What To Do After a Car Accident
Car accidents are never expected, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared when one occurs. By knowing what to do after a car accident you can avoid the pitfalls other personal injury victims have fallen into.
Remain at the Scene and Move to a Safe Area
This might seem obvious, but it is on this list for a reason. Sometimes a driver thinks that the accident was “not a big deal” and drives away. Leaving the scene of an accident can lead to a hit and run charge, which could carry a $10,000.00 fine and jail time.
You should also stay because the full extent of the damage done may not be immediately apparent. Your vehicle can have structural damage. While it may seem like you don’t have anything to gain by sticking around, stopping to get the other driver’s information can prevent a ton of headaches later down the road when an issue arises.
As long as it is safe to do so, pull over to the shoulder or a parking lot, out of the way of other vehicles. If it is too dangerous to move your vehicle, let it remain where it is. When you can, moving to a safe area can help avoid further injuries.
When it is safe to do so, obtain the other driver’s information. Be sure to obtain their proof of insurance, driver’s license, and their vehicle information. The vehicle information you should obtain includes their contact information, license plate, make and model of the vehicle, and their VIN number. You will need the other driver’s cooperation in obtaining the VIN, do not try to do so without their consent.
During this process, DO NOT ADMIT FAULT. Anything you say may be used against you by the driver to avoid liability. Their adjustor could deny your claim or lower their settlement offer based on what you say at the accident.
Obtain a Police Report
After you’ve pulled into a safe place and assessed the situation, call the local police or the California Highway Patrol. If you do not feel that the accident warrants calling 911, call the non-emergency numbers at 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154.
This is important because a police report can set the foundation and boundaries of your case. Without a police report, the other driver can be left to make statements that don’t accurately reflect what happened. Their lawyers may also attempt to use the lack of a police report against you. Similarly, do not say that you are not injured. Some injuries do not appear until well after an incident occurred. Others do not appear shortly after an accident because of an injured individuals adrenaline.
See a Doctor
If you have serious injuries, you need to seek immediate care. But if your injured and don’t consider it a big deal, you still need to go see a doctor.
Just as a car can be impacted beyond what is visible to you, your body can be seriously injured without you knowing it. Seeking care from your physician to make sure you are okay is the prudent thing to do. Consider the flip side- if you don’t seek treatment and later find out you were injured, an insurer is going to be highly hesitant to cover your injury.
You should always be sure to get ahead of any potential issues after an accident by visiting your doctor.
Call an Attorney
The attorneys at Haffner & Morgan can help you every step of the way with your personal injury. We take the time to understand the full extent of your injuries, and how you have been affected, so that we can seek the compensation you deserve. If you’ve already failed to do anything on this list, we can help make the necessary corrections to undo the damage.
The lawyers will be able to take over negotiations with the defendant or their insurance company, leaving you to focus on treating your injuries and fully recovering your body. Strong and aggressive negotiating from the attorneys at Haffner & Morgan can bring the best results for your case. Where insurance companies are not willing to negotiate fairly, or settle in an amount that allows for your full recovery and just compensation for your pain and suffering, Haffner & Morgan have the experience necessary to take your case to trial.
The information provided in this blog is not meant to be legal advice. It is provided as an informative guide only. If you have any questions regarding a personal injury, contact a lawyer today. An experienced attorney will have a strong understanding of the process and usually can inform you at no cost. The attorneys at Haffner & Morgan offer no cost consultations and are happy to answer any questions you may have.