Car accidents happen without warning, and as such, it is important to understand what you should do if you should ever find yourself involved in a collision. Taking these steps can protect your health and your right to compensation, not to mention help you avoid breaking the law by leaving the scene of an accident.
While every situation is different, our California car accident lawyers can offer the following insight regarding the general steps to take after a crash:
- Remain at the scene. It’s against the law to leave the scene of a traffic accident that has caused injury or property damage, without first exchanging contact and insurance information with the other party/parties. The only exception is if you are seriously injured and leave the scene in an ambulance.
- Check on the other people involved in the collision. Render aid if you can.
- Call 911. If anyone is seriously injured or the accident is blocking traffic, call 911 for emergency services.
- Exchange information with the other party/parties.
- Gather information/evidence at the scene. If possible, take pictures (even cell phone pictures can be helpful), take notes, and get the information of any witnesses who observed the collision. This can prove helpful to your claim.
- Inform your insurance company that you were involved in an accident.
- Do not admit fault. When talking to the other parties, the police, emergency personnel, or insurance adjuster (yours or the other driver’s) – do not apologize or say anything else that could be an admission of fault. Only a thorough investigation and accident reconstruction will show what caused the crash.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel you are not seriously injured, car accident injuries like whiplash may have the tendency to take some time to present symptoms. Seek medical care and tell your doctor that you were involved in a car accident.
- Track any and all medical care. Keeping detailed records of all of your medical treatment can prove helpful as you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. We also recommend tracking other expenses, such as a rental car, medication, and more.
- Contact an attorney. Involving a legal professional as early as possible is important after a car accident, as an attorney can protect your interests, guide you through the process of filing a claim, and actually handle all of the communication and paperwork for you. You can focus on healing while your attorney pursues maximum compensation on your behalf.
For more information, call a California car accident attorney at B&D Law Group, APLC at (888) 977-2238.