What to Do After a Car Accident Injury
Car accidents can upend your life. If you have been injured, especially if the injury is serious, you may now be facing extended medical treatment, loss of your means of transportation, missed workdays, limitations on your enjoyment of life, and mounting bills. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. What should your first steps be after being injured in a car accident? Continue reading for tips on what to do after a car accident injury, and contact a dedicated Arcadia personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured by a drugged, drunk, or otherwise negligent driver in Los Angeles or the Inland Empire.
Stop, report the accident
After an accident, the first things to do are stop, move the vehicles out of traffic, and assess the situation. You are required by law to stop after an accident involving injury and exchange information with the other driver. It is best to contact the police and report the crash, even if minor, in order to get an official accident report.
Seek medical attention
If anyone is seriously injured, call an ambulance immediately. Even if your injuries do not appear life-threatening or severe, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as you can after an accident. You may discover latent injuries such as internal bleeding or a concussion that could lead to much more serious problems if left untreated. Additionally, the sooner after an accident you visit a doctor, the easier it will be to prove that the accident caused your injuries, should your injuries come into dispute during an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved
Make sure that you get identifying information from other drivers involved: Name, address, insurance information (company, policy number, contact number), license plate number, vehicle identification number, and vehicle description (make/model/year). Do not have an extended conversation with the other drivers, however. Avoid admitting fault; even apologizing can weaken your eventual claim if they use your words against you. It is best to avoid discussing fault at all with the other parties involved. You can talk about the accident to the police, medical professionals, your attorney, and insurance representatives.
Take photos, talk to witnesses, document everything
Collect as many facts as you can about the crash from the moment after it happens. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the area surrounding the accident to give context, and of any injuries. If there are any witnesses around, ask them for their contact information in case your attorney, the insurance company, or the police need to question them later. Keep copies of every document related to the crash, including the police report, medical bills, and any documents from your employer about missing work or disability claims.
Call a lawyer
Since you are likely going to have to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, your insurance company, or possibly against the other driver directly, it is helpful to contact a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as early as you can. Your attorney will help you build your strongest case to maximize your recovery and help you avoid any pitfalls that can weaken your claim or reduce your available damages. The sooner you get an attorney, the stronger your case will be.
If you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver in Southern California and need help recovering the money damages you deserve for your injuries, contact the seasoned and passionate Arcadia car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Dulio R. Chavez II and Associates for a free consultation at 626-357-3303.