3 Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
Car accidents in California can be a traumatic experience for all parties involved. Depending on the severity of the accident, it’s common for people to panic and initially not know what to do. People might say things they shouldn’t or not collect the appropriate information they’ll need for their insurance companies and car accident lawyers. Immediately after an accident, it’s important to know what steps to take to move forward with the claims process.
1. Assess the Accident
The first thing anyone involved in an accident should do is assess the situation. Check to see if there are any injuries or deaths. It’s also important to check the extent of the damage done. For maximum safety, all cars involved should be moved to the side of the road if possible. Able parties should call for assistance if there are any injuries or deaths.
Even if the damage is minute, all drivers must stop to assess the situation. If a driver proceeds to leave the scene of an accident without stopping, then that driver can face significant hit-and-run charges. Even if a driver hits a parked vehicle with no owner inside, it’s essential for that driver to leave their contact information along with the owner of the vehicle’s contact information—if it’s not the same person.
After assessing the accident, all drivers will need to exchange driver’s license information, vehicle registration, auto insurance information, and current residence. Inability to show auto insurance will result in a citation or fine. If any witnesses were present at the scene of the accident, it’s important to retrieve their information as well. Drivers should collect the location, date, and time of the accident, too. When exchanging information, drivers should not discuss who is at fault. They should wait to discuss those details with a car accident attorney.
2. File a Police Report
After assessing the accident, filing a police report is the next step. Drivers must inform the police if anyone received injuries in the collision. If there are injuries, the police will call for medical assistance. An official report will benefit both parties if either driver wants to sue for damages or injuries. Once the police arrive at the scene, drivers must collect their names and badge numbers. Drivers should also receive a copy of the police report once it’s finalized.
3. File a Claim
The final step is for drivers to file a claim with their insurance companies as soon as possible. If drivers wait too long, important details could be forgotten. The claims adjuster will assist with the claims process if drivers have any questions or concerns. Once that’s settled, drivers can reach out to personal injury lawyers if they’ve received injuries in the accident. Being organized is very important to ensure a claim is successfully processed.
At Los Angeles Injury Group, we understand how critical car accidents can be in California; therefore, we do everything within our power to best assist our clients during the claims process. We like to educate our clients on all the information we’ll need to help them win their claims. We believe our clients should receive compensation for any damages and losses they’ve suffered. If you, or someone you love, received injuries in a car accident, call (310) 954-7248.