What To Do After A Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most devastating moments of your life. However, there are several critical things you must complete immediately after your accident and shortly after. The following is a list of what you should do after a car accident:

Stay at the Scene

Make sure not to leave the scene of the accident until it’s okay to do so. If you leave prematurely after an accident that left someone injured or killed, you could potentially be facing severe criminal penalties as a hit-and-run driver.

Check on All Drivers and Passengers

Before evaluating property damage, first, see if everyone involved in the incident is okay and safe. Immediately seek medical assistance if anyone needs it. If someone remains unconscious or experiences neck or back pain, don’t force them to move or allow them to until professional medical assistance arrives, unless immediate hazard forces you to move the person.

Call the Police

If there is notable property damage, injury, or death, you must notify the police. Request a filing of a police report in circumstances where officers arrive at the scene, and make sure to get the name and badge numbers of any officer involved.

Exchange Information

Obtain any names, phone numbers, home addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from everyone involved in the accident. If there are passengers present, get their names, phone numbers, and home addresses as well. When conversing with other drivers, be calm and cooperative.

Absolutely never apologize for anything after the accident. If you apologize at the scene, you could be admitting legal fault for the accident. It’s not always clear who was at fault or who has more blame after an accident. Also, in several states, the fault isn’t the sole determinative of which insurer will pay for damages. So remember never to admit guilt unintentionally.

 

Talk to Witnesses

Speak with anyone who saw the accident to learn what they saw transpire. Obtain their names, phone numbers, or addresses, if you can. Speak with locals to determine if they’ve seen other accidents occur in the same area.

Inform Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after experiencing an accident. Be cooperative and accurately explain what transpired and the severity of your injuries. Tell the truth and speak clearly. If your insurance company discovers you lied to them about any aspect, you can get into major trouble, which could mean possible denial of coverage for the accident. Get and review any police report filed, to determine who violated traffic laws or who was at fault.

 

Take Pictures

Take original photographs of any property damage or physical damage to your vehicle immediately after the accident. Accurate photographs help your insurance adjuster figure out how much compensation you should receive for the damage to your vehicle and can aid in court. Pictures of your vehicle before the accident can provide an excellent compare and contrast to reveal the actual damage received from the accident clearly.

 

 

 

 

Consider Hiring an Attorney

If you were injured as a result of the accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help make sure you receive financial compensation for any injuries or build a better defense if you’re at fault. Contact Guldjian Law today to schedule a free legal consultation.

Current California Traffic Accident Laws

People depend on their cars in California, particularly in Southern California. For this reason, residents here need to know current laws concerning their rights when it comes to automotive accidents, and which attorneys can help them.

Californians have legal time limits or must adhere to a Statute of Limitations when filing a lawsuit after a car accident. According to Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. 335.1, one must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the accident, and within
three years for filing a lawsuit for property damage (such as vehicle damage).

One should file an insurance claim as soon as possible after the accident, in order to protect one’s rights.

A different set of rules apply if the accident involved the government in any way (i.e., a city bus rear-ended one’s car collided with a public bus, or the accident occurred on government property). As long as the negligent party acted within the scope of his or her government function, a government agency or entity must take responsibility for the acts of its employees. Under the California Tort Claims Act, the injured person must file a claim with the agency or entity that employs the negligent person; however, one may not make a claim against the employee directly.

In a collision, California law allows one to receive compensation from any other at-fault party, regardless of one’s own degree of fault. However, one’s degree of fault does determine how much compensation one will receive, making California a “pure comparative negligence” state. For example, One’s car gets side-swiped by a vehicle whose driver made an unsafe lane change. However, the injured party also happens to have exceeded the speed limit. The court may deem the speeder to be only 15 percent at fault, and the lane-changer 85 percent at fault, thereby determining the compensation received by the injured party. State courts will follow this law in a court-based lawsuit, and insurance claim adjusters will look to these rules when figuring out the worth of your claim.

A California personal injury attorney will help clarify one’s rights in the case that one gets injured in a traffic accident.

For more information on current California traffic accident law and listings of attorneys that help with personal injury or property damage claims, please look at the following websites: