Driving along California highways requires care and attention to traffic regulations. Unfortunately, car accidents are sometimes inevitable despite our efforts. We may find ourselves entangled in the rising emotions that come after an accident to the extent that we forget to do crucial things. That is why we came up with this article to enlighten you on crucial steps to take after a car accident in California.
Stay at the scene
Don’t try and run from the scene because it might paint you as the offender. Stop the vehicle and make sure everyone is okay. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately.
Though emotions will be running high at this time, keep calm and don’t yell at other people involved in the accident. Remember everything you say at this point could be included in the police report and used against you.
You must reach out to everyone involved in the accident including the witnesses to collect information. Get to know the other driver’s name, address, and date of birth. Ask them what they know about the accident and record it. If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene. Also, you must be willing to give out the same information you are trying to collect. Exchange information to ensure you accurately have the details required.
Report the accident to your insurance company
You need to report the accident to your insurance company immediately. After that, the insurance company’s representative will contact you promptly for more details. Some of them may visit the scene of the accident and view the extent of damage to your car before making a final report.
Contact the witnesses
If there are witnesses at the scene, you have to reach out to them and obtain their full names and address. A witness can be very useful in situations where you can’t remember every detail of the accident. They can also help you prove your case in court.
Report the accident to the DMV
According to Californian laws, you must report to the DMV at most ten days after the accident occurs. This is necessary when someone gets injured or if there is property damage that exceeds $ 750.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer
After a car accident, do not give out statements, pictures, or any other document. Also, don’t sign any liability waiver or medical record documents before you speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer in California. Most personal injury lawyers in California offer free consultations. You can take advantage of this and visit one to help you increase your chances of getting a higher compensation.
In injuries of serious nature, the victim may be laid up in a hospital bed for many months, and all the while the insurance company lawyers are positioning themselves so that their clients have to pay the absolute minimum. They may be aware of the extent of the injury and try to contact the victim with an offer of a huge lump sum of cash to put this case to bed. Your serious injuries attorney will meet with you even at the hospital bed to protect you from being lured into accepting too small a settlement while you are in a helpless state. Your lawyer will take over the details of the case now and protect you today and your finances for the future.