Unfortunately, car accidents are extremely common in California, and when they occur, you have to do your best to navigate what happens next. Obviously, in the aftermath of an accident, your job is to try and mitigate the damage that’s already been done. That’s why it is helpful to know exactly what to do if you’re ever in a situation. Following the proper steps after a car accident will make the entire process more manageable. Here are some steps that our car accident attorneys in San Diego recommend:
Step #1 – Ensure That Everyone is Okay and then Call Law Enforcement
When the accident occurs, take a moment to survey the area and speak with all parties involved in the accident. If possible, try to move the vehicles out of the way to avoid causing more damage and free up any traffic jams. Also, you try to tend to anyone who’s been injured and try your best to assist them with any difficulties they’re experiencing.
Next, consider calling the police to write up a report of the incident, creating an official record of what happened. If the at-fault driver caused you serious car accident injuries, the officer will create a report that establishes legal liabilities in your case. A police report ultimately provides you with an additional account of what happened in the collision and is persuasive to insurance companies.
Step #2 – Gather and Exchange Information
Obtaining accurate information is important, including the following:
- Names, contact information, and insurance information from all drivers involved
- Photos of the scene and surrounding areas
- Details about how the accident occurred
You can exchange information with the other driver, but make sure not to chat with them extensively over the collision.
Step #3 – Speak with Witnesses
Check and see if anyone witnessed the accident – then ask them for their account of how it all unfolded. Also, be sure to write down their names and phone numbers so that you can contact them at a later date. Testimony from eyewitnesses will play a huge role in determining liability and settling any disputes over who’s at fault.
Step #4 – File a Claim
Filing a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company is something you should never delay. In fact, the sooner you do it, the better off you ultimately are. This way, your car can undergo repairs promptly and without delay.
If you sustained serious injuries in the accident, you should consider pursuing legal action. You should speak with a personal injury attorney about seeking compensation for your injuries and all other damages that directly result from the accident.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney You Can Trust
Here at HHJ Trial Attorneys in San Diego, we ensure Californians can recover the full compensation for damages they suffered in car accidents. We provide all of our clients with personalized attention and do everything within our power to win your case. Going up against the insurance companies can be daunting, but our job is to ensure that you put up a worthy fight. Schedule an appointment today, and we can immediately begin working on your case.