5 Things You Must Do Following a Car Accident

Car accidents impact every community in the country. According to the United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, approximately 3 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these accidents happen right in our San Diego streets.

Even the safest and most careful of drivers are seriously injured in car accidents. Every person must be prepared to protect his or her health and legal rights. Here, our San Diego auto accident lawyer explains the 5 things that you must do following a car accident.

#1 Report the Accident to Law Enforcement

All car accidents should be reported to state or local law enforcement. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they are able to guide you in obtaining witness statements, insurance information, photographs of the vehicle damage, photographs of injuries, write a report, and additionally, they can coordinate immediate medical treatment at the scene, if necessary. Unfortunately, the custom and practice of law enforcement in California currently is that the officer may not write a report if no one is taken by ambulance. Nevertheless, contact law enforcement and let them make the decision. It is in your best interest that law enforcement is dispatched to the scene of the collision to control the scene and gather evidence for you.

Moreover, the California Department of Motor Vehicles requires that you report the accident to DMV if: (1) there was $1,000 or more of total property damage ($750 for accidents prior to January 1, 2017; (2) anyone was injured; or (3) anyone was killed.

#2 Exchange Information and Document the Crash

Drivers in San Diego have a legal duty to exchange information with all parties involved in the crash. You will want to gather as much information as possible from all at-fault drivers including, but not limited to:

• Name, Date of Birth, Driver’s license number (a picture of driver’s license);
• Phone number and Current Address;
• Make and model of vehicle, License plate number (a picture of vehicle with license plate); and
• Insurance policy carrier and insurance policy number (a picture of insurance card).

Other than obtainingthe basic information from the other driver, you should also try to collect all other relevant evidence from the scene of the crash. We also highly suggest that you take photographs of all vehicles involved, the scene of the crash and photographs of visible injuries.

One of the most important pieces of information you should collect is the contact information for all persons who witnessed the crash.

#3 Get Medical Attention for Any Injuries

Nothing should come before your health. If you suffered any injury in an accident, we suggest that you seek medical attention for your injuries the same day of the crash or the next day at a local emergency room or urgent care.

#4 Avoid Making a Statement to an Opposing Insurance Company

You also should contact your insurance company and report the claim even if the car accident wasn’t your fault. Or, of course, if you get an experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney, she can report the claim for you.

In the days or weeks after a crash, you should expect to get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company. Be very careful when negotiating with the other insurance company’s representatives.While insurance adjusters are instructed to come across in a friendly and non-intimidating manner, the hard truth is that they are not on your side. Quite the contrary, the insurance company is looking for any information that they can use against you to reduce the value of your claim or to deny liability completely. You are under no obligation to speak to an opposing insurance company immediately after an accident.

And again, if you hire an experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney, she will take control of the advocacy for you and communicate with the at fault party insurance carrier so you do not have to.

#5 Consult With an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney

If you suffered any injury in a car accident and the car accident was not your fault, you should be represented by an attorney.Navigating the car accident claims process is stressful and should not be handled on your own. First, there are two claims that should be opened simultaneously: property damage and bodily injury. Each claim must be handled in a way to protect your legal rights and maximize your money damages.

Our law firm provides free, fully confidential case evaluations if you were injured in a crash. During a free consultation, we will review your case and provide you value the same day. Once retained our team will take immediate action to protect your legal rights.

Schedule a Free, No Obligation Review of Your Car Accident Case

At Barghout Law Group, our San Diego Auto Accident Lawyer provides attentive, client-focused advocacy to injured victims. If you were injured in a crash, we will help you maximize your settlement or verdict. For a free of cost, completely confidential review of your personal injury claim, please contact us right away.

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