Experiencing a car accident is generally stressful, but it can also be upsetting and frustrating. Dealing properly and timely with the incident may seem confusing and downright intimidating, but the steps to take are laid out in this article for you to be prepared should this unpleasant situation ever befall you.
Remain at the scene of the crash
You should always stay put when you participate in an auto accident, and it goes for all parties. This is especially important if there are injuries or fatalities. Those who flee the scene risk only making the matters terribly worse for their defense. They could also be criminally charged.
Inspect the injuries
You should check whether you or other accompanying you in the vehicle have gotten hurt in the crash. If anyone is injured, call emergency services right away. In the case of back or neck injuries, refrain from moving the victim as that can only exacerbate the injury. Wait for medical professionals instead.
Notify the police
The State of California requires you to inform local authorities if there’s been a sizeable property damage, serious injury or fatality due to a car accident. When the law enforcement officers arrive, you should make sure they fill out the form and ask for a copy if you are not given one. It’s a good idea to note down the names and badge numbers of the officers for any information they could helpfully provide in the future.
Find out about the other party
Make a point of exchanging information with the other party, and collect as much of it as possible. That means: name, contact details, driver’s license numbers as well as plates’ numbers, and finally insurance information.
It’s very important not to get into a huge conversation because of the future of the case. If you state something like an “I’m so sorry” or “I should have kept to my lane” etc. that could be interpreted as admitting guilt.
Watch out for witnesses
If there are any eyewitnesses, approach them and ask them about what they saw. Get their personal details as well, such as name and contact details, because they could be helpful in the future.
Inform your auto insurance carrier
Your auto insurance company should find out about the accident in the shortest possible time. It helps to be honest here and report the event as you remember it. Should you lie or withhold certain information, that could land you in serious trouble and your claim could easily be denied. It’s a good idea to consult with your lawyer before contacting the insurance.
Record the scene with camera pictures
Having pictures of the scene could make filing the insurance claim and lawsuit much easier. If possible, it’s best to record the scene immediately after the collision. If that is not the case, then return to the scene as soon as possible and take photos. Time is of essence here and if there’s a considerable time gap between the photos and the accident, photos become less usable.
Record the damage inflicted on your car if there is any. When you file the insurance claim, you should provide pictures of your car’s previous state, so the damage can be measured. You should make photo records of injuries that you and your riders sustained, if any.
Keep medical records
Whatever treatment you had to receive for your injuries, keep records of them. The same goes for the other passengers in your car. It will be easier to prove the cost of medical care you needed after the accident if you have documents about the treatments, visits, advice and prescriptions made by medical professionals.
Journal your injuries
Keep track of your injuries. It would be wise to keep a journal and note down the progress of your injuries so that you don’t miss any details later on. What’s important is to have a clear picture of what symptoms you experienced and how much pain and how the injury changed your everyday life. You should note any tasks or duties you were able to perform before the accident, but now cannot due to the injuries.
Consult a legal professional
Is there an experienced car accident attorney near me in San Diego? – you could be thinking. Of course there is. San Diego Car Accident Pros are a team of highly experienced and skilled lawyers who have recovered millions of dollars of compensation for their clients. You can trust our attorney group to provide you a caring and experienced lawyer to fight for your rights. We are always available for a free consult, so don’t hesitate to call us right now. We offer you a free case review with no pressure to hire us. Please note that our lawyers work for a contingency fee, so you only pay if you win – no upfront costs. Feel free to call us now and get proper guidance in your car accident case!