You never think it will happen to a loved one or you, but the reality is that car accidents happen. More than 40,000 people die each year in fatal car accidents and many more suffer personal injury after an accident.
As auto accident lawyers, we understand that car crashes do occur on a daily basis as more drivers use the roadways. To help you if you are ever in a car accident, we, as car accident attorneys discuss the 25 things you need to remember if you are involved in an auto accident (via the Injury Board):
1. Practice safety first. Be sure to stop your vehicle at the scene of the car accident. Do not move your car unless it is obstructing traffic and can be moved safely.
2. Call 911 immediately if anyone has personal injury or there is a situation such as a fire or fuel leak.
3. Call the police even if there are no serious personal injuries.
4. Turn on your hazard lights. Alert other drivers to avoid further car accidents.
5. If you have one, use your Emergency Kit. Every car driver should carry an emergency kit in the event of a car accident. The kit should include medical supplies, a pen and paper for notes, a disposable camera, and a medical alert card listing any medication allergies or other conditions affecting you or family members. Keep small cones, warning triangles or emergency flares in the trunk in case of a car accident.
6. Stay out of the roadway and watch out for traffic. Each year, many pedestrian injuries and wrongful deaths occur following an auto accident.
7. Make sure the police officer at the scene completes an accurate car accident report.
8. If there is not a police officer at the scene of your car accident, you should still file a car accident report.
9. Collect the names and addresses of any drivers, passengers and bystanders. Make sure all witnesses are interviewed by the police officer, with their comments, names and phone numbers documented.
10. Collect driver’s license numbers, vehicle registration, vehicle make and model, vehicle tag numbers, and insurance information from others involved in the car crash.
11. Gather the names of police officers and paramedics on the scene. Note badges and the identifying numbers on the police cars and emergency vehicles at the scene of the car accident.
12. Note whether those involved in the car accident were wearing seatbelts and whether air bags were deployed.
13. Observe vehicle damage, and take pictures of the cars, the car crash scene, and witnesses if you have a camera available.
14. If you strike an unattended car, leave a note with your name, address, phone number, vehicle registration number and date and time of car accident.
15. Call a towing company, if necessary. Find out the cost and designate where you would like your car towed.
16. Seek medical attention, if necessary. It is important to do this as soon as possible, even for minor personal injuries. Sometimes even serious personal injuries do not manifest symptoms until days after the car accident.
17. When you get home, remember to make your own notes and diagrams about the car accident. Try to recall details such as speed of your car and the chain of events leading up to the car crash.
18. Do not discuss fault with other drivers or passengers at the scene of the car accident, even if you think you were responsible for the car crash.
19. Consider contacting an attorney; especially if there have been wrongful deaths or serious injuries as a result of the car accident.
20. Provide the other party with your insurance information rather than settling repair or medical bills between yourselves.
21. Do not supply a recorded statement about the car accident; if your insurance company or that of any party involved in the car crash asks you to do so, you may want to consult an attorney first.
22. Get a car repair estimate by taking your car to a well-reputed mechanic or body shop.
23. Know what your insurance covers, including towing, rental car, and other costs that may be associated with a car accident. Adjust your policy as needed if it does not cover everything you would like.
24. Never accept an insurance settlement without knowing what the future medical conditions or medical care costs will be. Seek the advice of an experienced attorney if you have been offered a settlement.
25. Contact a personal injury attorney with experience in auto accident injury cases.
As auto accident attorneys, we understand that if the unthinkable does occur — and you are in a car accident — that you should check out our personal injury resources. It is designed to help you get started on your personal injury claim.
Call us now or click here for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced car accident attorney as to how we may help you at 1-858-551-2090. We look forward to providing good advice to help you make smart decisions about your case in either English or Spanish.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines