Protect Yourself After an Accident
Here is a list of ten things that you can do to protect yourself after you have been in a car accident. Read these 10 legal tips, then consult a licensed personal injury attorney.
- Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that other drivers can see you and your car. If it is safe to do so then you should move your car to a position where you are not at risk of being involved in another accident.
- If you are injured then you should seek medical care as soon as possible. You should do your best to follow your doctor’s advice. Your failure to seek medical care and follow your doctor’s advice could be very bad for your health and hurt any personal injury claim that you may have.
- Do not admit fault at the scene. Statements made at the scene can be used as evidence against you. You are required by California law laws to exchange insurance information with the parties who were involved in the accident.
- Only if it is safe to do so, you should take photographs of the accident scene and the conditions that may have caused or contributed to the accident. Take pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident as well as pictures of injured parties.
- Regardless of whether a police report was taken, California law requires you to file a report of the accident (DMV Form SR-1) if anyone was injured in the accident or if there was more than $750.00 in property damage. If you retain an attorney then your attorney can complete this form for you.
- Report the accident to your insurance agent. You are required to cooperate with your insurance company and failing to make a timely report that you were involved in an accident can cause unnecessary problems. An attorney can help you by talking to your insurance company. An attorney can help you but making sure that you get the full benefits that you are entitled to under your insurance policy. Many people purchase coverage that will help you fix your car in the event that the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay to repair your car. You may also have rental car coverage that will allow you to have a rental car during the time that your car is being repaired. Medical payments coverage will help you pay for medical care even if the accident was your fault. Using these benefits will not raise your insurance rates if the accident wasn’t your fault.
- Under no circumstances should you sign any papers given to you by the other driver or their insurance company without first seeking legal advice. Valuable rights can be lost and you may even lose benefits under your own insurance policy. If you retain an attorney then your attorney can talk to the other driver’s insurance company for you.
- Do not give a written or recorded statement to other driver or their insurance company. A recorded statement is rarely in your best interests. While you have nothing to hide, the number one goal of the other driver’s insurance company is to use the recorded statement against you.
- Keep all records from the accident including medical bills, insurance company letters, and papers that will prove any damages that you have suffered. If you decide to make a claim against the other driver then you will need to document your damages.
- If you have not made up your mind about making a claim against the other driver then you should seek talk to an attorney to help protect your rights until you decide how you would like to proceed.
At Wolfberg & Wolfberg, P.C. we have almost 60 years of combined experience helping accident victims. We offer a free initial consultation to you and your family in the event of an accident. Getting advice from an attorney soon after an accident can help prevent costly complications later.
Accident Investigation Form
We have prepared an accident investigation form for you to print up and keep in your car in case of an accident.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us by email or by phone at (800) 997-8348 with any of your legal questions.