What to Do if You’ve Been in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are among the most common personal injury accidents that any of us might ever be in. Despite their commonality, car accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. Also, despite the common nature of auto accidents, many of those who find themselves active participants in a motor vehicle accident find themselves at a loss about how to react or respond on the accident scene. Motor vehicle accidents are highly stressful events, after all. There are many things worth remembering, from how to respond to injuries, insurance companies, law enforcement, and other drivers. With that in mind, we thought it would be worthwhile to go over some of the basics for how to respond following a car accident in California.
How to Respond to Car Accident Injuries?
First of all, it’s vitally important that you adequately assess and address your injuries following an auto accident. Even if you have suffered only minor injuries – or seemingly no injuries at all – it is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Failure to seek medical treatment following an auto accident could result in your later accident claim being dismissed.
After you have assessed your injuries, if you are well enough, you should check on the injuries of your passengers and other individuals involved in the auto accident. If someone is badly hurt, do not move them from their position unless it is necessary to save their life from a motor vehicle in danger of fire or explosion.
If you haven’t already, call 911 to summon emergency first responders to the accident scene.
Should You Document Car Crash Evidence?
Before the evidence is disturbed by others, document the evidence to the best of your abilities by taking photographs and video of the accident scene, your injuries, and debris left on the road. This evidence could prove vital to supporting and proving your personal injury claim at a later date. No detail is insignificant. Your personal injury attorney will examine the facts and determine what supports your claim.
How to Communicate with the Other Driver?
If you are both physically and mentally able, you should speak with the other driver in the car accident. Do not apologize or attempt to assure the other driver that you are not injured. Sometimes, our social need to assure others that we are unscathed takes over, but you must resist this instinct, as anything you say could be used against your car accident claim later on.
Attempt to avoid confrontation with the other driver, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Exchange basic information with the other drivers involved in the auto accident. Useful information may include car insurance policy information, name and contact info, and driver’s license.
If the other motorist attempts to flee the scene, do not pursue them. Rather, document their license plate information.
Should You Speak with Witnesses?
While awaiting the arrival of law enforcement, seek out any eyewitnesses to the car collision. If eyewitnesses exist, document their testimony by recording it on your cell phone. Eyewitness testimonies can be crucial to proving your car accident case to the insurance company or in court.
When the police arrive, they will ask many questions and investigate the accident scene. Answer their questions honestly. The police report will prove to be valuable evidence in your car accident case.
Should You Speak with Insurance Adjusters?
It is possible that the insurance companies will send insurance claim adjusters to the scene of the accident. Insurance adjusters will attempt to come across as sympathetic figures, but they are not on your side. Insurance claim adjusters are there to save the insurers any money possible by looking for opportunities in upcoming car accident cases. Anything you say or do at the accident scene could be held against you by the insurance claim adjuster. If insurance adjusters attempt to speak to you, refer them to your personal injury attorney instead.
At the earliest opportunity, seek professional medical care. You may not feel badly hurt, but certain injuries may manifest later. If you fail to seek medical treatment following a car accident, any injuries that later develop could be dismissed. Do not give up your chance of recovering financial compensation for your personal injury claim by failing to seek medical attention.
Do You Need Car Accident Attorneys?
If you have not done so already, now is the time to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. All of the evidence, police reports, medical records, and eyewitness testimonies will be valuable pieces of evidence for personal injury lawyers to prove your car accident case in pursuit of financial compensation.
We highly recommend that you contact The Paris Firm about your car accident claim. Our law firm has extensive experience representing car accident cases in California, and we would be proud to represent your interests as you pursue compensation for your losses.
If successful in your pursuit of financial recovery, you may be compensated for your damages and losses with economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include property damage, lost wages, lost income earning capacity, medical bills, and future medical expenses. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, disability, and wrongful death.
Our law firm has years of experience representing personal injury cases of all sorts across the state of California. To learn more about our compassionate legal services, please contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal concerns in more detail. 909.325.6185.