Please read our guide on Things Not To Do After An Auto Accident first, then read our helpful tips for other issues at the end of this guide.
No one expects to be involved in a car accident so it’s very hard to be prepared for what to do after a California car accident. Unfortunately, what you do or not do in the minutes, hours and days right after a car accident can have an impact on whether or not you receive compensation for the accident or how much compensation you ultimately receive. According to California car accident lawyer Emery Ledger of The Ledger Law Firm, there are a number of common mistakes that people make after being involved in an accident that you should try to avoid if you ever find yourself in that position.
1. Not making a police report.
When someone is involved in what they consider a minor traffic accident, then often fail to make a police report. Sometimes they don’t want to wait around for the police or they think it is unnecessary because there was not a lot of damage to the vehicles or the occupants. A police report can be extremely helpful to your case though if the other driver was at fault. While not definitive proof of negligence on the part of the other driver, it can be helpful if the police officer attributed fault to the other driver.
2. Not getting witness information.
People often think that witness information will be noted on the police report or they think that it was obvious who was at fault and witnesses aren’t necessary. While the police report MAY include witness information, you cannot count on the police officer to have gathered that information. Additionally, even if you are certain that the other driver was at fault, an objective third party can do nothing but help your case if the other driver denies fault down the road.
3. Not receiving an immediate medical evaluation.
Many people that do not require immediate transport to the hospital think they are better off just going home and resting. While this is a normal reaction to an accident, you may have injuries that you are unaware of or injuries that will feel much worse the next day without medical intervention. You may also be making your lawyer’s job harder by not being treated immediately. Your lawyer will need to show that any injuries you have are directly related to the accident. The closer in time that you are evaluated and diagnosed with your injuries, the easier it will be to prove that they are the result of the other driver’s negligence.
4. Talking to the insurance company.
Many people think that it is harmless to accept that call from the other driver’s insurance company. Some people even think they are obligated to talk to them. Not true. You may be sure that fault is clear and that giving your version of events can’t hurt you, but remember that the person calling you works for the OTHER person’s insurance company. You may easily say something that they will try to use against you when it comes time to settle your case.
The easiest way to avoid making any of these common mistakes is to be as prepared as you can be for the possibility of a car accident. If the worst happens and you find yourself in a car accident that you believe was someone else’s fault then seek the advice and guidance of an experienced California car accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you would like a free detailed evaluation of your California car accident case, please contact California car accident lawyer Emery Ledger of The Ledger Law Firm Toll Free at 800.300.0001 or visit the firm online at www.ledgerlaw.com.