A car accident is always a harrowing experience that can leave anyone feeling traumatized. It is especially stressful when you have been in a road accident that leaves you with injuries that may be moderate to serious. When you are left with such injuries, you may struggle to know what you should do next.
Unfortunately, even the best drivers who know how to stay safe while behind the wheel can end up in a car accident as accidents on the road are essentially inevitable.
While many auto accidents cannot be prevented or even predicted, it can greatly help your situation when you know what to do next. In Los Angeles, California and elsewhere, there are certain steps you must take after you have been involved in a car accident.
It’s important to know what these things entail so you can effectively go on to file a personal injury claim with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Remember, having documentation is the key to a successful personal injury case. It can help when you are requesting compensation for your medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, lost wages, property damage and additional damages.
Stay at the Scene of the Accident
It’s important to always stay at the scene of the accident immediately after. You will probably feel confused, scared and overwhelmed, all emotions that may make you want to just leave.
However, staying at the scene is important, even if the accident was not your fault. If you leave, it can result in the criminal charge of a hit and run being placed against you.
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
Immediately after the car accident, you should check yourself to see if you are injured. Do the same with anyone else in your vehicle and in others and for pedestrians who might have also been involved.
However, even if you and others feel as though you are perfectly fine and uninjured, it’s possible that you might have dormant injuries that can manifest themselves later on. Remember, when you are in a car accident, adrenaline is pumping high, so you may not initially realize that you have suffered an injury.
If anyone asserts that they are injured, you can take measures to prevent further injuries.
Even if people involved in the car accident have only sustained relatively minor injuries, it is still wise to call 911 to get the police to come to the scene. It also ensures that emergency medical assistance arrives as well in the form of an ambulance.
If there is any property damage as a result of the accident, you should absolutely have the police come to the scene. It gives the opportunity for a police accident report to be made, which can only help you if you eventually choose to speak with an auto injury lawyer and file a personal injury claim.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
You should also speak with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Keep the conversation brief and simply to the point, but avoid admitting any sort of fault or even apologizing as this can be misconstrued as you admitting fault for the accident, which can work against you later on.
Get the names, phone numbers, auto insurance information, license plate numbers and driver’s license numbers of any other drivers who were in the accident.
Speak with Witnesses
Look around at the scene of the accident and talk with witnesses you see. Take down their names and contact information. You can also record them speaking of their account of the accident or have them write this information down for you.
This is a good idea because it ensures that you will have witness accounts available when you decide to meet with a car accident personal injury lawyer at a later date to file a personal injury claim. Having the witness’ accounts on hand immediately can help in the event that anyone forgets about key details later on.
Take Plenty of Pictures
If you are physically able to manage to do so, snap as many pictures of the scene of the accident as possible. You can do this using your smartphone’s camera or a digital camera.
Focus on getting shots that include various angles of the road, including skid marks, the vehicles involved, especially their damaged areas, weather conditions, road signs and anything else that might be pertinent to the scene of the accident.
You should also gather up photos of your vehicle from before the accident to show the before and after that clearly depicts the damage that was done.
Use Your Wits
No doubt, you will tell other people about the car accident and your subsequent injuries. However, it’s absolutely essential to use your wits when you discuss it with others.
You should never discuss the accident with a representative from an insurance company aside from your own. Additionally, you should be smart when using social media.
You might want to simply state that you have been in an accident, but do not divulge too many details and especially avoid discussing legal action.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal of the events of the accident and your thoughts immediately after is wise as well. You can also jot down how you are feeling: physically, emotionally and mentally after the accident.
Note how it has affected you and write down any anything that is important and relevant to the accident and its aftermath. You will also want to write down information from doctors and other healthcare professionals with whom you have met after sustaining injuries in the accident. Keep track of other issues, especially losses due to being unable to work.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, you should speak with an experienced auto injury lawyer who can help you when you decide to file a personal injury claim. A car accident personal injury lawyer can advise you on the best course of action to take to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.
Additionally, if you have to go through the at-fault party’s insurance company, your attorney can do this for you as they have the knowledge and experience needed for such an important step.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, you need to get in touch with West Coast Trial Lawyers for help. You can discuss your options with a Los Angeles accident attorney. Go to https://westcoasttriallawyers.com/and speak with a skilled Los Angeles accident attorney at your earliest convenience.