No one wants to get into a car accident, but sometimes accidents happen, and what you do immediately after an auto accident is crucial. In Los Angeles alone, at least one motor accident happens every day, and the effects can be devastating to those involved.
If you’re ever involved in a collision anywhere in California, your first priority should be safety and then ensuring you get everything required to receive appropriate compensation. In many instances, this would mean hiring proper legal counsel to help you with your case.
But there are other crucial things you should note before you start searching for an accident attorney California residents recommend. This article lists some important steps to take immediately after an accident in California.
Crucial Steps to Take After a Car Accident in California
If you get into a car accident in California, remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives. Leaving the scene of the accident can get you charged for a hit-and-run, which can result in fines, loss of license, or jail time.
Seek Medical Attention
After an auto collision, the first thing you should do is check if you or any occupants of your vehicle are injured. You should also look to see if any party involved in the crash is injured and needs medical attention.
If anyone has sustained an injury during the accident, immediately contact emergency services for medical aid. If it’s within your power, leave your contact information with the other parties involved in the accident before you leave for the emergency room to avoid being charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run.
Gathering information about the vehicles and parties involved in the accident is very important. Note or take pictures of the scene, the vehicles, and other crucial information about the vehicles like their plate number, model, year, make, and possibly the vehicle identification number (VIN).
If the other drivers involved in the accident are insured, you can find their VIN on their insurance cards. For uninsured drivers, you can ask permission to confirm their VIN from where it is written on their dashboard or steering head. You should also note or take pictures of the other driver’s licenses and insurance information.
Get Witness Contact Information
If you notice any witnesses to the accident, you should get their contact information. Also, get the name of any law enforcement officers at the scene.
Mind Your Words and Actions
In matters of this nature, your words can be used against you, so it’s important to mind what you say. Do not apologize verbally or admit any level of fault to the other parties involved in the accident, as an admission of fault can keep you from receiving due damages when the time comes.
Inform the DMV
According to California law, every driver involved in an auto crash within state lines should report to the DMV within 10 days if the crash meets any of the following conditions.
The accident resulted in property damage worth over $1000
At least one person sustained a minor or major physical injury
Anyone died during or as a result of the auto collision
Contact an Accident Attorney
Before even reaching out to your insurance company or the insurance company of the other parties involved in the accident, contact an experienced accident attorney. California is home to a number of fine lawyers, but you would still need to do some digging to find the very best attorney for your case.
How an Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
A trained accident lawyer can help you navigate the situation at hand better than anyone else. They will take over the case from you, conduct thorough investigations, and seek the best outcomes for you.
You can use free accident calculator tools online to find out how much of a settlement you might be entitled to. An accident calculator would also help you know how to gauge your attorney’s effectiveness.