No one gets up in the morning planning to get into a car collision. Car accidents are always unexpected. Being prepared and knowing what to do after a car collision happens is very important, as well as what not to do.
Here are some things that you should do if you are involved in car accident:
After the vehicles are safely moved to the side of the road, call the 911 and report the accident to the police and wait for them to arrive. Often the 911 dispatcher will ask if there are any major injuries or if ambulance is needed. If there are no major injuries, and the ambulance is not needed the dispatcher will tell you to just exchange insurance information and be on your way.
If that happens, make sure you take all the necessary information from the other driver that is required to make an insurance claim. You will need the following:
However, if the accident is a major one or there is serious damage to the vehicles, the police officer will come out to expect the scene and to take statements of the individuals involved in the car crash, their passengers (if any), and witnesses.
Make sure you know which government agency is taking the police report. It can be California Highway Patrol (CHP), local police, or local sheriff. Police reports are usually completed and ready to be picked up within 10 days. Some entities, like CHP, will have the first page of the police report ready the following day. The first page will include the names and contact information of parties and vehicles involved as well as the insurance information required to make an insurance claim. If you are wondering if there is a fee, the answer is Yes. A copy of the police reports will cost you $10.00, though if you are picking up a first page of the traffic collision report, it is free.
Next, document the damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of all the damage to your car. Take more picture than you need. The idea is, you would rather have those picture and not need them, then need them and not have them.
Also, if you are injured or have pain, get treated. This is one of the most important things you can do. The best thing is to go to the emergency room (ER) of the local hospital. ER doctors and medical staff will take xrays and examine you to make sure you do not have any life threatening injuries. This completes two objectives:
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out money. Your friends and relatives that see you every day in pain will believe you when you tell them that you are injured and cannot work. The insurance companies will say that you did not see a doctor, and because you did not do that you are not injured.
After you are release from the ER, make an appointment with your primary care physician or a family doctor to follow up and continue with your treatment. ER rooms only treat serious injuries like fractures and internal bleeding. Family doctors or primary care physician are the ones that will do all the follow up and get you better. They will order physical therapy or occupational therapy if you need it. They will prescribe pain medications. They will refer you to specialists if you need it.
Finally, after you are home from the emergency room, call a personal injury lawyer. Having an attorney represent you in a case eliminates the headache of dealing with insurance companies and increases your value in monetary recovery. Lawyers know what they are doing, they’ve done it before. As mentioned above, insurance companies are not in the business of paying out money. They will try to take advantage of you, and pay out as little as possible. Your lawyer will obtain everything you need to secure a settlement for your. Having an attorney on your side guarantees the recovery that you deserve.
These steps will make the experience of going through this part in your life a lot easier. You will be prepared for what you need to do next.
If you were injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, regardless of the nature of the underlying accident, it is important to contact an experienced Sacramento injury attorney to discuss your legal options. The Weinberger Law Firm has the resources and expertise to aggressively litigate your case in court, fighting to get you just compensation for your injury. Call (916) 357-6767 today for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case.