What to Do After a Car Accident? After being involved in a car accident, your rights and those involved must be protected. Car accidents are never pleasant experiences. Emotional strain often runs high following such incidents. As a result, filing a personal accident claim could provide the best defence for you and those around you.
Accidents can be frightening and overwhelming experiences, leaving individuals uncertain about what steps should be taken next. While ensuring safety is paramount, knowing the steps following a car accident is essential to protect your legal rights and potentially secure compensation. It will also help ensure that involved parties receive justice and what is owed them.
California follows a pure comparative negligence rule in car accident cases. This position means that a court in California will assign a certain percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident. If one driver is 70% guilty of the accident and the other is 30% guilty, the driver with 70% fault would be required to pay 70% of any damages the other driver suffered.
California courts also look into other factors before assigning percentages of fault. The factors to be considered by the courts include any negligence and malice exhibited by the parties involved in an accident. When malice has been shown to have been demonstrated by a party, the court shall award punitive awards against such driver. Punitive awards are awards made against malicious parties to deter them from doing such evil things in the future. They are also meant to compensate the victims, who likely suffered more harm due to malice.
In this guide, we’ll outline everything you should do after a car accident in California to help you navigate its aftermath confidently and efficiently. This guide will cover everything from exchanging insurance information with other drivers and seeking medical attention to documenting the scene. This information can help protect your interests in the event of an accident. It pays dividends when you know how to respond when an accident occurs.
What to Do After a Car Accident?
After an auto accident, you must take several steps to protect yourself and your legal rights. These include:
Documenting Your Car Accident
After being involved in a car accident, it’s essential that you carefully document its scene. Take pictures of the other driver’s license plates, and note the date and time of the collision and the speed at which both vehicles travelled. It would be best to draw an illustration showing what occurred and in which direction. While documenting the accident, note the road conditions, weather, or other factors that could have contributed to the accident.
The process of documenting the car accident is outlined below:
- Stop the car- following the car accident, you should immediately look for a safe spot on the road and turn off the car’s engine;
- Call the police- call the police directly after the accident;
- Gather information on the car accident: Put together all the information about the car accident, including all the details about the at-fault driver. Make sure that you take pictures as well as videos, as they shall help corroborate your version of events;
- Look for witnesses: Looking for witnesses and getting their details shall be helpful when you are filing a car accident claim against the at-fault driver;
- Please speak to your insurance company: Report the accident to the insurance company as soon as possible and provide them with all the information that they require from you; and
- Follow up with the insurance company and any other entity to ensure you are compensated for the damages suffered. Throughout the follow-up process, make sure that you keep and provide all the necessary information and documentation.
Adhere to the above steps to ensure you are compensated immediately.
We shall look into the above steps in detail in the paragraphs below.
Remain Calm and Check for Injuries
Staying calm can help you assess a situation more accurately and take appropriate action. By being quiet, you can prevent making statements that may damage your chances of success. Panicking or becoming overly emotional could prevent clear thinking and good decisions from being made in times of trouble.
Checking for injuries ensures everyone involved receives the necessary medical treatment. While some injuries, like whiplash or concussions, may not immediately become evident, it’s still essential that everyone is assessed for any signs of distress or damage immediately. If anyone is hurt, they must seek professional medical advice immediately.
Remaining calm and conducting an injury assessment are keys to avoiding further injury or harm. Rushing to move someone hurt too soon could worsen their condition, so take your time to ensure everyone involved is safe before making any hasty decisions or taking further actions.
Behaving calmly and inspecting injuries after an accident is also essential in gathering crucial details. Witnesses may be more inclined to approach you with information if they see that you remain calm and collected, and gathering evidence on injuries could prove valuable in legal or insurance claims proceedings later on.
Calmly inspecting injuries after a car accident is essential to ensuring everyone’s well-being, preventing further damage, and gathering vital evidence and information.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Even if you think you haven’t sustained any injuries, it’s better to get checked out by a medical professional after an accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent.
After being involved in an auto accident, check each other’s well-being immediately. Even if everyone seems OK initially, looking out for delayed symptoms or injuries such as whiplash or concussions that might not show themselves immediately is essential. If anyone in your car becomes injured, they should seek medical care immediately by calling emergency services or going directly to a hospital.
Additionally, suppose any of your passengers are minors or age; you must carefully look into the extent of their injuries as they are particularly susceptible to injuries. You must check on their well-being regularly and take appropriate action. Remember that you must ensure the accident victims are safe as the driver. Doing this can prevent any long-term health complications and legal implications.
After a car accident has occurred, call the police
After an accident, the presence of the police makes the accident scene manageable as they will take charge of the situation. At the accident scene, the police must redirect the traffic to prevent further accidents, file an incident report, and ensure a calm atmosphere for everyone at the location.
The police officer will also compile an official police report (accident report) of the incident of the accident that occurred involving the motor vehicles. This deed can help establish who is at fault and facilitate future legal claims and proceedings for medical expenses and vehicle damage. A police report may contain pertinent details such as the time and location of the accident, names/contact info of drivers involved, and witness statements at the scene;
In some instances, police may issue citations or make arrests if there is evidence of traffic violations or criminal activity, to ensure those responsible for an accident are held accountable and prevent further accidents. This situation can help ensure no more accidents occur in the future.
Moving Impacted Vehicles Out of Traffic
Removing vehicles from the accident scene ensures everyone involved stays safe, reduces traffic congestion, and preserves evidence for the event investigation. Suppose they cannot be moved due to damage or other circumstances. In that case, steps should be taken to warn other drivers about any hazards they pose – this may involve hazard lights, flares, or cones being deployed as necessary.
Deciding Whether to File an Insurance Claim
In California, filing an insurance claim is not a complicated process. Before filing the insurance claim, you must have all the information and documents. The documents required shall include the details about your insurance coverage, police reports, medical reports following the accident, and the losses you suffered after the accident.
When you have all the necessary documents, reach out to the customer service of the insurance company or their website so that you can begin the insurance claims process. The insurance company’s representative will then inquire from you about the circumstances leading to your making of the insurance claim. The inquiries shall include the following questions:
- Where did the accident take place?’;
- Who was involved in the accident?; and
- What kind of damage resulted from the accident?;
The representative shall also ask for other unique details about the case. The questions shall also take into consideration the amount of insurance coverage taken as well as its levels.
Your insurance company will subsequently investigate your claim and decide on the amount you are entitled to receive. The investigation and decision process takes between one to two weeks. However, this process can take longer if the insurance claim is complicated. You will receive payment once your insurance claim has been investigated and approved. The insurance company may as well send you a check for the amount that has been approved.
Suppose you disagree with the decision of the insurance company or need assistance filing the claim. In that case, you should contact the California Department of Insurance so that they can assist you. California Department of Insurance helps you file the claim and mediate any dispute between yourself and the insurance company.
Following the steps stipulated above will ensure that your insurance claim in the state of California is processed expeditiously.
When filing a claim against a Defendant, your success in doing so can depend on a few key elements:
- Who was at fault (which could be you or another driver)
- The extent of damage caused to each driver or passenger
- Whether there are any minor or severe injuries
- The kind and amount of insurance policy coverage you and the driver have
After an auto accident, discussing who was at fault can be tempting. However, it’s wiser to refrain from discussing responsibility on the roadside as discussions could quickly turn heated, leading to arguments and potential misunderstandings.
Apologizing or admitting fault could later be used against you in court proceedings – instead, focus on gathering facts until speaking to either your insurance company or an attorney about fault issues.
Exchange Insurance and Contact Information
Locate the driver of the other car involved in your collision and collect their name and contact details; if someone other than its owner is driving it, ask them for their personal information.
Take pictures, email them, or text them to yourself so you’ll have proof that someone was responsible for what occurred during an investigation. Your insurance provider or lawyer might need evidence to show what took place.
Exchange Information and Take Pictures
While your report provides official evidence of the crash, it is also essential that you take accurate pictures of your damaged car from multiple angles to establish proof of damages and identify those responsible for it. Taking such images will assist your auto insurance claim attorney in identifying who caused it. You must also look for the driver’s license numbers, which will be crucial during the claims process.
Immediately after the accident, make sure that you collect information and document them. The report shall be necessary as it shall be required by an insurance company when filing an insurance claim. Obtain other data like car model number or registration number from the vehicles involved as needed from witnesses who are present if possible.
Notifying Your Insurer and Beginning the Car Insurance Claim Process
You should notify your insurer immediately of your damaged vehicle by either calling them directly, using their app, or reporting it online so they can assess how to process your claim best. They may arrange to take it now to one of their approved auto repair shops for repairs if applicable.
Accidents can leave drivers disoriented and anxious; following these steps could help ease stress by dealing directly with their insurer and filing an auto repair claim for assistance.
California boasts some of the busiest and most congested roads in the country, increasing the risk of serious motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, having access to an attorney that understands California personal injury law and local court procedures and has experience can provide invaluable advice about what steps should be taken after being involved in an auto collision.
Why Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car crash is essential. For starters, they can assist in the complex legal process and help explain your rights and options. They can gather evidence for court filing, negotiate with other drivers’ insurance providers or file claims on your behalf with insurance providers and represent you in court proceedings.
Second, consulting a personal injury attorney can assist in recovering any compensation you’re due after being involved in a car accident. The things to recover may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage claims, and pain and suffering damages. An excellent personal injury lawyer will help assess the extent of these damages and fight to secure fair compensation on your behalf.
Being represented by a personal injury lawyer can reduce the stress and burden of recovering from a car accident, giving you more time to focus on getting well. Your lawyer will handle legal details, communicate with insurance providers and protect your rights – giving you peace of mind at an otherwise trying time. A knowledgeable advocate helps you know what to do after a car accident.
What Shouldn’t Be Done After a Car Accident
You should do various things after being involved in a collision; however, there are also things you shouldn’t. These may include:
Please don’t leave the scene of an accident until the police officer has arrived and it is safe for you to depart.
Don’t admit fault or apologize at the scene. Even if you believe you might have caused the accident, it is wise not to accept blame. Doing so could later be used against you in legal proceedings or insurance claims when filing claims against yourself.
Avoid engaging with the other driver directly after an accident has taken place. While you may feel angry or frustrated, arguing with other drivers only escalates and worsens matters.
Keep information flowing. After an accident, it is vital to exchange information such as contact details, driver’s license plate numbers, and insurance information with any involved drivers, including contact info.
Do not delay seeking medical assistance following an accident. Delays in seeking treatment could worsen injuries and make insurance claims more complicated.
Do not post on social media until legal proceedings or insurance claims have been settled.
Before speaking with insurance companies, obtain legal representation to protect your rights and ensure fair compensation.
Avoiding these steps following a car accident will help to safeguard your rights, prevent further injury, and ensure you receive compensation for medical expenses due to injuries or damages sustained.
Big Ben Lawyers Offer Genuine Assistance
At Big Ben Lawyers, our professional personal injury lawyers possess the skill and experience to help you receive fair compensation for any injuries sustained during an accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. We can help determine the full scope of these losses on your behalf before fighting for maximum reimbursement.
As part of our services, we can also build strong cases by investigating accidents, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting experts if necessary to increase your chances of success. Furthermore, we will negotiate with insurance companies for the claim process on your behalf and represent you in court. This situation will help alleviate some of the stress of dealing with collision-related matters.
Big Ben Lawyers provide genuine assistance. We can empower you with the essential things that you should know about what to do after a car accident. Reach out now at +1 (818) 423-4878 to arrange for a FREE evaluation of your case – our firm operates strictly on a contingency fee basis.
Ultimately, dealing with any car accident claim y is made much simpler by having solid legal counsel. You might be unable to handle all the aspects of such a car accident case alone. Working closely with a lawyer is the most distinctive approach to guaranteeing your recovery following such a bike accident in California.
Big Ben Law Lawyers
The team at Big Ben Law is immediately aware of the vast repercussions of a car accident. With this in mind, we strive to ensure that the process is as seamless as possible for you and your loved ones. We will carefully examine how the car accident occurred to help you establish responsibility for your losses and look into every possible avenue of compensation for your collision claim.
The sooner you engage us after a car accident, the better your prospects of getting the compensation permitted under California’s law. If you are prepared to discuss your legal options with a skilled team of car accident attorneys, get in touch with our team to arrange your free legal consultation and a complete case evaluation.
Put your faith in Big Ben Lawyers to defend your rights. Contact our car accident lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your options. Please get in touch with us right away to discuss your car accident lawsuit, how to approach your own insurance company, how to file a car insurance claim, the details of an insurance claims process, how to deal with your insurance agent and all the little details that generally surrounds a car insurance claim.
Is Any Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
The expert team at Big Ben Lawyers, a firm conveniently located near you, is ready and available to assist you in pursuing car accident lawsuits in California. We specialize in helping clients recover compensation, working diligently with insurance companies on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to reach out; we are always ready to receive your call. Contact us now!
Contact Big Ben Lawyers Today
Big Ben Lawyers’ personal injury lawyers realize how stressful the aftermath of a car accident is. Big Ben Lawyers must assist our clients in getting through this challenging event by aiding them with the convoluted legal process and giving them the best chance of receiving the highest compensation they deserve.
Do not delay if you or a loved one is a victim of a car accident case. Contact Big Ben Lawyers immediately for a free case examination, or phone us at the numbers listed on our website. We also advise the injury victims to put together their medical bills and evidence, let us know how much compensation they would want, and advise them on all the issues surrounding their cases.
Do not hesitate to contact our able Firm of Attorneys, and we shall passionately pursue your personal injury cases.