What To Do After a Car Accident in Georgia


If you’re still at the accident scene:

  1. Get yourself out of harm’s way.
  2. Call 911 if you or someone else is injured and needs medical attention. (Call law enforcement even if the accident was minor.)
  3. Don’t apologize for the accident, but show empathy to the other driver.
  4. Take photos of injuries and auto damage.
  5. Exchange insurance info and contact info with the other driver.
  6. Gather contact info from anyone who witnessed the accident.
  7. See medical attention within 24 hours.

A car accident can upend your life in long-lasting ways. What you do immediately following the car accident—and also in the days and weeks after the car accident—can make a difference in how quickly you’re able to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.

If you live in Georgia, then you know that car accidents are very common along the state’s busy roads and highways. This guide will help you make sure that your health and finances can recover successfully after a car accident in Georgia.

Have you…

  • Recently been in a car accident?
  • Just received your driver’s license?
  • Trying to help someone who has been injured in a car accident?

If so, then this article will help you prepare for or recover from a Georgia car crash.

7 Steps To Take After a Car Accident in Georgia

There are seven steps you should take following a car accident in Georgia. These will help you protect your personal and financial well-being.

  1. Get out of harm’s way and call the police.
  2. Exchange information.
  3. Gather evidence.
  4. Take care of yourself and your vehicle.
  5. See a doctor.
  6. Inform your insurance provider.
  7. File an insurance claim.

1. Get Out of Harm’s Way and Call The Police

After you’ve been in a car accident, the first and most important step is to get yourself out of harm’s way.

If the accident occurred on a busy road or highway, you should do whatever you can to avoid being in the way of passing vehicles.

Unfortunately, there are many car accidents in which the drivers aren’t seriously injured in the initial crash but are then struck by passing vehicles that aren’t aware they’re speeding by an accident scene with people standing on the road.

For Minor AccidentsFor Major Accidents
Pull over to the side of the road to get your vehicle out of the way of traffic. Then, stand on a sidewalk, embankment, or other area off the road and call law enforcement for assistance.If your car is smoking or on fire, get away from the vehicle–while being mindful of incoming traffic–and call 911 immediately.

Once you’re out of harm’s way, call 911 to request a police officer (and an ambulance, if needed).

You should always call the police following a car crash, even for minor car accidents. In the next section, we’ll explain why it’s best to have law enforcement come to the scene.

Don’t Forget: In the State of Georgia, car accidents must be reported to law enforcement if there are injuries or auto damage over $500.

2. Exchange Information

Exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you collect:

  • Contact information
  • Insurance information
  • License plate numbers

The situation will be more difficult if the other driver is angry or aggressive. Law enforcement can help diffuse tensions, but the best way to deal with an angry driver is to show empathy and offer assistance.

Never apologize.

You might feel tempted to say “I’m sorry” following a car accident, but there’s a chance the car accident wasn’t actually your fault, even if that’s what you initially believe. Insurance companies may not give you a fair settlement if you’ve admitted guilt, even if it turns out that you didn’t cause the accident.

Learn More: What Should I Say to the Other Driver After an Atlanta Car Crash?

3. Gather Evidence

Once everyone is out of harm’s way, it will need to be determined where the fault lies for the accident. If you were not at fault for the accident, the other driver’s insurance should cover your medical expenses and auto repair costs.

To make sure you get the insurance settlement you deserve, you need to collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, or that you really did incur the damages that you’re trying to have covered.

Collect the following evidence at the accident scene:

  • Photos/videos of injuries and vehicle damage
  • License plates of all vehicles involved in the accident
  • Photos that might indicate the time, location, and circumstances of the accident
  • Contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident; you might eventually need them to verify details about the crash

Do not post anything on social media! Social media posts will not help your case and could actually damage it.

Once again, it’s helpful to have a police officer at the scene to assist in collecting evidence. They’ll create a police report that compiles all that information. However, some police departments may not thoroughly investigate the accident, so it’s important to collect evidence yourself.

Learn More: What Evidence Should I Collect After an Atlanta Car Crash?

4. Take Care of Yourself and Your Vehicle

If you’re injured and need immediate medical attention, call 911 and request medical assistance right after the accident.

Otherwise, once you’ve gathered evidence and exchanged information with other drivers, you’ll need to have your vehicle towed if it’s no longer driveable. Don’t leave the scene of the accident unless first responders have cleared you to leave.

If you’re having your vehicle towed, keep records of how much the towing costs, and also keep a record of your transportation costs following the accident. This may include taxi/rideshare costs, public transportation costs, or the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Keep a record of your auto repair costs, too!

5. See a Doctor

Even if you don’t need medical care at the accident scene, you should visit a doctor immediately following a car crash.

Certain injuries (especially whiplash or head injuries) may not cause immediate symptoms, but they can be hazardous or even life-threatening and require treatment right away.

Seeing a doctor also creates medical documentation of the injuries you received in the accident. If the insurance company tries to push back on your medical claims, you’ll have proof that you really did suffer injuries in the car crash.

Learn More: Should You Seek an Atlanta Doctor Right After a Car Crash?

What if I Don’t Have Health Insurance?

Sadly, many people forgo seeing a doctor after a car crash because they don’t have health insurance.

Don’t let that keep you from getting medical care.


  1. Hospitals must treat you in an emergency. After the car accident, visit your local ER for immediate medical attention.
  2. You may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, which can cover some, if not all, emergency medical costs.
  3. If you were not at fault for the accident, you can often have your medical costs covered by insurance for the liable party.

Healthcare costs can be intimidating, but it’s not worth the risk of having untreated injuries.

6. Inform Your Insurance Provider

In Georgia, most insurance providers require that you inform them of a car accident as soon as possible, if not immediately.

You may have as little as 30 days to file an insurance claim, but you need to inform your insurance provider much sooner.

The longer you wait to inform your insurance provider, the harder it may be to get a fair insurance claim. Insurance companies always look for ways to pay you less than you deserve, and if you wait too long to inform them of an accident, they might doubt that you were injured in the accident or doubt your version of how the accident happened.

7. File an Insurance Claim

In the days and weeks following the car accident, you should file an insurance claim for expenses you incurred because of the accident. These not only include your auto repair costs and medical costs but also lost income if your injuries prevented you from working.

There are a few Georgia laws that you should be aware of:

  • Statute of Limitations: You have 2  years to file a lawsuit for personal injury claims (4 years for property damage). GA Code § 9-3-33 (2022) & GA Code § 9-3-32 (2022)
  • Medical Coverage: Georgia is not a ‘no-fault’ state, which means that your medical expenses can be covered by the party responsible for the accident.
  • Comparative Negligence: In Georgia, you can only recover damages if you’re less than 50% responsible for the accident. O.C.G.A. 51-12-33 (2010)

So, if you were not responsible for the car accident (or not mostly responsible), then you’re legally entitled to recover your expenses caused by the accident.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

“In Georgia, insurance companies may give you as little as 30 days to file a claim, which can be very unfair to car accident victims. Sometimes, people receive injuries that require several months of medical treatment, or they won’t experience symptoms until weeks or months after the accident. People may be required to file an insurance claim before they understand the extent of their injuries or their total medical costs.”

Jason Schneider, Founding Partner at Schneider Williamson

If the insurance company refuses to pay you the compensation you’re owed, or if you are offered a settlement that doesn’t accurately reflect your expenses, then you can file a lawsuit within two years (for personal injury) or four years (for property damage).

What if the Insurance Company Won’t Compensate Me?

The insurance company should cover all the expenses from an accident you didn’t cause, and if they don’t, then it may be time to take the insurer to court.

There are so many car accident victims who face enormous medical bills, even when they have proof that the accident occurred through no fault of their own. Insurance companies are excellent at coming up with reasons why they should deny your claim or avoid paying you all the money you’re owed.

For example, perhaps you didn’t visit a doctor right after the accident, or maybe there’s no police record to verify your claims. Insurance companies will use these types of scenarios as an excuse to offer a settlement far below the costs you incurred.

Filing a lawsuit is sometimes the only way to get fair compensation from the insurance company.

You don’t have to do it alone, and it won’t cost you a fortune. Personal injury litigation firms, like Schneider Williamson, excel at guiding car accident victims through the legal process. With a law firm in your corner, you are likely to receive a settlement far larger than what you were first offered.

How Schneider Williamson Can Help You After a Georgia Car Accident

You should never let an insurance company force you to accept an unfair settlement. If you were not at fault for the car accident, all of your expenses should be covered: medical bills to treat your injuries, future medical bills for treating chronic injuries, auto repair costs, and all other costs you incurred from the car accident harming your personal and professional life.

The legal process might sound intimidating, especially if you’re already dealing with physical or emotional trauma from the car accident, but that’s why it’s so important you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you suffered a car accident in Georgia, Schneider Williamson can help you receive all that you are entitled to from the insurance company or other liable parties. We’re a personal injury litigation firm with a strong track record in securing substantial client settlements.

Your personal injury case is personal to us; we believe that repairing the financial toll of the car accident is key to restoring your well-being. We will be your fierce advocates in the courtroom and guide and inform you through each step of the legal process so you’re never in the dark about the status of your case.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Schneider Williamson attorneys have a proven track record of results that includes securing six, seven, and eight-figure compensation for clients. Right your wrongs and pursue compensation with Atlanta’s preferred personal injury team.

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