There are over five million car crashes reported each year in the United States. The majority of these accidents are caused by speeding and alcohol-impaired driving. Even locally, the state of California reports over 3,000 motor-vehicle deaths each year.
Most people have been involved in a car accident at least once in their lives. Even if you’re careful, it’s likely that you’ll be involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver.
After a car accident, it’s normal to feel traumatized, shocked, enraged, and dizzy. That’s why the post-accident process is extremely important; it’s essential to keep a level head and deal with the matter in the most logical way possible to avoid liability.
Here are the steps you need to take immediately following an auto accident:
Step 1 — Check Yourself and Fellow Passengers for Injuries
The first step you must take after being involved in a car accident is to check for any injuries. This includes the driver, all passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident—such as pedestrians.
Make sure no one needs immediate medical attention before moving on to the next step. Call for medical help if anyone has suffered extensive life-threatening injuries and administer first-aid if possible.
Step 2 — Move to A Safer Area and Assess the Damage While Waiting for Law Enforcement to Arrive
The next step is to move the vehicles and all involved parties to a safe area, preferably by the side of the road. Try not to engage with the other driver before law enforcement officers arrive. If you do talk to them, make sure there are witnesses present.
Step 3 — Exchange Information and Documents
Once everyone is safe and the situation has been handled, exchange contact numbers and insurance information with the other party. Also, take the contact information of all those who witnessed the accident to have evidence to prove your case if it goes to court.
Step 4 — Contact Your Lawyer to Determine Insurance Coverage
Get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible and make sure they have extensive experience in dealing with auto accidents. Ask them for advice and a plan of action, and follow it accordingly to avoid escalating the situation any further.
Make sure you provide all the essential information to your lawyer and keep them in the loop during the entire process.
Step 5 — Decide Whether You Wish to File A Claim
The final step is to decide whether you want to file a claim for any damages or injuries. However, you need to make sure you have enough evidence that the accident wasn’t your fault, but instead the fault of the other driver.
You also need to make sure you have evidence of the damages and injuries by getting proper documentation from relevant parties such as the medical examiner and the tow company (if used).
Let your lawyer know as soon as possible if you wish to file a claim so that they can start the process for you to ensure quick and maximum compensation.
The Law Offices of Ron Marquez offers quick relief and professional legal support to clients involved in auto accidents in Chico, California. Our team of qualified lawyers has extensive experience dealing with liabilities and coverage operating to car accidents in the area.
We ensure our clients can get the maximum compensation allowable for any injuries and damages resulting from a car accident.
Contact us today for more information.