Any of the steps you take right after the accident will most likely reduce the chance of worsening the injuries you might have endured, help to secure a quick settlement with your insurance company, keep you in good terms with the law and it might even save a few lives. However, whenever you find yourself in an accident, you will most likely be struck by emotions that might cause you a lot of stress, which in turn can make it hard to remember what to do and how to behave right after the accident.
Here we have a checklist that will guide you through the steps you should take immediately following a car accident and the days that will follow.
Remember: the First Thing You Should Be Is Prepared!
Be quick to print an accident report form from the DMV office of your state, in this case, California. If possible, keep it in your vehicle to help you write down all the information right off the bat.
What to Do Right After the Accident?
You should always assess the situation of your surroundings for the immediate safety of you and any passengers of your car. If there is no immediate danger, get out of the car! But if you find it difficult to do so, then stay inside of the car as there might be the possibility that you have sustained injuries.
Moving to a Safe Location
If necessary, move your car to a safe location not too far away from the scene of the accident. It’s also important that you don’t leave the scene of the accident, as this will not only void any possibility of having a settlement with your insurance company, but it’s also a crime in many states.
Dealing with Injuries and Injured People
If there is anyone injured or you suspect the possibility that you might have sustained injuries, call 911 in order to get medical help as soon as possible.
Reporting the Accident to the Police
Call 911 or your county dedicated number for car emergencies immediately in order to inform them about the accident. Make sure you follow any instructions they may give you.
Getting in Touch with Your Insurance Company
Quickly inform them about the accident and follow any instructions they give you.
Do Not Argue with the Police or Other People Involved
Always avoid confrontation and only share the necessary information such as contact and insurance information. Never argue with the other driver involved as this will always be more trouble than it’s worth.
Do Not Admit Fault!
It’s very important that you don’t admit fault as this can be used against you if either you press a claim with the insurance company of the other driver or they file a lawsuit against you.
Gathering Information from the Scene of the Accident
Take Pictures of Both Cars
If you have either a camera or a smartphone, take photos of both cars. You should focus your attention on the damaged parts of the vehicles, any debris that might be lying around, skid marks, and any other factors that might contribute to the accident such as street signs.
Write down the Current Events
You should file either an accident report form or write down on a piece of paper the information that describes the accident. It should include:
- Time and date of the accident
- Weather and traffic conditions
- A brief description of the accident
- A description of your injuries and damage caused to the car
After You Leave the Scene of the Accident
Follow the Instructions of Your Insurance Company
This is important, as they will instruct you on how to proceed in regard to what they will be able to cover.
Get in Touch with a Car Accident Attorney!
This should be done if you either believe that your insurance company is not properly covering the damage or think you could benefit from filing a lawsuit against the other party or a lawsuit is filed on you by the other driver involved.
This is where we come into. We have decades of experience dealing with many different types of car accidents. So, if you believe that you will benefit from the services of an attorney, We are here for you!
Get in touch with us right now!