7 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident in California
Modern life and driving go hand in hand. Whether it be the daily commute to work, running errands, or traveling cross country, driving can become something you take for granted.
It can become something you might not even consciously think about while you’re doing it. Driving can become muscle memory, especially if you’re a frequent commuter in Los Angeles, or anywhere in California for that matter.
Nothing shocks you out of that unthinking stupor like a car accident. The shriek of tires and the crunch of metal on metal are solid reminders that operating a car isn’t something you can do mindlessly, or you just might face the consequences.
Car accidents can be dangerous, even deadly. In California alone, there were over 3,500 fatalities occurred on the road in 2017, which were all caused by car accidents.
Injury and risk of life aside, a car accident can be just the kind of monkey wrench that most Californian’s don’t need in their lives. They can create new financial burdens and can eat up more and more of your time in dealing with the ramifications and aftermath of the accident. They can also entangle you in all sorts of legal knots that you might not know how to handle.
Worst of all, you might not know the proper steps to take after an accident, either due to the anxiety and stress of the incident, or a lack of knowledge altogether.
Getting in contact with some highly experienced lawyers in California should be your first step. An accident attorney will give you the help you need.
In the meantime, however, here are some steps you can take to make the aftermath of your accident go as smoothly as possible.
1. Don’t Leave The Accident Scene
Fight-or-flight can be a powerful emotion. It’s a biological, evolutionary impulse. In the moment of a stressful car accident, giving into the “flight” part of that instinct might seem appealing.
You might think that the accident doesn’t appear to be too bad, that maybe stopping and assessing the damages would be unnecessary.
You would be wrong in thinking so. If you leave the scene of the crime without contacting the authorities, the accident would be considered a hit and run.
Being convicted of such a crime comes with the possibility of felony charges, which is something any right-minded person wants to avoid.
Instead, call the police and wait at the scene of the accident for an officer to arrive. They will be able to tell you your next steps and get the process moving along.
2. Exchange Information With Any Parties Involved
You will want to exchange all necessary and pertinent information with any other parties involved in the accident.
You will want to be thorough here. If an injury does occur, you are bound by law to exchange information with the other person or persons involved. You are also obligated to get them any medical attention that they might need.
As well, you will want to get the other person’s full name, driver’s license and license plate, get a general idea for the make and model of the other person’s car, as well as their insurance and contact information.
Being as thorough as possible will only help you in the long run.
3. Get Information From Any Witnesses
Bystanders can be just as important to an accident. Therefore, it should be a priority to get their information as well. A non-biased witness might be just the thing you need if the circumstances of the accident are at all hazy. Especially if the accident wasn’t your fault.
If there is a witness to your accident nearby, flagging them down and getting their full name and contact information is in your best interest.
4. Seek Medical Attention
If any injuries occur due to a car accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Even if they are minor, they must be treated. The types of injuries that can occur as a result of a car accident can increase in intensity over time. Especially in the case of injuries like whiplash.
Getting medical care also properly sketches out the accident and puts on the record any damages you sustained.
Doing this could do wonders for you if you are seeking a personal injury claim. It also helps your chances of getting time off from your job to recover.
5. Keep Records of Damages and Injuries
As stated, the details of an accident can become cloudy and unsure as time goes on. This can become a problem if you are seeking legal action following the accident.
Thoroughly record and make note of any damages. Keep track of medical or automobile bills and take pictures of the aftermath of the accident.
6. Document the Accident as Much as Possible
Accurately capturing the scene of the accident increases the likelihood of receiving the proper amount of money you are seeking.
After your accident, photograph as many details of the scene as you can. If you can, even a recorded video could do you wonders in the future.
Try recording the accident from multiple angles and vantage points. The more accurate the accident, the better.
7. Contact a Los Angeles Injury Lawyer Before Your Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters have a job to do, and a bottom line to meet. This means they will seek any reason to not pay you as much as you’re seeking for the accident.
Contacting the law offices of Tawni Takagi, a California law firm with tons of experience in dealing with automobile crashes, should be your priority. It should be the first thing you do following a car accident, and especially be something you do before speaking to your insurance company.
No one wants to be in a car accident. But they happen. And when they do, contact an experienced accident lawyer immediately.
You will receive the vital guidance and advice you need following such a traumatic accident, and be put on the right track to receiving the compensation you are owed.
Call (310) 954-7248 right away following an automobile accident in California. Let us give you the legal help you deserve