What to do After a Car Accident Not Your Fault
No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, there is still a risk that you could be involved in a car accident. If you were involved in a crash that was caused by another party, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to protect your health and safety and to preserve your legal rights. Below, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys highlight the five most important things you need to do after being in a car accident that was not your fault.
CALL THE POLICE AND REPORT THE ACCIDENT
Almost all car accidents should be reported to the police. As noted by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), motorists in California have a legal duty to report any accident that results in an injury or at least $1,000 in total property damage. If you were hurt in a crash that was not your fault, it is especially important that the collision is reported to law enforcement. An officer will generally be dispatched to help control the scene and to write an official crash report.
EXCHANGE RELEVANT INFORMATION AND GATHER EVIDENCE
The more information that you have, the easier it will be to bring a successful legal claim. At the scene of the accident, make sure that you exchange all relevant information with the other drivers involved in the wreck. Among other things, you should be sure to get the following:
- The other driver’s name and address;
- Phone number/e-mail;
- Driver’s license number;
- Vehicle license plate;
- Vehicle make and model; and
- Insurance policy information.
Beyond that, it is also recommended that you try to secure any other information that could potentially serve as relevant evidence. Most important: take photographs of the damage and get the contact information for any third-party eyewitnesses.
GET A MEDICAL EVALUATION
If you suffered any type of injury in the crash — regardless of how minor it seems — you need to get yourself to a doctor for a professional examination. Car accident victims who have not seen a doctor will be prevented from seeking compensation for their injuries. To protect your health and your claim, seek medical attention.
EXPECT A CALL FROM THE OPPOSING INSURANCE COMPANY
You will likely receive a phone call from a representative of the at-fault driver’s insurance company shortly after the wreck. Ideally, the other driver will have already admitted fault and the insurer will simply pay the claim. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Be very wary when dealing with opposing insurance companies. It is best to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer before making any statements to an insurance adjuster.
CALL A LOS ANGELES CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Do not go through the car accident claims process alone. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles auto accident attorneys know how to get justice and fair financial compensation for injured victims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a wreck that was not your fault, we can help. To set up a free, completely confidential consultation, please contact us right away. With an office location in Los Angeles, we handle personal injury claims throughout the region.
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