No one wants to be in a car accident, but it happens to the best of us at times. Fortunately, most accidents are minor fender-benders, with no one hurt and minimal damage done. However, some accidents are more costly in terms of injuries and property damage. It is important to know how to conduct yourself after a car accident, whether you are at fault or the victim.
First, when the accident happens, your top priority is everyone’s safety. Make sure no one in your car or the other person’s car is in need of medical attention, and call for emergency services immediately if anyone appears injured in any way. You should not move your vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to do so for safety reasons. You should also not attempt to move anyone in either car unless there is a danger of fire or other immediate peril.
You should always call the police when a car accident happens. This may seem silly for what appears to be a "minor" accident, but many people have made the mistake of walking away from the scene of an accident believing everything is resolved, only to find out that the other party is filing a claim or even a lawsuit against them. At that point, the victim has no proof of the circumstances of the accident, and may well end up paying for someone else’s mistake.
A far better plan is to call the police immediately, while the cars are still at the scene or close by. Explain to the officer calmly what happened, and do not get into any arguments with the other driver. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them to come forward and talk to the police as well. Never "admit" fault in an accident. Keep your statements short and to the point, giving only facts. It is not uncommon for a driver to believe that an accident was his or her fault, only to find out there were circumstances which changed the picture considerable once they came to light. For example, if you rear-end someone, it is mostly likely your fault; however, if another car hit you from behind and pushed you into the back of a car, the fault picture would change dramatically.
If you are not at fault in the accident, be sure to get the other driver’s name, insurance information, and make, model, and license number of the car. If you are at fault, you should provide your insurance information without delay.
If the accident was the other person’s fault, it is important that you make a timely claim for damages. If you were injured, visit a doctor or the emergency room and have yourself thoroughly examined. Keep copies of all medical bills and paperwork to support your claim. Get estimates for fixing your car and keep those as well. If your car is not driveable, have it towed somewhere where it can be stored safely.
Your first stop should be a visit to a personal injury lawyer anytime you are the victim of an accident. The best Anaheim car accident attorneys will evaluate your case and will be able to put significant pressure on the other driver and his or her insurance company to have your car fixed and your medical bills paid. An expert personal injury lawyer can also assess your case and determine if a claim for other damages are in order.No one wants to be in a car accident, but it happens to the best of us
at times. Fortunately, most accidents are minor fender-benders, with no
one hurt and minimal damage done. However, some accidents are more
costly in terms of injuries and property damage. It is important to
know how to conduct yourself after a car accident, whether you are at
fault or the victim.