Car accidents can be unnerving and can occur to anyone. Whether the collision was a major collision or a fender-bender, the consequences are stressful and confusing. However, you can still have things in control when you know what matters. Here are five things that you should do after a car accident.
1. Ensure Safety First
Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries, and call emergency services if necessary. If anyone is injured, do not move them unless they are in danger of further harm. Wait for medical professionals to arrive before attempting to move the injured.
Consider moving your car away from the road and onto the shoulder or emergency stopping area if possible. If you cannot move the car away, turn on your hazard lights, place warning triangles or cones around the car, and stay in the car until emergency services arrive.
2. Call the Police
Regardless of the apparent severity of the accident or whether injuries are immediately apparent, it’s advisable to call the police and have them file an official report. The police will efficiently secure the area and set up the necessary indicators for other road users on what is happening. If need be, they may stop or redirect traffic, increasing efficiency in the emergency response work.
The police also collect the general details of the accident, such as the photos and driver’s details. This makes their statements unbiasedly explain what led to the accident. All this information comes in handy during the later stages of the legal process.
3. Consult an Attorney
An injury-causing accident in California often brings about complex legal issues and disputed liability by the different parties. This is usually the best time to have a lawyer with you as they know how to protect your rights. However, you need to engage reputable legal experts, as this helps you give a success story after everything comes to completion. Sources such as Legal Finders make it easy to find the best California car accident lawyers.
A good lawyer will help you build a strong case and get the maximum compensation you deserve after a major car wreck. Schedule a consultation and explain your case to get the best legal counseling. Ask about the fees and payment options and ensure that you are comfortable with the terms before signing any contract.
4. Exchange Information
Be sure to always exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. This information should include:
- Names: Get the names of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
- Contact information: Exchange phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
- Insurance details: Gather insurance information, including policy numbers and the insurance company’s contact information for each party involved.
- Vehicle information: Record the make, model, year, and license plate number of all vehicles involved.
5. Notify Your Insurance Company
Failure to report the accident promptly may affect your insurance payout and even cause you to forfeit a claim. Insurance policies usually have strict time frames for reporting accidents; follow the instructions from your insurance company closely. Please speak with your attorney before filing an insurance claim. They will review your policy’s specifics to ensure it covers the damage and injuries you sustained in the accident.
A car accident can be challenging, but there is a way out. Steps outlined above after a collision will ensure you always protect yourself and your legal rights. Consult an attorney to better understand your options. Always be prepared, document everything, take photos, and write notes about the incident so you can present them later.
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