In the United States, more than 6 million traffic collisions occur every year. Most accidents only involve damage to the vehicle, not its occupants. One third of accidents, however, cause personal injury to the driver or the car’s passengers. Furthermore, two out of ten accidents end with fatalities.
Being involved in an automobile accident can be a traumatic experience, but there are steps that you can take following an accident to protect yourself and your interests before you have a chance to speak with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. The following is a list of steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident:
- Never Leave the Scene
There are certain things you are legally obligated to do when any kind of automobile accident occurs. In general, the people involved in the car accident cannot leave the scene immediately after it happens.
While you wait at the scene, prevent further accidents by setting up flares or keeping your hazard lights on.
- Call the Police
It is always a good idea to call the police. Plus, you may need a police report to file an insurance claim, even if you are only making a claim for damage to your car.
- Make Record of the Scene
Tell the police every detail of what happened once they arrive. If you are not sure about something, then let the police know that too. It is particularly important to communicate with the police if you are unsure whether your injured. You never want to tell the police that you are not injured if you are unsure because it can impact your insurance claim.
You should also make your own record of the scene. Take pictures with a cell phone equipped with a camera of visible damage on the vehicles or visible injuries. It is important to make sure the pictures are clear.
- Exchange Information
The investigating cop typically gathers the information from each driver. However, if the police do not respond to the accident scene, you should obtain the name, telephone number and address of everyone involved in the accident—this includes witnesses like other drivers, people walking on the sidewalk, employees from nearby stores and so forth. You also should obtain the other driver’s insurance information.
- Report Accident to Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company immediately. Most car insurance policies require immediate reporting as well as full cooperation.
- Contact a Lawyer
Contact a brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles immediately after you are involved in an automobile accident. Insurance companies often take statements immediately after a traffic accident, and you should get legal advice before providing such a statement. Additionally, Los Angeles brain injury attorneys can advise you on issues ranging from ensuring that you are fully compensated for damage to your vehicle to getting the best medical care available. Contact our head injury lawyers Los Angeles today!