What should I do if I am in a car accident? 

When you have been involved in a car accident there are certain steps that you need to take in order to build your case and legally protect yourself. They include:

  • Checking other passengers in your vehicle and the driver of the other vehicle.
  • Immediately dialing 911 and letting the dispatcher know what the condition is of your passengers, the other driver, any passengers in their vehicle, and any pedestrians or others who could have been injured.
  • If the other driver is conscious and able to communicate with you, then you must both (or all, in the case of more than two drivers being involved) exchange the following information: your name, address, email address, phone number, and car insurance information. 
  • Take pictures of injuries as well as damage. Make sure to take a variety of close-up shots and wide-angle shots that include both license plates in the images so that your attorney can see your car clearly and distinctly from the other car.

What are some of the most common car accident injuries?

The injuries sustained during a car accident can have long-lasting effects. Victims may need several weeks, months, or even years of physical therapy. They may also experience emotional side effects as their life has been changed significantly, either temporarily or permanently, due to the accident. 

Cuts and Bruises

Cuts and scrapes are common side effects of getting into a car accident. Glass from windows and the windshield, as well as broken and bent pieces of metal, are sharp and pose a risk for victims. Loose items in the vehicle (such as laptops, backpacks, or cell phones) can go flying during a crash and bump into the driver or one of the passengers. Bruises may result from these items striking or landing on the soft tissue on the arms, midsection, feet, or legs.

Joint Injuries

When a victim crashes against the dashboard, into the seat in front of them or side doors, they can injure their knees, elbows, wrists, or other joints. The injuries that result can range from minor sprains to more serious injuries that will require surgery. Those injuries may also require you to use crutches or other assistance for several weeks or months, and weekly visits with a physical therapist.

Head, Neck, and Spine Injuries

One of the most common types of injuries is whiplash, which is when the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the neck are injured from the forcible motion of your head forward and back during the accident. Whiplash can take a few days or even weeks to heal. One curious symptom about it is that your first symptoms may not appear for several hours after the accident or even days. That’s why it is imperative to seek medical treatment after an accident so that a medical professional can diagnose you right away. Other, more serious injuries include brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. Signs of brain trauma include confusion and not being able to remember what happened during the accident, even immediately afterward. During the accident, the forceful motion that the body goes through forces the brain to crash into the sides of the skull, causing it to swell. Injuries to the back include injuries to the ligaments, discs, vertebrae, and spinal cord. As a result, the victim can experience partial or full paralysis, loss of bladder or bowel control, lack of coordination, and experience tingling or loss of feeling in the hands or feet. 

How do I know if my car accident claim is valid?

Typically, after an accident, you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if they were at fault, or with your own insurance company if you were at fault. But insurance companies are notorious for not paying out what they should, leaving accident victims without all the compensation that they need for their damages. In order to determine who is liable is important to determine who is actually at fault for causing the accident. After an accident, the police arrive and interview the drivers as well as any passengers, pedestrians, and other witnesses in order to reconstruct a narrative of what happened. The officer will record all of this information on the official report. The police report may or may not include a statement regarding who is at fault. But if it does, it can have significant weight in court. If the police officer has reason to believe that one driver was disobeying the law, then they can issue a citation or arrest the driver, such as in the case of a DUI. The insurance company is going to want to investigate your claim if you believe that their policyholder was responsible for the accident. They will request documents such as photos from the scene of the accident, will interview witnesses and others involved in the accident, and may even seek the expertise of a crash specialist. Or they may claim that the policyholder was not at fault, that there were other factors that caused the accident, and refuse to pay out your damages. Determining fault can become very complicated quickly, and this is why it is so important to work with an experienced attorney.

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Is there a deadline for filing a claim?

There is an important time limit for you to be aware of. It is the statute of limitations, which is the maximum amount of time that a person has to bring forth a suit in order to have the courts hear it. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, so it’s important for you to work with a car accident lawyer in Sandy Springs who understands the laws in this area.

Your Sandy Springs Car Accident Lawyer

At The Pendergrass Law Firm, we have recovered millions for our clients in lost wages and medical debt so they can move on with their lives after their car accident. We work with people every day who deserve kindness and protection from insurance companies. Give us a call today so we can listen to you and your situation. We are ready and eager to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call our personal injury lawyer today!

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