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What should I do if I have an auto accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

When an individual is involved in a car accident within the state of California, it is important that they perform several actions to ensure the best possible outcome. Initially, the most important step to take is to assess the situation and find out if anyone is hurt. If there are injuries involved, call 911 immediately. An individual trained in first aid techniques should provide reasonable assistance until first responders arrive on the scene. Also, if the accident occurred on a busy street, take precautions to warn approaching motorists of the potential hazard. This can involve setting flares or warning signs.

Once the injured are cared for and the situation is in hand, the next step is to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Because the DMV limits access to information after the fact, it's vitally important to get names, contact information and insurance details at the scene. Try to get brief testimonials from any witnesses to the car collision. Also, a quick diagram of the accident along with make and model descriptions of the vehicles involved will help an attorney show fault in any future related court proceedings and will ensure proper compensation for any pain and suffering.

All of this information will come in handy when seeking compensation through an insurance claim. If the other driver was negligent or at fault, their insurance will be responsible for repairing any damage to the vehicles and paying for medical expenses. In some difficult cases, a lawyer may be required to ensure proper and full compensation.

Proving that the other driver was at fault is essential for the plaintiff. In California, an individual seeking $7,500 or less in compensation will have to go through small claims court. While a lawyer cannot represent the client at the hearing, they can provide valuable advice beforehand.

Source: The State Bar of California , "What should I do if I have an auto accident?", October 17, 2014

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