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What to Do and Not Do in the Event of a Car Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose car accident attorneys, car accident injuries, car accident report, car accident sceneEven drivers who are experienced and practice defensive driving skills can find themselves involved in a crash or collision with other motorists. When car accidents and injuries do occur, what you do in the immediate aftermath can have a significant impact on your ability to get compensation for the damages you have suffered.

The following outlines what you need to do in the event of a car accident in California, as well as what not to do to protect your rights in a claim.

Legal Requirements of Drivers in California

Under the California Vehicle Code, drivers have certain duties and obligations when a car accident occurs. Failing to adhere to these requirements could result in criminal charges, along with fines and the loss of your driver’s license. Regardless of how minor the accident, anytime there are suspected injuries or property damages it is important to do the following:

  • Pull over immediately at the scene, using care to not block traffic if you can avoid it;
  • Notify local law enforcement or the state highway patrol;
  • Exchange personal contact, vehicle, and insurance information with other drivers;
  • Call an ambulance if there are any injuries at the scene.

You should get yourself checked out thoroughly by a doctor or at the hospital, regardless of whether you think your injuries are severe. Serious car accident injuries often have symptoms that can take days to appear, and not getting medical care could put your health in jeopardy.

Notify your car insurance company as soon as possible, and file a car accident report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Failing to do this within 10 days of your accident can have serious repercussions, including the loss of your driving privileges.

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

The California Department of Insurance recommends taking additional steps at the scene of a car accident to protect yourself in an insurance claim. This includes getting the names and contact information for any witnesses who may have seen how the accident occurred, as well as taking a variety of pictures from different angles of the car accident location, your injuries, and the vehicles involved.

They also recommend things not to do at the accident scene or in the days after, which could jeopardize your rights in filing a claim. This includes:

  • Do not argue with other drivers or their passengers;
  • Do not make any statements admitting fault or offering to pay for damages;
  • Do not accept cash at the scene in exchange for filing a claim;
  • Do not sign any statements releasing others from liability; and
  • Do not accept any settlement amounts before speaking with an experienced attorney.

To ensure your rights are protected, call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online when car accidents and injuries occur. We can arrange a consultation with our skilled San Jose car accident attorneys who can advise you on how to get the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Sources:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/sr/sr1

https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm

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