A car accident is a traumatic experience. Even the lucky folks who avoid catastrophic injuries often experience a certain degree of shock. However, what you do in the moments following a car accident is critical. Therefore, it is important to maintain focus, and take steps to protect yourself and your interests:
Step 1: Get yourself to a safe place.
Step 2: Get help. If you or someone else is/are injured do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
Step 3: Document the scene of the accident. If your phone is equipped with a camera – use it! Take as many pictures as you can, and when you are done take a few more. Don’t limit yourself to the visible property damage. Take pictures of the people involved in the collision, the vehicles involved in the collision, the roadway where the collision took place, and just about everything else having anything to do with the collision.
Step 4: Collect information. Most people remember to get the driver’s license, insurance card, and registration from the other driver(s) involved in the accident, but few remember to get the names and contact information from independent witnesses.
Step 5: Promptly consult a competent personal injury attorney. Contrary to what insurance companies would have you believe, it is not necessary for you to immediately make a claim from the scene of an accident. If an insurance company contacts you, politely refrain from discussing the incident or your injuries until after you consult your attorney. Do not delay in consulting an attorney. Time is of the essence.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is not legal advice. The Akopyan Law Firm does not provide legal advice unless and until it is formally retained, and an attorney-client contract is signed. Each case is unique. The laws may or may not apply to your particular situation. This should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions may have laws and regulations that differ substantially from one another. The Akopyan Law Firm does not provide legal services or practice law outside of the State of California. You should always consult an attorney in your jurisdiction regarding any specific legal issue.