Whether we like it or not, accidents are a part of the modern world, especially in Los Angeles during rush hour traffic. Statistics say that, sooner or later, we will be involved in one. Even the most careful cannot avoid the actions of another driver. Here are some tips to guide your way.
1. It is important to stay at the scene
Even if it is not your fault, fleeing the scene might result in criminal charges. You should pull to the side of the road if possible to avoid leaving the car in traffic lanes.
2. Check if anyone is hurt
If anyone is hurt, you should not move them unless it’s absolutely necessary. Call 911 if you can or have someone else call.
3. You should call the police, even if it is a minor accident
They will not always show up, especially if there are no bodily injuries. It is best to get them out to the scene for a police report, especially if you are the party not at fault.
4. Gather information, including, but not limited to
- Driver’s license including: driver’s license number, driver’s license name, driver’s license address, driver’s license expiration date and any restrictions on the driver’s license.
- Registration Card: Get all the information from the vehicle registration card
- Insurance Card: Get all the information from the vehicle insurance card.
- Description of the driver or passenger(s): write down the description of the driver or passenger(s) in order to restrict them from claiming that it was someone else.
- License Plate: Write down and take a photo of the vehicle’s license plate number if possible.
- Photographs: The more the merrier. Take as many pictures as you can. Include pictures of: the car, the scene, the damage, skid marks, the road condition, traffic signs, the passengers and most importantly the other driver.
- Witnesses: Look for witnesses in the area. If their statements can help your case, get down their information immediately. Be nice and ask them if they are willing to be your witness. Try to keep them there until the police arrive so as their statement may be recording in the police report.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY:
DO NOT apologize or make any unnecessary statements. Consult an attorney before making any statements.
6. Do not speak to anyone regarding the facts of the accident
This includes adjusters or claims man from either your insurance or the opposing insurance company. Do not give any recording statements to anybody.
7. Lastly, stay calm and contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve your claim. A proper assessment of your rights will be conducted.
Now you know the first steps you need to take when involved in an auto accident. Be safe and be smart.
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