Car Accident Legal Help Information for California
Car Accident Legal Help - You're driving along, minding your own business when...crash! All of a sudden, you're involved in a vehicle collision. Your thoughts race frantically, but it's important to keep your head and follow a few simple rules.
According to California law, you must stop after a collision. It doesn't matter whose fault the accident was, and it doesn't matter whether you hit a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car, or even a piece of property. The first rule of the road is to stop after an accident.
2. Assess for Injuries
If there is a car crash injury, summon help immediately and do what you can for the people who are hurt. Don't try to move them unless the area is dangerous due to fire, leaking gas, or flooding. Keep the injured people warm and calm until assistance arrives. If you are hurt, try to hold still so you don't make your injuries worse. Ask someone to call 911 for you.
3. Call the Local Police or the California Highway Patrol
Tell the dispatcher immediately if you need an ambulance or a fire truck. Follow the dispatcher's orders. Stay on the phone until law enforcement arrives or until the dispatcher tells you that it is all right to hang up. When the police arrive, cooperate with their investigation, but don't volunteer information they don't ask for. It is all right to sign a traffic ticket, which is not an admission of guilt. If it appears you may be facing more serious charges, though, ask for a lawyer.
4. Exchange Information with the Other Party
Don't leave the scene of the accident without obtaining the following:
- Name and contact information for the other driver and for the owner of the car, if different
- Year, make, model, and license plate number of the other car
- Names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident
- Names and badge numbers of the police officers who respond
- Information about how to get a copy of the accident report
Provide your information to the other driver as well.
5. Take Pictures
If you can do so safely, take pictures of the accident scene. If taking pictures of the actual scene is not possible, at least take pictures of the damage done to your vehicle. Be sure to take pictures of any wounds you may have as well. A car crash injury lawyer may be able to use them in negotiations with the other driver's insurance company.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
You and the other driver will both need to contact your insurance companies. Do not make or record a statement for the other driver's insurance company unless your attorney is present.
7. Inform the DMV
If either car suffered damages in excess of $750, or if someone was injured or killed in the accident, you must notify the DMV within 10 days.
8. See a Doctor
It's a good idea to check in with your doctor after an accident, even if you don't believe you are injured. Even serious injuries, like damage to the spinal cord, may not cause many symptoms at first.
9. Hire a Car Accident Lawyer - The Best Car Accident Legal Help!
An experienced attorney can help you deal with the other party's insurance company so that you receive the move favorable terms possible in your settlement. Do not sign a settlement agreement unless your lawyer gives it the green light.
Being in a motor vehicle collision can be terrifying, but if you follow a few simple steps, you can make the experience as painless as possible.