When you are driving along California roads, you rarely think about being involved in an auto accident. However, according to the latest statistics, you have a one in three chance of being involved in a car accident while driving around California. If you do become a victim, the experience will be one that is life-altering in many ways. Along with being injured and suddenly accumulating thousands of dollars in medical bills, you will also likely miss significant time from work, making a tough financial situation even worse. When these accidents occur, most victims are totally unprepared for what may happen next, and thus make numerous mistakes along the way that greatly impact how much if any compensation they are able to receive for their damages. Rather than let a simple mistake cost you the compensation you need, here are some tips to keep in mind if and when you are involved in a car accident.

Staying at the Accident Scene
When you are involved in a car accident, one of the most important things you can do is stay at the scene. By doing so, you can speak to police about what led up to the accident, as well as get crucial information from the other driver and anyone who witnessed the accident. More importantly, if you leave the scene before you are allowed to do so or simply fail to stop at all, police can charge you with hit and run or other similar charges, all of which have serious consequences.

Calling Emergency Personnel
Once the accident takes place, always call 9-1-1 to ensure emergency personnel and police are dispatched to the scene. This will make the scene much safer for everyone, allow injuries to be treated, and give you the chance to tell police what happened. When speaking to police, make sure you include all details you can, but also make sure you don't admit fault for the accident under any circumstances. Since police will file an accident report with their assessment of which driver was to blame for the accident, don't give them anything that may wind up being used against you. Once the report is filed, make sure your car accident personal injury lawyer obtains a copy. Should police believe the other driver was at fault, this report can be used by your auto injury attorney as a bargaining tool to force the other driver's insurance company to reach an out-of-court settlement that will give you much-needed compensation.

Receiving Treatment for Your Injuries
Even if you think your accident was relatively minor, always allow medical personnel at the scene to examine you for potential injuries. In many situations, injuries such as whiplash, herniated discs, or concussions and brain injuries may be slow to show symptoms, making you think you are not injured. Should you refuse treatment at the scene only to find yourself facing difficulties later on, the other driver's attorney and insurance company will be able to make a strong claim that your injuries did not occur in the auto accident. Therefore, let yourself be treated at the scene, and also allow paramedics to transport you to a hospital for an ER exam. Should injuries be found and treated, they will be documented by doctors in your medical records, making it easier for your Los Angeles accident attorney to prove you were indeed injured due to the other driver's negligence and carelessness.

Gathering Photographic Evidence
While you are at the accident scene, use that opportunity to take as many photos as possible. By taking photos of damage sustained by vehicles, property damage, traffic lights and signs that may have been ignored by the other driver, and even skid marks on the road that might show the other driver was driving at a high rate of speed when the accident happened, your car accident personal injury lawyer can use these photos to demonstrate the accident was clearly not your fault. By having these photos to compare with police reports and conclusions reached by trained accident reconstruction experts, your auto injury attorney will be able to build a strong case in your favor.

Talking to the Other Driver
If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, always take a few moments to speak to the other driver involved in the accident. During this conversation, you have two objectives. First, always obtain vital contact information such as name, address, phone number, and email address, and also get the other driver to provide you with his or her insurance information, driver's license number, license plate number, and make and model of the vehicle that was damaged. In addition, also make sure that during your conversation you in no way admit fault for the accident. Even if the other driver tries to pressure you into doing so, don't give in. Instead, be courteous and say as little as possible until you have spoken to an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles accident attorney who can advise you as to your legal options.

Gathering Witness Testimony
If your accident happened in an area where there were plenty of people nearby, chances are someone saw exactly what happened. Should these people step forward and speak to police, make sure you also get a chance to speak with them. By doing so, you will get a firsthand account of what they claim to have seen. When speaking with a witness, use your smartphone to make a video recording of the conversation, since this will make it difficult for the witness to change their story later on. Once you have this recording of witness testimony, turn it over to your car accident personal injury lawyer. Along with comparing the witness account to information contained in the police report, it will allow your lawyer to interview the witness later on about important details of the accident.

Use Good Judgment and Common Sense
Whether you are talking to people at the accident scene, to a doctor in the emergency room, or even when you are on social media following the accident, always make sure you use good judgment and common sense in these situations. If you don't, you may lose out on getting the compensation needed to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For example, should you say “I'm sorry” to police at the accident scene, that will be interpreted as an admission of guilt for causing the accident. Also, should you go on social media and make angry comments or post photos of the accident scene, you may put your personal injury lawsuit in jeopardy. Instead of making a mistake that can cost you the chance to gain compensation for you and your family, take the advice of your auto injury attorney and say as little as possible until your case is resolved.

When you are involved in a car accident, you will be surprised at just how many complexities will arise along the way. Because of this and the serious situations that can result, it is always smart to hire a Los Angeles accident attorney who has a track record of success in these cases. Therefore, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information on scheduling an immediate consultation.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.