California personal injury attorneys

What to do if You Are Injured in an Auto Accident

Below are some practical suggestion to help you if you are involved in a car crash. By no means is this an exhaustive list.

However, experience has shown that some of these suggestions will likely benefit you and aid in the investigation of the accident.

What to Do After a Car Crash or Auto Accident

  • Do not move from the accident scene. Call 911 (or have someone else do it) and wait for the police or CHP to come. If you or someone else is seriously injured: do not move, or move them. It is always better to wait for the paramedics to arrive rather than causing yourself or someone else more injuries. If necessary to avoid further vehicle collisions, make sure it is safe to do so, and then pull to the side of the roadway or to a vehicle inspection area (if on a freeway).

  • Report the accident (don't allow anyone to talk you out of making a report; you may well be in a state of shock and unable to properly assess whether you have been injured). It is better to be safe than sorry later. It is very important that the accident is reported to the proper authorities. A police report can document the facts of the accident and will prove to be very useful in determining who is at fault; it will also identify the parties involved along with any witnesses.

  • Write down everything. Make sure to take the personal, contact, and insurance information of the other driver: at a minimum, get the other driver's license number, home, work, and cel phone numbers, address, insurer name, insurance policy number, insurance claims agent contact information, and the make/model/year and licese plate number of the other vehicle. The police officer will usually talk to the witnesses so make sure you get their information. Make a note for your attorney (just in case) of the accident location, what happened in regards to position and location.

  • Also make sure to get the name, address, and home, work, and cel phone numbers of any witnesses.

  • After the officer takes the report, make sure to take down his name, badge number, substation name, and the number of the police report.

  • If you or someone else can safely do so, take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to both vehicles and any injuries you might have. It is a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your glove box along with all your insurance and registration information, "just in case."

    Do not admit fault or discuss the issue of fault with anyone, even if you think you may have some responsibility. Most likely you are not legally trained to assess the legal issue of fault. Additionally, even if you have legal training, the situation will likely be stressful and emotional, and you may even be in a state of shock. It is therefore advisable that you refrain from admitting or discussing the issue of fault, and do not talk about the accident to anyone besides the officer and your insurance representative. Also make sure you only talk about the facts with the investigating officer (and your attorney should one be necessary).

  • Visit the doctor to be checked out; many times you will not feel pain until a few days after the accident.

  • Check for, and photograph any bruising or cuts on your body. Often bruises especially "seatbelt bruises," will not show be visible until a few days after the accident.
  • If your car must be towed from the scene, get the name and contact information of the tow truck company.

  • Call one of our experienced personal injury lawyers toll free at (877) 593-2777 or email us by clicking the email button in the upper right hand corner of this page to learn what your rights are and if you need a lawyer

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