It is easy to get frazzled and panicked after you’ve been involved in a car accident, but it’s important to remain calm and remember to take several very crucial steps in order to protect yourself, both physically and financially. Not only do you want to make sure you’re safe and healthy after an accident, but you also want to make sure you do not engage in any conduct that may cause a decrease in the amount of compensation you are able to recover for your injuries. If you or a loved one was the victim of a car accident, call a Marin County personal injury attorney from The Wakeford Law Firm immediately. Our experienced legal professionals are ready to fight for your rights.
1. Stop and Move Your Vehicle If Safe
The first thing you should do after an accident is to stop your vehicle and move it to the side of the road, if it is safe to do so. If it is not safe to move your vehicle, simply leave it where it is and follow the remaining steps.
2. Check for Injuries and Call an Ambulance
Once you’ve secured your vehicle on the road, check for injuries on yourself and any other passengers in your vehicle. It is good practice to check on the other vehicle as well, as the driver and/or passengers in that vehicle might be injured and require assistance. If you discover any injuries, call for an ambulance immediately.
Do not resist assistance from the medics once they arrive, even if you believe your injuries to be minor. Oftentimes, car accidents can cause hidden complications that do not translate into noticeable symptoms until a later time, but doctors can typically discover and diagnose any hidden or underlying symptoms. By having a record of your medical examinations right after your accident, there will be no question for courts down the line regarding the kind and severity of injuries you incurred from your car accident.
3. Call the Police
After calling for an ambulance, call the police. The driver who hit you may try to talk you out of getting the police involved, but you’ll want to make sure you have a formal investigation conducted and police report filled out. Additionally, you are required by law to report any accident with more than $750 worth of damage to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. Your own insurance company may help you make this report.
While you wait for the police, it may be a good idea to conduct your own investigation and preserve as much evidence as you can. Write down the other driver’s name, contact information, car plate number, driver’s license number, and car registration number. Do the same for any witnesses available at the scene. If you have a camera or a cell phone on you, take photos and videos of the scene, including the exterior and interior of the car, any injuries incurred, and surrounding road conditions.
4. Contact a Marin County Car Accident Attorney
A Marin County car accident attorney can help you obtain the relief you deserve after being the victim of a car accident. Whether you choose to file a claim with your insurance company or file a complaint against the other driver in court, our legal professionals can explain your options to you and help defend your rights. Contact us today online or at 415-569-7495 to schedule your consultation.