Call us!  (912) 461-6798
Call us!  (912) 461-6798

Picture this: You’re driving home from work when out of nowhere, another car hits you. What you do in the moments after a collision can be a determining factor of your ability to fully recover from your injuries and can affect your ability to collect compensation from the other driver, but you must act fast.

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Steps to take after being in a crash

Following these steps can help ensure your safety and that you protect your car accident injury claim.

1. Move your vehicle to a safer location

Try to get your car out of traffic to prevent further injury. If you’re unable to move your car, turn on the hazard lights, leave it where it is, and stand somewhere safe.

2. Check yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries

Your body releases adrenaline right after the shock of impact – you may be hurt badly but not feel it, so visually assess your injuries and those of your passengers so you can relay that information to the police dispatcher.

3. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance

Always call 911, no matter what the other driver says. Tell the dispatcher pertinent information about the accident including the location, how many cars are involved, and any injuries or hazards you’re aware of.

The dispatcher will send paramedics and a police officer to the scene. EMTs are trained to identify the signs of injuries that might not be immediately visible or noticeable. It’s recommended that you follow their advice regarding medical care, including being transported to the hospital. 

4. Tell your side of the story to the responding police officer

Only talk about the crash to the police officer – not the other driver. Stick to the facts and try not to speculate about the accident’s cause or any other details. Everything you say could end up in the officer’s report; admitting fault could be detrimental to your claim.

5. Notify your insurance company

Even if you know the other driver is to blame for the accident and you’re planning to file a claim with their insurance company, your auto policy likely requires that you notify them if you’ve been in a crash. Depending on the terms of your policy, your insurer might help provide coverage or assistance while your claim against the other driver is pending.

6. Gather evidence at the scene

Any photos or videos you take of the accident scene, the surrounding area, and your injuries may be evidence against the other driver. Write down the name and phone number of any potential witnesses and note possible CCTV or traffic cameras that could have footage of the wreck.

It’s also a good idea to hit ‘Record’ on your phone and keep it recording in your pocket. This is an easy way to gather audio footage of the incident that may be valuable later.

7. Visit Urgent Care or your primary care physician

If you don’t take an ambulance to the ER, you should still receive medical attention as soon as possible. There are a couple of good reasons for this:

  • Certain types of injuries may not show symptoms right away. Prompt diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance of recovery.
  • Post-accident medical records are proof that your injuries were sustained in the crash.

Insurance companies love to undervalue claims or assert that a claimant isn’t as badly hurt as they say. Medical records help refute those claims.

8. Meet with a car accident attorney to understand your legal options

A skilled Savannah car accident lawyer will protect your legal interests and can help you file a suit for compensation. As your legal advocate, they’ll also help you get the medical treatment you need and work towards obtaining full compensation on your behalf.

Make sure you file a claim on time

O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 sets the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit as two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t file your claim by this deadline, you may not be able to collect any damages from the at-fault party.

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Possible damages you can claim

The compensation you seek to recover in a personal injury claim is called “damages”. The purpose of damages is to return the injured party to the financial state they would have been in had the accident not occurred. The two primary forms of damages are economic and non-economic.

Economic damages

You are entitled to recover your financial losses for damages suffered as a direct result of the crash. These easily calculable economic damages include:

  • Your medical bills, hospital stay, surgery, or physical therapy that you’ve already incurred and those that you’re likely to incur in the future
  • Compensation for lost wages because you missed work due to your injuries
  • Property damages, like repairing or replacing your vehicle
  • Loss of earning potential because your injuries render you unable to continue working either at all or in the same capacity

Pain and suffering

In Georgia, an injured person can recover for damages that fall under pain and suffering, including:

  • Interference with your day-to-day life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical impairment
  • Fear and shock
  • Past and future actual pain and suffering
  • Past and future mental anguish

These are real losses, but they are more difficult to recover without the help of a skilled Savannahcar accident lawyer.

Parties who may be liable for your injury

It’s often believed that the driver who caused the accident will be the only liable party or defendant. However, depending on the situation, a third party could also be held liable such as any of the following:

  • The municipality responsible for maintaining safe roads if a damaged roadway contributed to the crash
  • The auto manufacturer
  • A mechanic who improperly repaired one of the vehicles
  • The commercial trucking carrier that employed a driver who hit you
  • The city if public transportation was involved

How our Savannah car accident attorneys prove negligence

Most personal injury lawsuits are brought on the grounds of negligence. One requirement of a successful case is that your car accident lawyer must prove the following four things in order to hold another party liable for your accident injuries based on negligence:

  • Duty: The defendant owed you a duty of care for your safety. Said differently, the defendant had to do or not do something for your benefit, like follow the rules of the road so they don’t hurt other drivers.
  • Breach: The defendant violated the duty of care. You must show the defendant did something they weren’t supposed to, or didn’t do something they should have. For example, the defendant was speeding and texting while driving and that caused him to crash into you.
  • Causation: The breach of duty directly caused your injuries. Simply put, you have to prove that the reason you are hurt is because of what the defendant did.
  • Injuries: You must show you suffered injuries. This can be anything from physical injury and medical bills to pain and suffering and lost wages, and everything in between.

Here’s an example putting this all together: all drivers have a responsibility to follow traffic and safety laws. If a driver crashed into you because they were texting and didn’t see your car, you were injured in the accident, and you have financial losses such as medical bills, then negligence can be proven with supporting evidence.

We fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation

At Rafi Law Firm, we believe that our case successes speak for themselves. Our Savannah car accident attorneys have secured multiple seven-figure verdicts on behalf of our clients, like:

  • $3 million for wrongful death following a commercial trucking accident
  • $1.8 million for a client hit by a tractor-trailer
  • $1.5 million for a military veteran injured in an Atlanta car collision
  • $1.5 million for a Georgia car accident victim

Our team is composed of skilled negotiators and litigators who will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Car accidents are becoming more frequent and more dangerous

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, in 2020:

Common car accident injuries

Some of the most serious types of injury include:

  • Neck, spine, and back injuries. This includes disc herniations and bulges, torn discs, straightening of the spine, and whiplash
  • Broken bones and fractures.
  • Joint injuries. This includes torn meniscus and cartilage in shoulders and knees.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Crushing injuries, internal organ damage, and internal bleeding
  • Facial disfigurement and scarring
  • Eye injuries
  • Contusions
  • And, of course, you can feel pain because of an injury without necessarily having imaging showing the problem.

“Dos” and “don’ts” of dealing with insurance after a crash

You aren’t obligated to talk to the other party’s insurance company. In fact, you shouldn’t speak with them except to provide your attorney’s contact information. You should direct all communications to your Savannah personal injury attorney.

Anything you tell the other party’s insurance adjuster could be misconstrued or twisted to seem as though you admitted fault for the accident or can be used as other grounds on which they should deny your claim.

Cost of hiring a Savannah car accident lawyer

Rafi Law Firm works on a contingency basis. This means we handle the cost of pursuing your claim upfront and only collect legal fees if we secure a settlement or win at trial. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

We’ll discuss the specific fee structure for your case at your initial free consultation.

Why you should visit a doctor as soon as possible

Seeking medical care right after an accident can ensure that any “hidden injuries” do not become worse because they weren’t diagnosed. Head and brain injuries, whiplash and neck injuries, and other soft tissue injuries like a strain or sprain may not present symptoms right away, but prompt intervention could prevent them from getting significantly worse.

Receiving medical treatment also creates a paper trail connecting your injuries to the accident. Your Savannah car accident lawyer needs this to prove that the accident caused your injuries.

Why work with Rafi Law Firm

Compassionate legal representation and tenacious litigation are the hallmarks of Rafi Law Firm attorneys. We fight to secure the maximum compensation for your injuries and prepare a strong case on your behalf.

Our legal team has access to resources that other personal injury law firms don’t. We work with expert witnesses to ascertain the cause of the crash and financial auditors to properly value your claim. We also work with medical experts who can testify about how the accident caused your injuries and the effects those injuries have on your life.

Our Savannah car accident attorneys are here to help

You may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused your accident, but you won’t know until you schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Savannah car accident lawyers. Call us today at (912) 461-6798.

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