The ugly, painful reality of auto accidents is they happens to more than 15,000 Americans every day. Most motorists have been in a crash either as a driver or passenger. In fact, statistics say all drivers who live an average lifespan can expect at least one accident in their lifetime.
When you’re in an accident there are several things you should do, some immediately, some as soon as you’re home safe. Findlaw.com has an article giving general advice on how to proceed after accidents.
Stay at the scene of the crash until you are sure it’s OK to leave. Don’t leave until then because if someone is killed or injured the legal consequences can be serious.
The San Bernardino auto-accident attorneys at Krasney Law can help you maneuver through the complicated world of auto insurance, legal ramifications and settlements.
What Steps should Drivers who get in Accidents Take?
At the scene, first check on all passengers, drivers and pedestrians involved. If they need medical help, summon an ambulance immediately. Don’t move anyone who is unconscious or reports neck or back pain. Leave that to the pros.
Call the police to report any deaths, injuries or significant property damage and request a police report on the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of officers who come to the scene.
When you approach the other drivers, be cooperative and courteous, but do not apologize or admit to, for example, violating right of way or running a red light. If you do you may be conceding you are liable.
Ask all the drivers for their names, drivers’ license numbers, telephone and address. Take down license plates and insurance information from every driver involved. Also get passengers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. If there are witnesses, write down their version of what happened and their information too.
What to do when you Leave the Scene
When you go home or soon after, contact your insurance company, and don’t lie or they may deny coverage if you’re caught. Obtain a copy of the police report.
Photograph your car and any damage to it. It can help a case to show the auto before the accident, too.
If you are injured, make sure to record visits to doctors and other medical practitioners, the drugs and treatments they prescribe and what you spent on them. Pain and suffering are harder to quantify and qualify, but take notes on how you feel physically and mentally because of the impact of the crash.
Also write down all time lost at work, note what activities at work or home that you can no longer participate in, and tell how the aftermath of the wreck has affected your family life.
Be Careful who you Talk with
Talk only to your lawyer, the police and your own insurance company about the accident. If another driver’s insurance company calls you, refer them to your lawyer or your own insurance company.
Be wary of settling a case too quickly, before the full extent of your injuries is known—which can be months in the future. When you are certain you have full knowledge of all your losses and reach a settlement, let an attorney read the documents first before signing.
If you or anyone else in the accident is injured, the best course is to contact your Inland Empire auto-accident attorneys at Krasney Law, (909) 380-7200. We will charge you nothing for an initial consultation, and we may arrange payment on a contingency basis. That is, we don’t get paid unless you accept a settlement or we go to trial.