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Los Angeles Law Blog

By stephen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Car Accident on Monday, November 23, 2020.
Steps to take if you were injured in a car accident

Just like with anything else, cars have completely evolved overtime – and the cars we drive today are safer than they’ve ever been. Regardless of these added safety features, car accidents still occur every day. While it’s hopeful this is something you never have to endure, it’s always a good idea to be completely prepared in case you’re involved, and injured, in an accident. With car collisions always being so sudden, it’s important to make sure you understand the appropriate steps that need to be taken.

 

Scene of the accident

To begin with, no matter what, call the police and report the accident. Inform them of your location, any injuries you’re aware of, and if the scene of the accident is actively dangerous. From there, you’ll need to seek medical attention immediately – whether from first responders at the scene or by being treated at a hospital, this’ll depend on the extent of your injuries. If you’re able, you’ll need to trade contact information, driver’s license details, and insurance information with everyone involved.

 

Collect evidence

Once you’ve received medical attention at the scene and you’re able to safely remain at the crash site, take photos and/or videos of the area and the damage to all vehicles involved, along with the corresponding license plate number, make, year, and model – this information is required when you report the accident to the California DMV. Along with photos, keeping track of all damages will help you when you file a claim. Please be mindful of the fact that damage can be considered more than just physical damage to your car or person. It’s also non-economic damage, like pain and suffering. A witness statement from the scene can also be used as a vital piece of information to support your claim. Something else that could prove helpful is drawing out, or explaining, how the accident happened. Note where the cars were prior to the accident, the estimated speed of the vehicles, the weather, and road conditions.

 

What not to say

Even if you think you caused the crash, it’s encouraged that you don’t say anything of the sort to the other person(s) involved. For starters, you could be wrong about believing you caused the crash. There’s even a possibility the other driver is partially at fault under California’s “shared fault/comparative negligence” law. It may be your first instinct, but apologizing could be misinterpreted as admitting fault. Simply ask if anyone involved is injured and needs assistance.

 

Report to insurance

No matter how minor, you should always report a car accident to your insurance company, and even more so when it results in an injury. This step is incredibly important as this will be when you file an injury claim – which could result in you being compensated for your resulting medical bills.

 

Every car accident is different, they could be simple and straightforward, or quite complex – and if you’ve been injured, it’ll more than likely be complex. Retaining representation to help navigate this process while protecting your rights could save you from any possible costly, or legal, mistakes. If you believe you could use a lawyer, we encourage you to contact our office to learn how we can fight for you.