gave it to someone else. Follow these steps to protect yourself and others.
1. Mask up, if possible.
You have no way of knowing whether the other party involved in a car accident has been exposed to COVID-19, nor do they have any way of knowing that you have been exposed. Mask up before you get out of your car, if possible. If you aren’t carrying a mask in your car, consider using an alternative: a scarf, bandana, or other piece of fabric, for example. Do not try to wear a mask if you have an injury that interferes with your breathing.
2. Exchange information.
If you’re wondering, “What should I do after a car accident?” one of the key points is exchanging information. Talk to the other party involved in the accident. Ask for:
- Insurance information
- A photo of the other party’s driver’s license
- Whether anyone in the other vehicle suffered any injuries
How close you get to the other party involved in the accident will depend on your specific circumstances. While you may need to snap a cell phone picture of the other driver’s insurance information or license, you can stand more than six feet away from the other driver. You may exchange paperwork at arm’s length to reduce contact. Once you return to your vehicle, sanitize your hands if possible. Try to avoid touching your face until you have had a chance to wash or sanitize your hands.
3. Report the accident.
Atlanta police will no longer respond to traffic accidents in which no one suffers injury. Instead, both parties will need to fill out Form SR-13 to report the accident. If anyone at the scene of the accident suffered an injury, on the other hand, you should call 911 to report the accident. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you believe anyone suffered a serious injury as a result of the accident. If you do call 911 to report the accident, you should not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive, unless you leave to seek medical care or feel unsafe at the scene of the accident. If you do need to leave the scene of the accident, report your location to dispatch.
4. Seek medical attention.
As soon as possible after your car accident, seek medical attention. You should seek medical attention even if you believe that you did not suffer serious injuries in the accident. Visit an emergency room or urgent care center immediately if you have symptoms including loss of consciousness, vomiting, or disorientation.
Seeking medical attention helps establish and treat any injuries that you suffered as a result of the car accident. Many people walk away from serious car accidents believing that they did not suffer severe injury, only to discover later that they suffered more serious injuries than they initially thought. A doctor can diagnose many of those conditions and help you receive the right treatment for those injuries. In addition, medical records will establish when your injuries took place if you need to file a personal injury claim with the other party’s insurance.
5. Check the medical center’s policies and requirements.
Some medical facilities, including hospitals, now ask that patients come alone if they need to visit the emergency room. Others may allow you to have one support person, if needed. Check the regulations for the facility you visit so that you can receive the care you need and get a ride home if needed. Those regulations may change at any time based on current COVID-19 cases in the area, so you should consult staff members at the medical facility before calling someone to join you at the hospital. There may also be limitations on visitors if you require long-term hospitalization or treatment for your injuries, which you should ask about as soon as possible.
6. Notify your insurance company.
Get in touch with your auto insurance company to report the accident and establish who caused it. Georgia car accident law does not include a no-fault provision, which means that you will need to establish fault after the accident. If no one suffered injuries in the accident, your insurance company can help collect the funds you deserve from the other party. If you carry collision insurance, your insurance company may pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle, then seek compensation from the other party’s insurance.
You should also let your insurance company know if you need to cancel your insurance due to a totaled vehicle.
You may also need to ask your insurance company about what COVID-19 precautions the company has in place. For example, some companies may prefer that you connect with them online or over the phone. Others may have mask requirements if you need to come into the office for some reason.
7. Get in touch with a lawyer, if needed.
If you suffered injuries in your Georgia car accident, an attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve for those injuries. Get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible to learn more about your legal rights and how COVID-19 can impact your ability to seek the compensation you deserve. Many attorneys now offer virtual consultations, rather than visiting in person, in light of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has changed the way many systems work, including the legal system. You still, however, have the right to compensation for any injuries suffered in an auto accident. Follow these steps to report your accident and seek compensation when needed for injuries sustained during an accident.