What To Do If You Are In A Wreck

There are over 6,000,000 motor vehicle collisions in the United States every year.  While no one ever expects to be involved in one, there are some things you should know in case you or a loved one ever end up in such a situation.

First – Don’t Leave

To begin with, never leave the scene.  In Georgia, it is illegal to leave the scene of a collision.  Even if the wreck was your fault, you should never make matters worse by fleeing the scene.

Second – Check on Those Involved

Once you have determined that you are okay, if you are able, check on the other people involved.  There may be something that needs immediate attention in order to prevent the situation from getting even worse.  For example, if the vehicle is leaking gas, everyone needs to get away as soon as possible.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, be sure not to move someone unless it is absolutely necessary.   There is a reason they secure football players to a stretcher before moving them off the field.  If someone has a spinal injury, movement can make things even worse.

Third – Secure the Scene to Protect Others

The Golden Rule tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated.  To that end, be sure to do what you can to let other motorists know what has happened.  For example, you can set out road flares (if you have them), put out hazards warnings, or just turn on your flashers, of even waive down other motorists before they get to the scene.  The last thing you want to happen is have more people involved if it can be avoided.

Fourth – Contact the Police and Exchange Info

Report the wreck to the proper authorities.  This may be as easy as calling 911, but be sure the wreck is reported.  Also, be sure that the vehicles involved stay where they are until the police arrive.  The location of the vehicles could be very important, especially in cases where people don’t agree on who was at fault.

When giving your statement, be sure to give accurate information.  There is no need to speculate or guess at what happened.  Tell law enforcement what occurred as best as you can recall.

If there are any witnesses, be sure you get their contact information too.  Don’t just depend that the officer will take it all down.  Be proactive.  To that end, be sure to get all of the witnesses’ addresses, phone numbers, and even emails if available.  Emails tend to chance less than addresses and cell phone numbers.

You should also exchange contact information with the other party involved as well.  This includes getting the name of their insurance company and their policy number.  The easiest way to document this may be to take a picture of their insurance card with your smart phone.  Speaking of photographs……

Fifth – Document the Scene (Photographs)

Its always a good idea to get photographs of the scene.  Use your smart phone to get pictures of the vehicles involved and any injuries you may have suffered.  Be sure to get photographs of the vehicles that show the body damage as well as some that include background information to establish the vehicles’ point of rest.   For example, is your car still on the roadway, or is it on the shoulder of the highway?  Also, is there a tree, bush, or house, that can be used in the background to establish where the vehicles came to rest?  Is there a mark in the highway that shows the point of impact?  All of this this information can be very helpful to any collision reconstructionist that may be hired at a later date.


Sixth – Report the Wreck to Insurance

You will also need to be sure to report the wreck to your insurance company.  Many policies contain a provision that they only provide insurance coverage to you if report the claim in writing within a “reasonable” time period.  This has been interpreted to mean anything from “as soon as possible,” to a certain number of days.  In either event, be sure to at least call your insurance agent to let him or her know or jump online and file a claim through the insurance company’s website.

Seventh – Seek Medical Care if Needed

After a wreck, it is not uncommon for adrenaline to pump through a person’s body.  This chemical dump of adrenaline can, and often does, mask many injuries to the point that the injury will not be apparent until hours after the collision.  In fact, many of our clients report that they did not feel any pain until they woke up the next day.  If you are injured, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible, either at the hospital or your primary care doctor.

Insurance companies like to argue that if you did not seek immediate medical attention, then you must not be hurt.  We all know this blanket statement is not true, but insurers do a great job of trying to minimize people’s injuries so they can have larger profit margins.

Eighth – Call The Kirbo Law Firm

You should also investigate and protect your rights.  To do this, call us at The Kirbo Law Firm for a free consultation.  We have decades of experience fighting with insurers to protect our client’s rights.  Let us help you avoid the delays that insurers attempt to put on your claim and ensure that you and your family are taken care of throughout your recovery.  Call us today.

Hurt At Work? Here’s What To Do.

In Georgia, if you are hurt while performing your job, you are most likely going to be entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.  While there are certain types of employers that are exempt from these laws, such as agricultural employers, other employers with three or more employees are required to provide this coverage.

What Does the Workers Compensation Act Mean to Employees?

If you are hurt at work, while acting within the course and scope of your employment, then the employer’s Workers Compensation Insurer is required to pay for your reasonable medical expenses and even pay you while you are out of work.  In addition, you can receive these benefits regardless of whose fault the injury was.

While receiving benefits without having to prove fault may sound like a good deal for the employee and a bad deal for the employer, there is a trade off.  In exchange for having to provide benefits to employees regardless of fault, the employer receives immunity so that, except in rare circumstances, it cannot be sued because of the employee’s injuries, even if the employer was negligent.

First Thing To Do – Tell Your Employer You’re Hurt.

If you get hurt at work, the first thing you need to do is let your employer know.  Sometimes, this may only require you to tell your immediate supervisor.  However, if that person is not available, then make sure you tell someone as soon as possible.  Georgia law requires that an employer receive the notice of injury within 30 days.

Second – Get Medical Treatment if Appropriate.

After you have provided notice, your employer will likely want to know if you need medical treatment.  Pursuant to the Workers Compensation Act, your employer should have a “Posted Panel of Physicians.”  This posted panel is usually in a break room or other public area and it will list several medical providers that are approved “work comp” doctors or medical practices that are covered by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurer.

If you are told to see a doctor, make sure it is one of the providers from the posted panel.  If you go to someone off the panel, the insurer may attempt to deny coverage for that visit leaving you holding the bag.

Of course, in emergency situations, you can also go directly to the emergency room for treatment and those charges will still be covered.   Also, if your employer does not have a posted panel of physicians, you can go to any doctor of your choice and the employer will still have to pay since it did not have a posted panel of physicians.  The main thing, however, is to know that you have choices.  You do not have to go to only the doctor the employer wants you to.  You have choices.

Third – Keep Your Employer Informed of Your Condition.

After meeting with a doctor, you need to let your employer know what the doctor said.  If you are going to be out of work, let your boss know.  They still have a business to run and they need to know whether to expect you back or not.  You will need to get written verification to your employer if you are going to be out of work.

If you can return to work, the employer also needs to know of any limitations you may have to work under.  Again, be sure to get these limitations in writing from the doctor so you can give a copy to your employer.

Fourth – Fill Out State Forms

In Georgia, an employee that has been hurt at work must file a WC-14 Notice of Claim with the State Board of Workers Compensation.  This form can be found here.  This form must be filed within one year of the date of injury, although there may be extensions to this time period in certain situations.

Fifth – If You Have a Serious Injury, Seek Advice from a Workers Compensation Attorney

If you are able to return to work shortly after your injury, then great.  You may want to call us to be sure that you have received everything you are supposed to, though.  For example, if you suffered an injury that leaves a permanent impairment, the insurer is required to pay you additional monies for the permanent injury.  We can help you determine what that amount should be.

If, however, your injury is more serious, and you are going to need extensive medical treatment and/or extended missed time from work, you may want to get help from a qualified attorney.  Here at The Kirbo Law Firm, we have decades of experience in these types of cases and will be happy to discuss the facts of your case with you to be sure you are comfortable with all of your options.

Contact us today.

Protecting Clients’ Rights During Coronavirus

The number of people infected by the Coronavirus continues to grow and most States, like Georgia, are extending their Shelter in Place guidelines.  These extended quarantine measures, while clearly necessary to curb the spread and devastation caused by the transmission of Coronavirus, are having increased economic repercussions.  Some businesses have been forced to close, while others have been forced to adopt new policies to continue.  Luckily, here at The Kirbo Law Firm, we have been able to follow the latter path so that we can still provide services to our clients, both old and new.


On March 14, 2020, the Honorable Harold D. Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, declared a Statewide Judicial Emergency in the State of Georgia.  The effect of this order, which can be found here, tolls the statute of limitations for most types of cases until April 13, 2020.  However, that does not mean cases cannot still prosecuted during this time.


In order to protect our clients, we have continued to work their cases, but we have implemented certain safety procedures to protect our clients, our community, and our staff.  For example, we are limiting personal meetings to only extreme or emergency situations, we maintain social distancing in those rare occasions, and we are able to work from home as necessary.


During this time, we continue to call insurance companies about our client’s claims, we are drafting motions and pleadings in pending litigations, and we are organizing files, and exhibits so that when the courts get back up and running, we will be ready to go.


If you have any legal questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with any of our Moultrie Lawyers, please contact us.

Moultrie Personal Injury Attorney