Whether you are a driver or passenger, your chances of being involved in a car accident are high. Not only have accident rates increased steadily over the years, accidents are more likely to be fatal. Car accident fatalities increased 7% between 2015 and 2016.
The expenses associated with a car accident can be extremely high, particularly if you require long-term care or are unable to work. To protect your right to seek compensation and prepare yourself for recovery, follow these guidelines after a car accident in California.
Steps to Take at the Scene of a Car Accident in California
Take these steps while you are still at the scene of the accident.
- Check for injuries. First, check yourself and the other people in the car for injuries. Call 911, answer their questions about the collision, and tell them about any injuries. Many injuries are not immediately apparent, so it is crucial to seek medical care.
- Exchange information with the other party. Only approach the other driver if you can communicate calmly. If you are angry or they appear angry, you can exchange information through the police officer who responds to the accident.
- Speak to witnesses. Get contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. This may be helpful to your attorney.
- Take photos. Take pictures of the accident if it is safe to do so. They may be important evidence in your personal injury case.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident in California
After addressing your medical care needs, these are the tasks you should focus on:
- Contact a lawyer. One of the most frequently asked questions after a crash is whether or not you really need a lawyer. Without an attorney to protect your best interests, you could be bullied into accepting a low settlement by the other party’s insurance company. Your San Diego car accident attorney can investigate the crash and figure out how much compensation you deserve.
- Request a copy of the police report. The police department should have a copy of the report within a matter of days. It will have information regarding citations, the type of car accident that occurred, and any injuries. Submit a copy to your attorney.
- Report the accident to the DMV. Under California law, you must submit written notice to the DMV within 10 days if an accident causes at least $750 in property damage, injures anyone, or causes any fatalities.
- Avoid discussing the accident. If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance provider, reach out to your attorney before talking to them.
Contact Our San Diego Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash, discuss your options with our San Diego auto accident lawyer. The sooner you retain an attorney after a car accident in California, the sooner you can begin pursuing the compensation you are owed.