Hurt in A Car Accident: 5 Critical Steps You Need to Take
Traffic injuries and fatalities are on the rise in California. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety, there were over 36,750 reported deaths from car crashes nationwide in 2018, with California recording 3,651. A large number of motor vehicle accidents can be attributed to driver error and negligence.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The moments following a motor vehicle crash can be horrifying and confusing, especially if you are hurt. The steps that you take immediately after the accident are critical in ensuring you receive the care you need and your best interests are protected.
1. Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Care
Safety is the number one priority after an accident. You need to make sure you haven’t sustained any serious injuries. Additionally, check on your passengers as well as the other drivers involved. However, you shouldn’t attempt to move anyone unconscious or with a serious injury. Call 911 immediately. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should have yourself checked by a medical professional regardless of the severity of the injuries. Some injuries such as whiplash may not be immediately apparent.
2. Document the Scene (if You Can)
If you can, take pictures of the scene and the damage to your vehicle. Take photos of the road and the weather condition. The pictures can be invaluable when your accident attorney files your claim against the insurance company. It is a good idea to make your own record of the incident when the memory is still fresh. Take notes on your immediate thoughts, what you saw, heard, or felt, details about the other driver and their vehicles. Create a timeline of the events.
3. Provide a Good Account of Events
When the law enforcement officers arrive, they will request a detailed account of the incident for their records and that of the insurance company. Provide an accurate description of the events before and after the accident. Stick to the facts, avoiding becoming emotional. You should not admit guilt or apologize for causing the crash. California’s comparative negligence law allows for compensation to be reduced if the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident.
4. Call a Personal Injury Attorney
If hurt in a car accident, it is in your best interest to call a Southern California personal injury lawyer. The auto injury law firm can help you file a compensation claim to the insurance company. Additionally, they can assist in determining the right value for your claim. If you sustained serious injuries, the attorney can ensure that you get specialized medical care for a full recovery.
5. Don’t Sign Anything Without Your Injury Lawyer Present
You may require to provide written statements about the events of the incident or sign on a quick settlement offer conjured by the insurance company. Consulting with a car accident attorney can help protect your interest. The law firm can also negotiate fair compensation if hurt in a car accident.
The period after a motor vehicle crash can be quite confusing. The steps above ensure that you receive the car you need and your best interests remain protected. If you are hurt in a car accident and require legal advice, reach out to The Law Offices Of Steven Zwick.