A Personal Injury Checklist For Accidents In California
Getting into a car accident can lead to many problems with your finances, health, and capacity to work. Therefore, you need to be wary of what you do, even immediately after the accident. Making the right moves ensures that you get the right compensation you deserve.
That said, here's a quick checklist on what to do after a car accident, as most Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyers will advise you to do.
1. Collect Information
In some circumstances, gathering information is the most important step in safeguarding your rights. Take note of the following to preserve your rights to a California Personal Injury Claim originating from the accident:
Vehicle license plates
All parties involved, including witnesses
Numbers on driver's licenses
Information about each person involved in the accident's insurance policy
Each witness's contact information (phone number, address, email address)
Photographs of the vehicles and the scene of the accident
What happened before the accident, what happened during the accident, and what happened after the accident
It also helps to write down everything you remember about the accident. You can do so in a notebook or in your phone's notes app.
Consult with a Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyer to help you with the evidence you need.
2. Contact The Police
If someone is hurt in an accident or disagrees about who is to blame for the accident, notify the cops right away. Each side's story will be recorded by the cops. It's crucial to note that even if someone admits full responsibility for the accident, they may later disclaim blame.
Additionally, getting the details of the accident on a police report may help you preserve information about the accident in official records.
3. Consult With A Doctor
If you or anyone with you is experiencing pain, you should see a doctor right away. Unfortunately, many injuries, such as concussions or brain damage, might not show up directly after an accident or are difficult to diagnose.
It is vital to see a medical specialist for a thorough evaluation after a car accident. Also, if you experience pain days after the accident, go back to your doctor and address it.
Going to a doctor also makes sure that all your injuries are accounted for. If you wait any longer, some of your injuries might heal, reducing the value of your Personal Injury Claim in Santa Ana, California.
4. Consult With A Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney
It takes time to deal with car accidents on your own. Unfortunately, many people believe that insurance companies will only pay for damages unless their injuries are severe.
That is not true. Your injuries don't have to be life-threatening; they just need to have caused you damages (i.e., medical bills, lost income, etc.).
5. Report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Each motorist in a car collision in California is obligated to report the accident to the DMV within 10 days, whether at fault or not, if:
Property damage totaled over $1,000
If anyone was hurt in any way
The accident resulted in any death
If there's any confusion, contact a Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney to help you.
6. Negotiate With Insurance Companies
You will need to call your own insurance provider after the accident to supply them with the specifics. When you call, make sure you've spoken with your Santa Ana Personal Injury Attorney to ensure you've provided all relevant papers.
If the other side's insurance company contacts you, make sure your lawyer is the first person they reach. Furthermore, do not create any recordings or give any information to the opposing party.
7. Inform Your Employer
Notify your employer that you were involved in an accident. Disclose may be required to cope with the incident's consequences. For example, you may require time off for things like medical appointments, operations, and, in some cases, depositions, mediation, and trial.
Additionally, if you have sustained significant injuries, you may be able to request accommodations from your employer to help you fulfill your regular duties.
8. Watch Your Deadlines
Any personal injury claim must be submitted within two years of the date of the accident. If you don't file claims within the deadline, you lose your chance to get compensation for the losses you sustained.
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