Tips to Follow if Involved in an Auto Accident in a Parking Lot in Georgia
Every day Georgians operate motor vehicles in large shopping center parking lots, private apartment complexes, or other private places where traffic frequents that are not on public roads. Though some of these accidents may be relatively small with no injuries, at the Ferguson Law Group our skilled parking lot accident lawyers have handled cases involving serious injuries and death in accidents that occur on private property, especially where pedestrians are injured or in areas where large trucks are making deliveries. Below are some things that you should consider if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident on private property or in a parking lot in Georgia.
1. Exchange Insurance Information but Still Call the Police
Many times our automobile injury attorneys are contacted by someone who has been in an accident in a private place or parking lot and they immediately tell us proudly that they did get the other party’s car insurance but then explain that the police were never called. This is a real problem. While it is important to get as much information about the adverse party as possible, including their insurance information, you should always contact the police before you leave the scene and the other party leaves the scene. Although it may be tempting to simply exchange information, this step of calling the police is important for the following reasons:
- Although police may not issue citations against the at-fault party in accidents occurring on private property, the police may state an opinion on the issue of who is at-fault in the narrative section of their report. This will be important when you may an insurance claim against the adverse party’s insurance.
- The police will preserve names and contact information for witnesses that may be hard for you to acquire, especially if you are injured.
- The police may create a diagram of the scene that will be helpful to your case.
- The police may assist in making sure that emergency personnel makes it a priority to come to the accident scene and treat anyone that has been injured.
- Our car wreck attorneys have seen instances where the police will make criminal charges against the at-fault party in certain types of cases such as criminal damage to property or cases involving vehicular homicide.
2. Take Photos
There is a misconception that parking lots and private property areas have far better camera systems than what they actually have. We frequently receive requests from clients who have been involved in a car crash on private property to obtain the camera and video footage from nearby businesses. While this may be helpful, these options seldom capture the actual circumstances of the crash, the damage to the vehicles, or the angles of the impact that are so important in these cases. For this reason, we highly recommend that anyone who has been involved in an accident on private property take their own photos.
3. Get Witness Information
Passersby and independent witnesses usually provide aid following an accident. These well-intentioned individuals will approach the injury victims, offer help and even state an opinion on who caused the accident. However, in our experience, these key witnesses tend to disappear when the police and emergency medical personnel arrive. Having independent witnesses that saw what occurred in extremely powerful evidence especially if you do not know the person otherwise. However, without names and contact information their information is completely useless. Make sure you get names and contact information for all witnesses if you have been in an automobile accident.
4. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Like all auto accidents, any time you have been involved in an accident on private property it is important in every case to immediately seek medical treatment. Not only does this document the accident itself but it will assist your auto accident lawyer in proving the extent to which you were injured in the crash, which is directly tied to the overall value of the case.