Submitted by the Law Offices of Michael D. Payne
Car accidents can be a scary thing. Most people do not know what to do when they are in an accident. Regardless of what caused the accident there are certain steps everyone should take when they are involved in a car accident while driving in California. We have provided 9 things you must do below. For more information visit us at www.mikepaynelaw.com or contact us here.
- Make sure that you and any passengers are not injured.
Checking for injuries is that most important thing to do when involved in an accident. Often the onset of injuries are not apparent while at the accident scene but if you or a loved one is injured call 911 immediately.
- Try to stay calm.
It is easier said than done but if you can remain calm you can observe the accident scene better and document what has taken place. If you should speak with the driver of the other car being calm will allow you to exchange information in a calm and civil manner without confrontation. Accidents are stressful events for everyone involved regardless of who is at fault.
- Move the car if you are able.
If the accident is minor and you can move your car then do so. If the accident is not minor or there are injuries do not move the car! Instead, call 911 and wait for the paramedics to come and assist with any injuries.
- Always take proper safety precautions.
Turn on your hazard lights anytime you are in an accident. When you are on a highway always turn on your hazards because cars are moving at a fast speed and drivers may not recognize that there is an accident until they are at the accident scene–this can sometimes result in a second accident.
- Call the police.
It is important to call the police when you are involved in an accident. The police will obtain the insurance information of the parties, assess injuries, take measurements and determine fault which can be helpful when presenting an insurance claim for property damage or injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of the other driver.
- Take a picture.
If you can, take a picture of the other car involved in the accident, the license plate and the property damage. It should come as no surprise that people sometimes say they were not driving the car involved in an accident, it was not their car or their car had no damage.
- Exchange information and notify you insurance company.
Get as much information as you can about the other parties involved, including the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number and then notify your insurance company immediately.
- If you are injured in the accident go the hospital immediately.
If you are injured in an accident you will often be transported from the accident scene by ambulance. Sometimes injuries develop days after an accident. Should that occur go to the hospital or your doctor to address your complaints or injuries.
- Call a personal injury lawyer or car accident and injury lawyer.
After an accident it is wise to contact a lawyer to help you present a claim to the insurance company for your injuries or property damage. Presenting an insurance claim is often a complicated matter in which you should contact a personal injury lawyer or car accident and injury lawyer for representation. Consultations are generally free so it does not cost you anything to make the call. You can reach the Law Offices of Michael D. Payne at 888 964-1530 for any questions regarding your car accident or personal injury matter or email us here. The Law Offices of Michael Payne serves Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County for all types of car accidents and personal injury matters.