According to the National Safety Council, and the California Division of the Auto Club AAA, car accidents in the State of California have risen by about 13% in the past year. Although there is no definitive reason as for the increase, many have blamed the increased use of cell phones while driving causing drivers to become distracted. New California distracted driving laws have made it illegal to talk, text or stream media while you are driving a car.
If you do end up getting into a car accident, what are the best steps to take right after?
Steps to take after an auto accident
After you have been involved in an auto accident, you will want to take care of a few important things.
- The first step is to check on yourself and all passengers. If medical attention is needed, call an ambulance immediately.
- Stay with your vehicle at the scene. You are required to stop your car, and assess the damage with the other driver, even if the accident is minor. If a driver flees the scene of a accident, it will be considered a hit and run driver and the penalties will be much more severe.
- Call the police and gather eyewitnesses. Your accident attorney will likely want to see the police report. Talk to any eyewitnesses nearby and get their account as to the cause of the accident.
- Exchange information with the driver. Take a photo with your cell phone of the driver’s licenses insurance information, license plate, and the damage of both your cars. Photographic evidence is always the best evidence that can be used in court to assess the damage. Make sure that when discussing the accident with the other driver, that you do not admit fault to the other driver. These statements may be used against you at a later court case.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident. If is best to call your insurance company and notify them of the accident on the same day or as soon as possible. You do not need to file a claim for repair, but each insurance agency has steps that need to be followed after an accident. Speak with your lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster.
- Create a document file with all the information you have accumulated. Print out pictures, reports from eyewitnesses, insurance reports from your agent, and any copies of police reports and all information associated with this accident. Take this folder to your attorney when you meet with him to discuss your case.
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer. Depending upon how severe the accident is, you may find yourself out of work, with large medical expenses, and suffering from post accident pain and suffering. The other drivers insurance many not pay high damages for these damages, so it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney. A lawsuit against the driver may be the only option to receive damages for the suffering and expenses you have, so make sure to get a free consultation by an Personal Injury Attorney that can help you.
For more information on what you can do after an auto accident to recover financially, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis Law Group today.