Driving on California roads comes with many risks. The sheer amount of traffic in Long Beach and throughout the Los Angeles area means that anyone can become involved in a car accident at any time. It’s important to understand what to do after a car accident to ensure one’s safety and well-being and how one might go about obtaining financial relief if someone else caused the crash.
Steps to take following an accident
First, everyone involved should clear their vehicles from the road if possible. Those injured in the accident should receive prompt medical attention and go to the hospital for even seemingly minor injuries. Doing so will provide documented evidence of injuries, which will be vital when submitting a claim.
Drivers should also exchange insurance information when possible. However, those who are not at fault should avoid saying anything at the scene that would make it appear they were at fault or were sorry for the accident. Someone should call 911 and report the accident to the police, especially if there are injuries or damages exceeding $750. Failure to do so can result in a driver’s license suspension.
Drivers should then report the accident to their insurance companies, or to the at-fault party’s insurance company if applicable. Dealing with insurance companies can be complicated, and a driver does not have to speak with the other party’s insurance company without first consulting an attorney. It also makes good sense to have an attorney file an injury claim and deal with the insurance company throughout all proceedings.
Acquiring legal support for help
After receiving an injury claim, the insurance company will investigate the matter. They will schedule an adjuster to determine the amount of vehicle damage and severity of injuries involved and decide how much they will offer to pay — if anything. It is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney in California from the start. A lawyer can gather evidence, submit claims within prescribed deadlines and fight to obtain the most compensation available under the law.