What to Do After You've Been in a Car Accident
Experiencing any kind of car accident can be traumatic and possibly lead to extensive medical bills and time off from work. Taking the right steps after an accident has occurred is crucial to receiving the best possible outcome. Here at The Drexler Law Firm, we have years of experience helping car accident victims and we are more than qualified to guide you through the process.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
The minutes right after a car accident can determine what happens weeks and even years later. The first step is to stay calm and make sure everyone involved is safe. If you are able to move your vehicle, pull off to the side of the road. It is important to check if anyone in your car or in any of the other vehicles is injured. If there are any injuries call 911. After checking for injuries and safely moving the vehicles, you will want to document the crash scene with photos. Use your phone to take pictures of each vehicle involved in the crash from different angles.
Who Should You Call After a Crash?
The choices that are made during the few minutes that follow an accident may determine the outcome of your claim. There are a few calls that should be made as soon as possible after an accident.
- Call the Police – The police should be contacted immediately after any type of car accident. It is important to have an official police report for legal purposes later on. Whether there will be a lawsuit, medical costs, or simple vehicle repairs, it is important to have police documentation.
- Call an Ambulance – Many injuries are more serious than they may initially appear. Even if everyone appears to have suffered only minor injuries, an ambulance should be called.
- Call the Insurance Company – Your insurance company should be notified as soon as possible after an accident. Many people mistakenly believe if they’re not at fault for the accident that they don’t need to inform their insurance company. Your insurer should know about any injuries or damage to property.
- Call The Drexler Law Firm – The sooner you’ve retained a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, the more quickly your case can be resolved. Any time you have to deal with insurance companies it is always a good idea to have an attorney fighting for your best interests.
- Identify Witnesses – It is of vital importance that if there was anyone who witnessed the accident you get their name and contact info at the scene. A witness’s testimony can make or break a claim. This is especially true with an accident involving left turns or other contested liability.
How Much Information Should You Get After an Accident?
There is general information you should get after any type of accident. The following are the most basic information that should be exchanged if at all possible after a car crash.
- Each driver’s full name and contact information should be exchanged. This would include addresses and phone numbers.
- Exchange driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers on each vehicle.
- Write down the location of the accident. This should include the street number or description of the area and businesses nearby.
- If there are any bystanders or witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information.
- Try to get the name and badge number of the police officers that are documenting the accident and writing the police report.
What Insurance Information Should You Exchange?
Besides general information, there is specific insurance information that should be exchanged after an accident has taken place. This would include the name of the insurance companies for all parties involved. You should also include policy numbers and the names of the agents. It is also a good idea to write down the make and model of each vehicle involved.
Gathering all the necessary information is extremely important and will help you receive the compensation you deserve. Results of different types of injury cases can vary extensively. Our legal team here at The Drexler Law Firm will need as much information as possible in order to put forth the best case. This will help to make sure you receive enough to cover all medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
What Should You NOT Do After an Accident?
While there are several things you’ll want to make sure to do after an accident, it can be just as critical to make sure you don’t do certain things. The following are a few important things you should never do after a car accident.
- Never Drive Away – Even if it is just a minor accident and there does not appear to be any injuries, it is imperative to stay. Leaving the scene of an accident, even a minor one, could result in criminal charges being filed against you. It may also hurt your case, even if the other driver was at fault.
- Never Admit Fault – Even if you think you are at fault, you could be wrong. There may have been something that the other driver did to cause the accident that you couldn’t see from your vantage point. Stay calm and polite, but do not discuss the details of the accident.
- Never Self-Treat Injuries – Too often people may try to self-treat minor injuries or simply take over-the-counter medication for aches and pains they have after an accident. If injuries are not documented and treated as soon as possible after an accident it may be more difficult to receive insurance coverage or compensation later. When you do receive medical treatment, make sure to keep copies of all doctor visits, procedures, and medications taken.
- Never Take an Immediate Settlement – Sometimes an insurance company will offer an immediate settlement. If they are willing to do this quickly, it is probably a low-ball offer. Have all your injuries been treated and completely healed? Are you back at work and has your vehicle been completely fixed? It is almost always in your best interest to consult with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys before accepting any type of settlement.
What Types of Damages Can be Recovered?
It’s important to understand exactly what types of damages and payment you may be able to receive after an accident. The following are specific types of damages you may be entitled to.
- Property Damages
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
Why Should You Call an Injury Lawyer?
Make sure to contact us as soon as possible after an accident has occurred. Besides dealing with injuries, an individual recovering from a car accident may not be able to immediately return to work. Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help an accident survivor receive compensation for medical care, damaged property, and lost wages. The sooner we begin working on your case, the sooner you’ll be able to get your life back on track.
Here at The Drexler Law Firm in Sherman Oaks, our attorneys have the experience and the expertise to help accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. We are a family business dedicated to helping individuals who have been the victims of malpractice, vehicle accidents, and other types of negligence. Our legal team has years of experience and has earned the reputation as a law firm that will fight for your right to receive adequate compensation for injuries, lost wages, and property damage. Contact us today for a free consultation.