What to Do After a Car Accident Has Occurred

Being involved in an automobile accident, regardless of the severity, can be one of the scariest things you will experience. Even if you feel like you are knowledgeable about the steps you should take immediately following the accident, you may be unsettled and upset, or even injured, causing logical thought to leave you. Keeping this list of suggested actions handy can lessen the stress you are already under and will simplify the actions that you will need to take.

The first thing to do after an accident is to stay at the scene. Assess your injuries and the injuries of your passengers. If your vehicle is blocking traffic or causing concern, follow the laws of your state regarding movement of the vehicles involved.

Depending on your own potential injuries, check the occupants of the other vehicles involved, if any. This is when you would call the help that is required. In most cases, calling 911 will get you help from police and an ambulance if necessary.

Next, exchange information with the others involved in the incident. You will want to include your name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number and make and model of the vehicles involved. Also note the address of the scene, the date and time, and any witnesses that may be able to contribute to statements about the accident. Above all else, do not admit fault or apologize, even if you feel responsible. After all facts have been analyzed, it will be up to the law to decide whose fault the accident was.

Since most people carry a cell phone with a camera option, it is highly recommended to take photos of the scene, the vehicles and the other driver. Do not be afraid to document everything. A picture is worth a thousand words and having proof further along can make all the difference in a he-said she-said situation. A car accident attorney would rather have too many photos rather than not enough.

You will need to notify your insurance company of the accident. If an accident report is not filed by the police, downloading one and printing it yourself will document the facts for you. Draw a diagram of the accident scene while it is fresh in your mind, as details will fade once you are absent from the scene.

Use caution on who you speak about the accident with. Always confirm with your attorney before speaking to the other party’s attorney or insurance company. The only person that is 100% on your side is your own attorney.

Having a go-to personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will make things easier on you in the long run. You will have the time to research and feel comfortable with the attorney you choose before you actually need one. It would be like having a doctor or hospital chosen before experiencing an emergency and immediately needing one.

If you need any legal advice or information with regards to this topic, contact an attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers. 

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