Accidents happen when we least expect them. The aftermath is often chaotic and overwhelming, causing emotions to run high, especially if there is serious damage or injury involved. It is crucial to know what steps to take after an accident, so that even when the unexpected happens, you are prepared. Here is a list of what you should do after being involved in a car accident.
- Remain at the Scene: Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and can have serious consequences, especially if anyone was injured or killed. Never leave until it is appropriate to do so.
- Make Sure Everyone is Safe: Before you begin to assess any property damage, check on all other drivers or passengers involved in the accident to make sure they are okay. Call for medical attention for anyone who might need it. If someone is unconscious or has neck or back pain, do not attempt to move them until qualified medical help arrives at the scene, unless they are in danger.
- Call the Police: If there is any property damage, physical injury, or death, you must call the police. They will file a police report when they arrive, which you should request a copy of. You should also ask for the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
- Exchange Information: Although a police report will typically include the information of those involved, it is still a good idea to get the names, phone numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information from any drivers involved in the accident in case any of it is omitted in the report.
- Talk to Witnesses: If there were any witnesses, be sure to ask them what they saw, and obtain as much information as possible, including names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Inform Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as you are able to. Be truthful and explain the details of what happened, including any damage or injuries you may have sustained.
- Medical Treatment: If you were injured, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Even seemingly small injuries can manifest into something worse. Be sure to keep track of any treatment you receive, including prescribed medications. Having documented proof of these expenses is necessary for a personal injury claim.
- Take Pictures: Many of us now have cell phones that are able to take pictures, so be sure to use it to take pictures of any damage to your vehicle as well as any injuries you might have.
- Do Not Rush to Accept an Early Settlement Offer: Early offers are often unreasonably low and will not adequately compensate you for your physical injuries. Many injuries take time to reach their greatest level of discomfort, and a doctor might not be able to give you an accurate prognosis until more time has passed. Do not settle a claim until you are sure you will be fully compensated.
- Hire an Attorney: If you have been injured in an accident, hiring an experienced attorney can help maximize compensation for your damages and injuries.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, our team of Los Angeles car accident attorneys has helped countless individuals maximize their awards. Recovering after a car accident is stressful enough, so let us deal with the insurance company, the paperwork, and the negotiations.
Attorney Gerald L. Marcus has been practicing personal injury law since 1987 and was previously employed at a prominent injury firm in San Fernando Valley as a negligence investigator. This invaluable experience is exactly what can make a difference in your case.
Call us today at (800) 905-8777.