10 Essential Steps to Take Following an Auto Accident
Most auto accident victims will tell you the crash came out of nowhere. As a result, even the most level-headed drivers can be left shocked and shaken. As a result, it is wise to have a plan in place for you to follow to ensure you don’t make a costly mistake. We recommend printing out the following checklist and keeping it with your proof of insurance, so it is readily available when you need it most.
1. The most important step is to determine if anyone involved in the accident needs medical assistance. Call 911 immediately.
2. Remain calm and do not start shouting at the other driver. Although you will feel highly emotional and upset, take several deep breaths and remind yourself that losing your cool will not help matters and could work against you down the road in settling your claim.
3. All drivers and passengers involved in the wreck should find a safe place away from traffic to wait for emergency services to arrive.
4. You should also call the police for assistance. Even in small fender-benders, it is helpful to obtain a police report. Additionally, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, your insurance policy likely requires the police to be contacted within a certain time frame.
5. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. If you have a smartphone, take a picture of the other driver’s insurance verification card and driver’s license.
6. Do not discuss the cause of the accident or admit guilt to the other driver or anyone else at the scene of the crash. Let the police, your insurance adjuster and/or your attorney gather that information.
7. If you have a camera available on your cell phone or otherwise, take numerous pictures of the scene of the accident. You should take pictures of the wrecked vehicles, the roadway, the other driver and/or passengers, and anything else that may be relevant to proving your insurance claim or personal injury claim.
8. Write down the name and contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
9. Contact your insurance agent and ensure that you comply with any time limits for filing your claim. If the driver at fault for the accident does not have insurance, you should confirm that you have uninsured motorist coverage and consider whether you want to sue the negligent driver to recover your damages.
10. Hire an experienced auto accident attorney to assist you with all of the above steps and to ensure you recover the maximum amount possible as quickly as possible. The sooner you get us involved the more likely you are to obtain a positive result.
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We understand the pain, anxiety, and frustration you may be going through right now, and we want to help you get your life back. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you deserve payment for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a traffic accident in Southern California, please do not hesitate to contact Chaleff Rehwald for the tough advocacy you need and deserve. We will schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer at Chaleff Rehwald. Call us today!