What You Should Do After a Car Accident
As anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident knows, it can be a scary and upsetting experience. Whether or not you have been injured, you may feel confused or disoriented. You may also be unsure what—if anything—you should say to the other driver. In fact, you probably have quite a few questions. One of your first steps should be to call an experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer. An attorney can answer your questions and let you know what you need to do next.
What else should you do to protect yourself and your rights after an accident? Here is what you need to know.
Stay on the scene.
It’s important to stop and talk to the other driver after any car accident, even if it’s only a minor one. If you leave the accident scene before doing this, you’re running the risk of being charged with a hit-and-run.
Check for injuries.
First, you should check to see whether you, the other driver, or any of your passengers have been badly injured in the accident. If anyone has sustained an injury, call for emergency services immediately. Try to avoid moving anyone who has been injured.
Call the police.
Many people wonder whether they should bother calling the police after an accident. In fact, it’s a good idea to call the police so you can have an objective record of the accident. Having a police record can be important for dealing with your insurance provider. It can also be useful for your car accident attorney.
Exchange contact information.
Before you leave the scene, you should talk to the other driver and exchange names and phone numbers. Also, write down their insurance card information. Keep the conversation with the other driver limited, and do not say anything that might be construed as admitting fault.
Talk to witnesses.
If possible, you should try to talk to any people in the area who witnessed the accident. Do this even if it is a minor accident, such as a fender-bender. It’s a good idea to do this as soon as possible, before people begin leaving the scene. Make sure that you write down their contact information, if they are willing to provide it.
Document the car accident scene.
As soon as it is safe to do so, use your phone to take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. Try to take clear pictures of as much of the visible damage as possible. Then, write down a brief but detailed description of the accident scene and your memories of how it happened.
Have a damaged vehicle towed.
Be cautious about trying to drive a car after an accident. If your vehicle’s frame has been damaged, then you should have it towed to an auto shop. Even if your car has no visible damage and seems safe to drive, you should have it checked by a professional as soon as possible.
Call your insurance company.
You should also contact your insurance provider to report the accident, as well as any injuries you’ve sustained. It’s important to do this as soon as possible. However, you should never talk to the other driver’s insurance provider, even if they try to contact you.
Keep all your records.
It’s important that you do not lose your notes, pictures, and other records of the accident. Also, hang on to your tow truck receipts, auto shop receipts, medical bills, and any other documents related to the accident. You might want to store them in a file folder where you can easily access them at any time. When you meet with your lawyer, be sure to bring these documents with you.
Have you been hurt in a car accident? If so, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side. At The Baum Law Firm, our legal team can provide you with the legal services you need. We have been serving the area of Temecula, CA, since we first opened our doors in 1959. Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars in claims for our clients. Would you like to learn more about our services? For a free phone consultation, call our office today at (951) 200-4265.