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You've Got Questions

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1)  What should I avoid after a car or truck accident?

After a car or truck accident, there are a few common mistakes that you should avoid making:  ​

  • DON'T Trust Insurance Adjusters:  A general rule of thumb is that if the communication from the adjuster is not in writing it either (1) never happened, or (2) isn't true.  

  • DON'T Give a Recorded Statement:  The at-fault adjuster is going to demand a recorded statement.  Not only are you not required to provide a statement, it's inadvisable.  Like criminal law, "anything you say can and will be used against you."

  • DON'T Sign a HIPAA Release:  The at-fault's adjuster is also going to demand that you give him unfettered access to your lifetime medical records.  He'll do this by demanding you sign a HIPAA release.  You are not required to sign a HIPAA release to settle your case.

  • DON'T Wait to Seek Medical Treatment:  The longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the more likely the adjuster is to refuse payment for that treatment.  And, after a collision, it's presumed your body has suffered some type of trauma, no matter how small or nominal.  So, seek medical treatment, even if it's just an urgent care visit, to confirm you have no serious injuries you can't see.  

  • DON'T Hire a Lawyer that Contacts You First:  Attorneys are prohibited from soliciting potential clients who have been in a car or truck collision.  If an attorney is initiating contact with you about your collision, they are not only breaking the rules, they likely need you more then you need them.

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2)  What should you not say after a car accident?

After a car accident, there are several fundamental things you should not say.  That's because anything you say can and will be used against you, despite your intentions. 


Some of those things include:

  • DON'T Apologize or Admit Fault:  An apology can be construed as an admission of fault or guilt.  Apologies don't change the reality.  Law enforcement is trained to investigate the objective evidence to determine fault under the law.  Let the professionals be responsible for determining who caused a collision.

  • DON'T Say You're Not Hurt:  You are not a doctor.  And, the rush of adrenaline and shock after a collision can disguise pain symptoms for several hours after a collision.

  • DON'T Speculate:  Immediately after the collision, do not discuss how it happened with anybody.  If you do discuss it, only discuss the collision with the investigating officer.   Even then, avoid speculating - stick to what you know with reasonable certainty.  As a rule of thumb, any statement beginning with "I think . . ." is speculative.

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3)  Do I need to call the police after a motor vehicle collision?

After you've been involved in a motor vehicle collision, the law requires that you immediately contact the police.  


The law also requires you to stay at the scene until the police arrive.  ​

It's also important to contact the police because they are trained to investigate collisions and document their findings, which is essential to proving your case.

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4)  How do I obtain a police report?

You can obtain your police report in either one of two ways:  


  1. picking up a copy from the law enforcement agency directly, or

  2. purchasing an electronic copy via​

It often takes atleast 3-5 days for the investigating officer to complete the report and have an official copy available.  

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5)  Where do I obtain the other driver's insurance information?

The other driver's insurance information (i.e. insurance carrier and policy number) is identified and listed on the police report.  

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6)  What do the numbers on the police report mean?

Numbers on Georgia police reports are used to substitute certain, common words and phrases.  Interpreting what each number means is easy using the Georgia Crash Report Overly.


The numbers on the police report are not meant to confuse you.  Instead, they are intended to bring uniformity and efficiency to accident reporting.

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7)  What are the different types of car accidents?

There are several types of car accidents that Wheale Law Firm has experience handling, including: 

  • Tractor Trailor Collisions

  • Drunk Driving Accidents

  • Motorcycle Accidents

  • Bicycle Accidents

  • Pedestrian Collisions

  • Uber and Lyft Accidents

  • Work Zone Accidents

  • Chain Reaction Collisions

  • Rear-End Collisions

  • Failure to Yield Accidents

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8)  What are typical causes of car and truck wrecks?

Car accidents can be caused by various reasons.  A seasoned car accident attorney will know how to investigate each of these potential causes, including:

  • Distracted Driving:  Distracted driving is usually the result of texting or internet surfing on a mobile device, adjusting the radio or bluetooth, or engaging a passenger rather than watching the road.

  • Drunk or Impaired Driving:  Impaired driving can also include the use of prescription or narcotic drugs in an amount and a way that impairs the driver's senses.

  • Fatigued Drivers:  Drivers who are tired are more prone to collisions.  This is often seen by overworked truck drivers.

  • Aggressive Driving:  Aggressive driving due to being in a hurry or as a result of road rage frequently results in unnecessary car accidents.

  • Dangerous Road Conditions:  Defective engineering in the roadway, such as insufficient rain runoff, or improperly maintained roadways have been known to cause collisions.

  • Mechanical Malfunctions / Defective Car Parts:  When car parts malfunctions, the results can be disastrous.  This can include stuck gas pedals, defective brakes, or inexplicable tire separation.


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9)  Who can potentially be held responsible for my injuries?

At its heart, an injured victim's compensation will depend on the insurance availability.  The type of collision, the availability of insurance, and the potential defendants will all influence the compensation available. 


Potential sources of liability and/or compensation include:

  • The At-Fault Driver:  The at-fault driver's insurance is the most obvious source of compensation.

  • Resident Relative:  If the at-fault driver's insurance is insufficient to cover your damages, Georgia law allows a resident relative's insurance to also provide coverage in some circumstances.

  • At-Fault Driver's Employer:  If the at-fault driver was in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision, his employer may be held responsible uner their insurance policy.

  • Governmental Entities:  For defective roadways that cause collisions, the governmental entity responsible for building and maintaining the roadway - as well as their private contractors - may be held responsible in limited circumstances.

  • Car Mechanics:  Poorly maintained and serviced vehicles that cause a collision can provide another source of coverage, such as through the repair shop's insurance.

  • Vehicle Manufacturer:  In rarer cases, when the collision is caused by a defective motor vehicle component part, the vehicle manufacturer can be held responsible.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance:  When there at-fault driver has no insurance or has insufficient insurance, your own vehicle insurance may be able to fill in the gap to cover your medical expenses and damages.

  • Workers Compensation:  If you were injured by a motor vehicle collision while on the job, you can seek compensation through workers compensation.  This won't affect your right to pursue additional compensation from the at-fault driver.


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10)  What are common injuries from car accidents?

Over time, it becomes clear that certain types of injuries are more prevalent in motor vehicle collisions. 


Experience with these types of injuries is important to effective advocacy. 


Common injuries include:

  • Airbag Burns and Bruising

  • Whiplash

  • Seatbelt Bruising and Contusions

  • Closed Head Injuries (i.e. Concussions)

  • Back & Spine Injuries (& herniated discs)

  • Knee and Dashboard Injuries

  • Amputation and Loss of Limb

  • Death


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11)  What are Georgia's "rules of the road?"

A violation of any of Georgia's safety statutes - also known as the rules of the road - can result in a presumption of negligence by the at-fault driver. 


This is known as negligence per se


An experienced car accident attorney will know these statutes and how they apply.  Some of the most frequently violated rules of the road include:

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-253 (Drunk or Impaired Driving)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-49 (Following too Closely)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-181 (Speeding)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-241 (Texting While Driving)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-70 (Failure to Yield at an Intersection)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-71 (Failure to Yield When Turning Left)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-72 (Failure to Obey Stop/Yield Sign)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-73 (Failure to Yield When Entering Roadway)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-91 (Failing to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-270 (Hit and Run)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-390 (Reckless Driving)

  • O.C.G.A. 40-6-397 (Aggressive Driving)


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