If you live in Los Angeles or you have had an accident anywhere in the world, that is, what do I do after a car accident in Los Angeles, you will find the answer to this question in this post.
You must follow all the points discussed in this post. I hope you will continue to read this post in its entirety.
So what do you do right after a car accident and do you need an attorney well in today’s post we’re going to find out, so say you’re sitting at an intersection waiting for the light to change, and wham somebody rear-ends you from behind what do you do next?
When you’re in an accident you always need to stop and get out and examine it this is your legal obligation as a driver. even if you think there wasn’t much damage you have to stop and check it out.
Call the police or highway patrol to report the incident if someone is injured dial 911 and ask for medical assistance do not leave before the police arrive you need to provide information to the police on their report about the accident and be sure to get the number of the report so that you can get a copy of it later on if you need to.
If one of the parties seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol mention that and if you notice that one of the parties was on the phone while they were driving you should also mention that never ever admit responsibility for the accident never.
Your insurance policy is a contract and this contract states that you must not assume responsibility for anything under these circumstances if you expect your insurance company to take care of the claim let them do the talking.
At the scene of the accident, it’s important to know what to do and what to ask the other party to get the proper information to make your insurance claim, limit your conversation about the accident with the other party again do not admit any fault or liability talk about the accident only with the police medical professionals and your insurance representative.
Record the Facts
Immediately record the facts of your accident and don’t forget this due to stress get the names addresses phone numbers and any other contact info of the persons involved in the accident and be sure to get their insurance policy number and their vehicle identification number.
Do not assume that just the license plate number will do because most insurance companies really pay most attention to the kind of car the make and the VIN number the best way to be prepared in a car accident is to get an accident report form,
DMV Accident Form
From your local DMV that has all the information necessary to create an accurate report, every state has a different form so print yours out and keep a copy in your glove box.
Accidents are really stressful and the last thing you need is to be worrying about what information you need to collect for your insurance company if you have a form in advance you just pull it out fill it out and then you’re all set to go you need to collect information about the other drivers involved show their name address phone number email collect information that you find on their proof of insurance card including the insurance company name and the policy number.
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If the driver is not the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the accident you’ll want to collect the registered owner’s information as well collect information about the other vehicles involved including the vehicle description the model the make the color the year and take pictures for your own records if possible.
Collect Address & Date and Time & License Number
Again you’ll want to collect the vehicle identification number which is found on the driver’s side where the windshield meets the dash and you’ll want to collect the license plate number here’s a more detailed list of information to collect at the accident you want to write down the date and time of the accident the address of
the accident or approximate location of the road you were on and its nearest cross street the direction you were traveling in the direction the other car was traveling in and you want to take photos from a few different angles and sketch a diagram of the crash scene.
as soon as you can write out a detailed explanation of what happened or use your cell phone to record yourself detailing exactly what happened in the accident and because it’s so easy to forget details because you’re shaken up after the accident it might really be easiest to just record what happened right into your phone.
You want to be sure and put down any notes regarding the driving conditions so for example if it was dark and you couldn’t see or somebody didn’t have their headlights on or if it was raining or snowing and the road was icy you want to be sure and note that in your description.
If there were any witnesses to the accident you want to get their names and contact information you’ll also want to collect the name badge number and any contact information for the police officer who shows up on the scene and takes the accident report.
If you have a camera or cell phone with you you want to take pictures of the scene of the accident so you want to take pictures showing the angles of the cars where they are you want to show the close-up damages you want to show the farther back damages if there’s skid marks or glass all over the roadway you want to show that you want to show the people involved and you just kind of want to give an overall sense of everything that’s going on in that scene.
you also want to be aware of the potential for identity theft when exchanging information in an accident the other party does need your name address phone number and insurance information to give to their insurance carrier
But they do not need to get a photo of your driver’s license if you’re prepared with one of those DMV accident forms already partially filled out and you give that to the other party to have them finish filling out you are far less likely to have them demand a photo of your driver’s license.
Because the perception is you’re prepared and you have the proper form and what’s on it is what’s needed you don’t know them and they don’t know you so be cautious what not to include in your report never discuss the admission of fault or blame or any of that, what you feel or what you were doing at the time of the accident is none of their concern.
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Even if you feel like maybe you did do something wrong never ever admit that leave it to your insurance company to sort out the details you also want to call your agent or your insurance company’s emergency claims number right away
And ideally, you want to call them from the scene because sometimes a police officer can provide more accurate information that’s going to help you with your claim this is especially true if you’re really upset after having been in the accident once you call that number your insurance representative will walk you through how to file the claim
If your insurance company has an app you may be able to start the claims process right there on the spot using the app or visit your insurance company’s website to see if you can fill out a claim online your number one job at the scene of the accident is to collect the facts and not get involved in any further discussion.
If the other party tries to get you to admit fault or suggest to you that you can resolve this outside of your insurance company just collect the facts and commit to nothing remember you have a legal obligation to report a crash to contact your state insurance commissioner or your insurance representative if you have any specific questions about the laws in your state.
At the scene of an accident you don’t know the people you’re dealing with and you don’t know what kind of insurance if any that they have So stick to the facts to protect yourself and make sure that you get paid in a claim
When to Get an Attorney?
so when to you get an attorney for a car accident if you’re injured as in you have to go to the doctor or if you experience significant property damage then you should consider hiring an attorney and keep in mind many injuries after an accident aren’t readily apparent they may not show up for 24/36 even 48 hours afterward
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Go See a Doctor
So if anything’s wrong go see a doctor prompt medical attention will help you when it comes to making a case now I’m not an attorney I’m just an informed consumer accident bring up all kinds of questions who’s at fault who pays for the damages to my car who pays for my medical bills how much can I get for pain and suffering can I be reimbursed for lost wages an experienced attorney can be helpful in navigating the often confusing and complicated world of insurance settlements.
Since most injury attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis which means they only get paid if there’s a successful resolution to your case here’s little reason to try and handle these kinds of claims on your own if you’re injured in a car accident then hiring a lawyer will almost always result in a better settlement they can advise you of any time limits called the statute of limitations that can borrow you from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In most states you need to file within two years although there can be exemptions your attorney can negotiate a settlement and if that doesn’t work file a lawsuit on your behalf knowing how best to handle any defenses raised by the other side once your case gets underway your lawyer will be your advocate playing an invaluable role in prepping your case for trial and actually going to trial if your case doesn’t settle.
Even though lawsuits are rarely necessary the threat of legal action offers strong leverage when negotiating a fair settlement and most importantly having an attorney who is knowledgeable
About the law evens the playing field especially when you’re going up against big insurance companies with deep deep pockets so that’s what you do when you’re in a car accident and when you need to involve an attorney
CONCLUSION: Hope you enjoyed this post and found it very helpful. If you have read this post in its entirety, then you must have learned a lot about the method. Also, if you have not read this post in its entirety, you must read it in its entirety.