Car Accident – Not Your Fault
What to Do After a Car Accident – Not Your Fault
There are more than 223,000 people injured in California car accidents every year. Additionally, 3.104 fatal car accidents occur annually. Depending on the circumstances, the afflicted party can usually file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim.
However, residents of San Bernardino County may not be aware of their legal rights or how the insurance claim process works. As a result, injury victims may end up making costly mistakes. Here is how to protect your rights after a car accident that was not your fault.
What to Do After a Car Accident in San Bernardino
The aftermath of car accidents can be chaotic and confusing. Of course, your priority should be to get immediate medical attention and ensure the well-being of the other driver and all parties involved.
However, if your injuries aren’t severe and you feel well enough, it’d be a good idea to right away document the scene and moments that led up to the accident. This will help your claim immeasurably. Here’s what else you need to do to strengthen your claim.
Get a Police Report
You are legally bound to stop and exchange information with the opposing party after a car accident. This must be done regardless of whether you collided with a stationary object, pedestrian, another vehicle (moving or parked), or someone else’s property.
Therefore, a hit-and-run accident is not only illegal, but you will need to pay the consequences, which can result in expensive penalties or jail time. Therefore, always call the California Highway Patrol or local police.
If you are hit by the other driver of a motor vehicle, call the authorities, as well. For your protection, California car accident lawyers and your own insurance company recommend notifying the police no matter how minor the car accident you’re involved in is. You will also need to get a police report if you choose to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver.
While waiting for the police to arrive at the accident scene, begin collecting evidence. The gathered information will help you solidify your claims to whoever the opposing party demands.
Start with the other driver’s information, including their license plate number and insurance specifications; you can also record the briefs of eye-witnesses; they can be your primary evidence to support your case.
If you have a camera or a cellphone, take photographs of the damage to all involved motor vehicles, and the accident scene, which could be the traffic signal, blind spot, object on the road, construction site, etc.
Other minute details to be recorded can include anything that helps prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the car crash.
Do Not Apologize
Do not admit fault. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop being cooperative. Apologizing after a car accident can be taken as an admission of guilt, and it can affect your case will take your right to defend yourself. What you share can also be documented in the police report and hurt your car accident case.
In CA, the average insurance company increases policies by 92% when an at-fault accident is reported. Furthermore, you will be financially responsible as the at-fault driver for all the damages suffered by all parties involved in the accident.
Seek Medical Help
Once done at the car accident scene, see the doctor immediately and check for car accident injuries. Don’t get involved in self-help diagnosing yourself. Injuries in such situations don’t show obvious symptoms, like soft tissue injuries due to the adrenaline of the event but often get more painful weeks after the accident.
And, it can also help your personal injury claim against the other driver and their insurance company. Visiting a doctor right after the accident will help you document all your major and minor injuries. If you opt for a good car accident lawyer in San Bernardino, you can easily receive damages for all your medical expenses.
If you declare that you are uninjured at the car accident scene, the other driver’s insurance company uses this reason for not covering the cost of medical treatment.
Don’t Communicate with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
After a car crash, the insurance company will contact you and try their best to settle the case immediately. Oftentimes, the compensation amount that is initially offered sounds like a lot of money. The insurance company will offer to pay any outstanding medical bills and perhaps some additional expenses.
Don’t fall for this tactic.
Let an experienced car accident attorney represent you against the car insurance company, so they can get you what you truly deserve.
An accident attorney prepares your case, documents your injuries and damages, and calculates your estimated medical bills and property damage. And finally, the lawyer sits with you and discusses the case in-depth and your actual injuries to get the real or maximum value of your losses.
When you meet an unfortunate car accident, a lot runs through your head, like how to talk to insurance companies, how to pay for medical expenses, the anxiety of losing income, etc. The top of the mind is recovering from injuries, and this stress is exhausting.
Car accidents can take place at any time, regardless of how cautious a driver you are. This is why you should know how to deal with a car crash in San Bernardino.
If you were involved in a car accident and have questions regarding car insurance companies, property damage, liability, or have any other concerns, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney from Arrowhead Accident Attorneys today.