Auto accidents can happen to anyone, even to the best drivers. For this reason, it is important that you know what to do if you are involved in an auto accident. It is also important to hire an attorney in such a situation.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to speak to insurance adjusters and will significantly increase your chances of getting adequate compensation for your damages.
If You’re in an Auto Accident
If you are in an auto accident, you should try to do the following. First, per California’s Vehicle Code § 20000-20018, you must stay at the scene of the accident. If you do leave the scene of the accident, you will likely be criminally charged with a hit-and-run.
Next, you should ensure that you are physically okay and that others are physically okay. If someone is in need of medical attention, call an ambulance. It is also important to not move an unconscious individual; wait for the medical crew to tend to him or her.
After checking on your wellbeing and others, you should call the police. Upon the police officer(s) reaching the scene, a police report will be drafted. When you file a claim for compensation, this police report may prove to be powerful evidence.
You will then want to exchange information with the other driver, or with the other drivers if more than two vehicles were involved in the accident. The information that you will want to exchange includes driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information. If more than two vehicles were involved, exchange this information with all of the drivers involved. If there were any passengers in involved, you will want to get their names, phone numbers, and addresses, as well. Please note that when talking to those involved, you should not admit your guilt. Try not to apologize for anything at the scene.
From here, it is also important that you gather names, contact information, and written statements from eyewitnesses. Just like the police report, these witnesses may prove to be powerful evidence in your case.
You will want to take pictures of the accident scene and of the damages caused. Also take note of the weather and road conditions.
Next, of course, you will need to let your insurance company know about the accident. Tell your company how the accident happened and describe your injuries to the best of your ability. Be careful when talking to your insurance carrier. Tell them the truth. If you are caught lying, this may destroy your chances of receiving coverage.
Hire an Attorney
If you were involved in an auto accident and it was at the fault of another, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Hiring a California personal injury lawyer will greatly increase your chances of receiving compensation for your damages. Said compensation includes, but is not limited to, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Experienced lawyers know how to speak to insurance adjusters.
About The Author:
Curtis Quay is a personal injury attorney at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, a San Diego, CA based personal injury law firm. Curtis handles all serious injury matters including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, wrongful death claims, pedestrian accidents, and many more.