The things you do in the minutes following a car accident can help both you and any car accident lawyers you may contact ensure that you get the car repairs and medical bills paid.
Moreover, knowing what to do after a car accident/ injury can also help you avoid breaking any of California’s laws and ultimately having your driver’s license suspended.
It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault in the said accident – what matters is the step you take afterward to minimize damages and such; steps that can also affect your rights.
Let’s see exactly what you need to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident in California.
Remain at the Scene – Especially if Someone Else Was Injured
It is imperative to remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. Leaving without a good reason – for example, being in need of immediate medical assistance – can get you a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.
Seek Medical Attention
As mentioned, you should only leave the accident scene if you need medical attention. You do not need to wait for the authorities if you are badly injured and require emergency medical assistance.
Move to a Safe Area
It is recommended to move your car in a safe position so it does not block the rest of the traffic. Still, if moving the car would be dangerous, it is better to leave it where it is.
Moreover, unless the vehicle is a hazard for anyone else, it is advised to leave it where the accident took place, especially if someone was seriously injured or worse.
Chronicle the Information
Usually, after moving your own vehicle and helping those that have been injured, you should either write down or take a photos of certain things that will later help you. For example, you should have the license plate numbers of every vehicle involved in the accident, the year, make, model, and the color of the vehicles, as well as their VIN, if possible.
This information will be used to report the accident and is legally required by California’s laws.
Exchange Contact Information
It is important that you know some details about every driver or passer-by that has witnessed the accident. The same applies to any police officers that arrive on the scene – get their name and note it.
At the same time, you should give your information to those involved in the collision as well, no matter who was at fault.
Do Not Admit Liability
Even if you think you may be to blame, never admit fault. You should also not apologize, as this can be misconstrued and prevent you from getting any compensatory damages from the insurance companies.
Don’t Say That You are NOT Inured
When it comes to a car accident, some injuries will only be revealed when we go to the doctor. For example, soft-tissue injuries will most likely appear hours after the accident.
Even though you may not be injured, it is important not to voice this thought, as the other driver’s insurance company can deny your claim or, even worse, offer you less than it is actually worth.
The Bottom Line
These were the essential things to do after being involved in a car accident. It is also recommended to document your injuries and chronicle your version of the accident to have more proof available, in case you have to present it.
In short, act as professional as possible – do not have an outcome in mind, just make sure to note down every detail of the accident and that those who have been injured are not in a critical condition.