Here are 11 things to do after an accident:
1. Make sure everyone is ok - before concerning yourself with vehicle damage and exchanging insurance information, make sure that all parties to the accident are ok. If not, call 911.
2. Save the apologies for another time - yes, politeness is an admirable trait, but in this situation, a simple "I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention," can be seen as an admission of liability.
3. Start talking - to witnesses, that is. Get all the relevant contact information of any bystanders that may have seen the accident.
4. Call Your Insurance Company - report the incident to your insurance company, even if you are completely at fault. When contacting your insurance company, simply generally report the accident. It is imperativel that you allow your attorney, rather than yourself, discuss the specifics of the incident with your insurance company. Also, keep track of the time and money spent pursuing your claim.
5. Take Pictures - having proof of the damage to the car will help with insurance, and serve as evidence if there is a dispute down the line. One helpful tip is to always keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment for these situations.
6. Take Notes - similar to pictures, detailing the accident and the nature of your injuries as soon as possible can serve to expedite the process.
7. Get a Property Damage Figure from your Insurance Company - this valuation will serve as the amount you can recover or replace your car. If you are not happy with the figure from your insurance company, seek outside quotes.
8. Careful Who You Talk To - if the other party's insurance company contacts you, your best response is to get in touch with your insurance company or attorney. Why? Because they are better equipped to handle the situation.
9. Don't automatically accept the first estimate or offer you get - jumping the gun on the settlement can be a costly mistake.
11. Take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok.
Keeping in mind these steps and tips will help solve some of the common problems associated with a car accident, and hopefully make the situation go away almost as fast as it came!
Time Is Of The Essence
California law requires that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within a certain period of time. If your lawsuit is not timely filed, you may be prevented from recovering any compensation for your injuries. It is also crucial to make sure that evidence is collected quickly, before it is lost or destroyed, and that witnesses are interviewed while their recollections are still fresh.
We can be reached during the following hours:
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, however our office operator is available accept calls 24/7 and can contact me directly upon an emergency.