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Steps to Take After a California Car Accident

Posted on in Car Accident


Palo Alto personal injury attorney car accidentAccording to studies and data collected by insurance companies, the majority of drivers – even safe ones – will be involved in three to four vehicle accidents over their driving lifetime. Even a minor accident can be traumatic but knowing what to do in the event of a crash will help ensure you are able to collect whatever damages you may be entitled to from the at-fault driver. The following steps are recommended by the Palo Alto car accident attorneys at Fuller Law Firm. For more detailed information regarding your particular situation, contact our firm directly.

Do Not Leave the Scene of the Crash

California law requires all drivers who are involved in any type of accident to identify themselves to the others involved. Even if it appears no one has been injured or there is no property damage, you still need to stay at the scene. Not only could leaving the scene result in criminal charges, but it could also imply guilt of liability. Instead, pull your vehicle over in a safe area and out of traffic – if possible – and call 911 to report the crash.

Do Not Apologize or Admit Fault

It is human nature to automatically apologize for things even if we are not at fault. A car accident can be a confusing time, with emotions running high, especially if there are injuries involved. Do not apologize for the crash or admit it was your fault. You may think the crash was your fault, but further investigation could reveal the other driver’s liability.

It is better to have as little conversation with the other driver as possible. Exchange contact and insurance information and discourage any attempts they make to discuss the details of the accident. You could make an innocent statement that the other party’s insurance company could turn around and use against you to shift the blame for the accident on you.

Take Photos and Videos

If you are physically able to, take photos and videos of the scene of the accident and the damage done to the vehicles. You also want to take videos of the surrounding areas, including any traffic lights, signage, intersections, weather conditions, and other property damage. If the other driver was operating a commercial vehicle, make sure to take photos of any signs and permit stickers on that vehicle.

Watch for Injuries

If you realize that you are injured at the scene, do not move around. Try to stay as still as you can since moving may cause further damage to the area where the injury is at. Wait for emergency responders to transfer you to the hospital.

It is not uncommon for car accident victims to not realize they have sustained an injury until hours or even days after the crash due to delayed symptoms. This is why even if you think you are fine, you should still get checked out by a medical professional.

Do Not Speak with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

Following the crash, the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to call and get a statement from you about the crash. This statement will be recorded. Do not give them a statement. Insurance adjusters have been trained and are highly adept at manipulating conversations and asking questions to get people to say things they can then use to try to deny your claim. Instead, when the insurance company calls, give them the name of the car accident attorney who will be representing you.

Contact a Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorney for Help

If you have been injured in a crash, contact Fuller Law Firm to speak with a San Jose, CA car accident attorney before you speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Call 408-234-7563 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.insurancepanda.com/faq/how-often-do-the-safest-drivers-have-accidents/

 

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=20002.&lawCode=VEH

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