Car accidents in California are both unexpected and confusing. You might not know what to do immediately after a collision. However, there are specific steps that you should take to make the insurance claims process easier to navigate after being involved in a crash caused by someone else.
What to do after an accident
Immediately after an accident, you must remain at the scene. If you have to move your car because of safety issues, move it to the closest safe spot available. Check everyone for injuries, and provide first aid to anyone who is injured. Call 911 to request police to respond to the accident scene. You are required to exchange information with the other driver. Get the driver’s name, address, insurance information, and registration. Write down the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. If you can, take pictures of both vehicles showing their angles, damage, and direction of travel. You should also photograph the broader accident scene, including nearby traffic lights, skid marks on the road, intersections, weather, road conditions, and other relevant details.
The police sometimes are hesitant to respond to motor vehicle accident scenes. If the police do not come to the scene, file an accident report as soon as possible. If the police do respond to the scene, you will want to get a copy of the police report. You will also want to contact your insurance company. The company will then reach out to the other driver’s insurance company and start making a determination of liability. Make sure to go to the doctor or hospital after your accident. You might have suffered injuries that are not immediately apparent. Getting medical help soon after your accident can help you to recover faster and show the insurance company that your injuries were caused by your accident.
After you get medical treatment, you might want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer might handle your claim while you work on recovering from your injuries. Retaining an attorney early in the process might also help you to avoid making critical errors that could potentially harm your claim.