After a car accident, your primary concerns should be getting yourself to safety and recording as many details of the crash scene as possible. These are not tasks that you should drag out, but ones that should be addressed immediately after the crash. You don’t want to allow the negligent driver to flee the scene before they exchange information, or wait too long to file a report, as your memory of the collision may grow unreliable. There are several essential steps to follow for your best chance at developing a strong case in getting compensation for your injuries.
Being one of the most crowded in the world concerning traffic and population, Los Angeles is quite a dangerous place to stick around too long after an accident. The scene of the collision is sure to attract negligent driving behaviors such as “rubbernecking,” which could increase the risk of you or other motorists being struck again after the initial crash. For this reason, you and the affected parties must relocate your vehicles to a safe location to gather information.
Once you and the others are in a safe place, follow the steps below:
- Contact the police. Law enforcement officers will be able to support your case by recording an objective perspective on the auto collision. They will write down every possible detail of the incident, as well as add their official opinion of liability.
- Trade information. All parties that were involved in the accident should exchange contact and insurance information. It is imperative that you do this as soon as you can safely step out of the vehicle. Many guilty drivers attempt to misrepresent their role in car crashes, often claiming not to have been there at all.
- Document the crash. This step can be done either before the officers arrive or after you speak with them. Either way, gather as much evidence from the crash as possible. Take as many photos as you can, record videos, and write down all damages incurred.
- Visit a hospital. It is quite common that car accident victims fail to notice their injuries. The adrenaline rush tends to overshadow feelings of pain. Still, even if you feel fine, visit your physician to confirm that you are in good condition.
These are the most important things you must do after an accident. These steps will ensure your safety and lay the foundation of documentation on which you will build your case.
Additional Steps to Take After a Crash
Although it does not have to be completed as soon as the steps listed above, it is still important that you contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For residents of Los Angeles, it is required that accidents be reported within ten days, particularly if there were over $1,000 in damages or someone was injured.
You should also inform your insurance company as soon as possible while avoiding any speculation of liability or guilt on your behalf. When you do so, you will need to hire a car accident lawyer to defend you against manipulative insurer tactics and the negligent driver’s attempts at avoiding accountability.
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