Have you recently been involved in a car accident? It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or someone else’s, there are probably a lot of questions popping into your head. The first few questions are usually centered on injuries, insurance and attorneys. These three things will affect you the most immediately after an accident as well as later, just when you think it’s all over. While nothing will completely ease your stress and anxiety after an accident, having all your ducks in a row can make things a lot easier. It also eases the confusion when you make your first contact with a car accident attorney.
The Scene of the Accident
Although it is hard to, victims of a car accident should stay extremely aware the first few moments after it occurs. The more details you can recall and document from these initial moments could prove highly important to your case. Take notes of your immediate thoughts. What happened. What did you see? Write down witness statements and take down their phone numbers. Don’t forget to take down the license plate number of all vehicles involved. Everyone has a camera on their phone these days and now is the time they really come in handy. Take photos of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved and any injuries obtained. Do not remove your car from where it was hit unless there are no damages or injuries. Leave it where the accident happened until police arrive.
Immediately After the Accident
Always go to the emergency room or see your family doctor immediately after the car accident happens. Even if you don’t feel pain right away, you could be in shock. It is common for accident victims to have a delayed reaction to internal injuries, sprains, breaks and ruptures. Not seeking medical help right away can ultimately damage any claim you may have. Make sure you have copies of all documentation from the medical services you received. Obtain copies of the police reports including all witness statements and the insurance information from all participants in the accident. You must notify the DMV of any accident where injuries occur or damage over $750 occurs. Some people assume their insurance companies will take care of this but that isn’t always true.
Things You Should Not Do Before Seeing an Accident Attorney
An accident can be terrifying, even if you don’t suffer physical injury. You should never make a statement to police right away if you are injured or in shock. Instead, explain your condition and how you are feeling. Do not give any verbal or written statements to another person’s insurance company before seeing a lawyer of your own.
Do not sign any claims, from your insurance agent or anyone else’s without first making sure all your damages are covered in full. If you aren’t sure what still needs to be, or what you are entitled to, consult a lawyer who specializes in car accidents. Remember, insurance agents are always trying to save their own company money, not necessarily you. Having a lawyer on your side is necessary to make sure you get all you are entitled to under California law.