What Not To Do After An Accident
A car accident can be stressful and in some cases, alter your life. These three important steps may help you.
1.) Do NOT Leave the Scene – even if you think it was only a minor tap.
You should STOP Immediately and move out of danger only if it is safe to do so, however do not leave the scene entirely.
Regardless of whether a wreck looks serious, you always have to stop, check on the other person involved, exchange insurance information.
If you’re involved in a car accident, and if damage is minor and both drivers agree, calling the police might not be necessary. But you should only agree not to call the police if both of the following are true: No one is injured and property damage is minor.
If there are serious car accident injuries, someone should call 911 as soon as possible.
An accident must be reported to the DMV within 10 days when someone is killed, injured, or property damage exceeds $1,000.
2.) Do NOT Leave the Scene without getting important Information
• Obtain names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver’s license numbers from all drivers.
• Obtain license plate(s) and vehicle identification numbers. Ask to see driver’s license(s) and vehicle registration(s) to verify the information is accurate. If you have a camera or a cellphone take photos of their information. I an accident you can be nervous and write things down with errors. The Accident APP is helpful in obtaining this information.
• Obtain names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other passengers and any witnesses.
• Take photographs of the damage, and the accident scene (traffic controls, visual obstacles).
Follow up on everything ASAP that needs to be taken care of. This can sometimes include getting legal and medical advice.
If you or your passengers were injured in the accident, or you have pain or persistent health problems since it happened, see a doctor right away.
If you think you’re facing big medical bills or another driver is threatening legal action against you, or you are being pressured by yours or the other driver’s insurance company to settle, you’ll probably need to get a lawyer of your own. Insurance companies’ first concern is protecting their checkbook and simply settling too quickly could hurt your case and any potential long term care you might require. Insurance companies may make it sound as though sharing all your records is standard procedure or mandatory; but aside from the accident report you fill out for the police, a car accident attorney will help you know which things must be shared upon demand. The information you give them can and will be used against you to defeat or minimize your claim.
If you don’t understand how insurance companies operate, it can be hard to fight against their tactics, especially when they’re armed with advice from a whole team of lawyers. The best solution is to work with your own car accident lawyer, an experienced negotiator who knows the law and the games insurance companies like to play. An experienced California Car Accident Lawyer can stand up to the insurance companies for you to make sure you get what you rightfully deserve.
4.) Do Not wait too long to take action on your accident claim. California law limits the amount of time a car accident victim has to file a legal claim for damages. If you were injured, victims who suffer a bodily injury have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim (California Civil Code §335.1) Please keep in mind that some insurance policies carry medical payments coverage in addition to liability coverage and typically you only have one year to file a med pay claim.
Although you can file your claim without a lawyer’s help, teaming up with a lawyer after a car accident can significantly raise your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. Yochelson & Associates offers a free consultation so you can decide the benefits of having an experienced car accident attorney fight for you to get the full compensation you deserve.
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