Dozens of car accidents happen in California daily. The drivers involved in a car accident have certain obligations. They need to act responsibly and in accordance with California Law. Here are some dos and don’ts each driver should keep in mind when an accident happens.
Dos After a Car Accident in California
- After an accident, your first call should be to authorities. Even if the damages are minimal, you should make a police record immediately after the accident. In case there are injured passengers, the 911 dispatcher will send an ambulance along with the police officer.
- Do not move your car from the place of the accident. However, if it hinders the traffic, you can exit your vehicle and move it to one side of the road.
- Get as much information as possible from the other driver, such as his name, phone number, his license number, insurance company’s name and so on.
- Document the details and identify witnesses of the accident. Take photos of both cars and the other’s license plate before the police officer arrives. Take notes on every detail you remember. If there have been witnesses to the accident, ask them what they saw and document their contact information.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident even if it is not at your fault. If you have collision coverage, then have your own insurance company cover damages to your vehicle. Assuming the accident was the fault of the other driver, his or her insurance company is responsible for covering the cost of a rental vehicle for a reasonable period of time while your car is being repaired.
- In California, you are entitled to recover lost wages for the time you were off work, even if you used your sick pay or received other disability benefits.
- Call a car accident attorney to defend your rights. An experienced car accident attorney knows how to negotiate and will ensure you get full compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Don’ts After a Car Accident in California
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of the accident may result in hefty fines and even jail time. So, whether you are at fault for the accident or not, leaving the scene of the accident will make the situation worse.
- Refrain from giving any type of statement to the other driver’s insurance officer until you consult your attorney. By the law you are not required to give any type of statement to the other person’s insurance adjuster, whether it is written, recorded or otherwise.
- When you were injured in the accident, make sure that your property damage release form is for the property damage only. Otherwise, consult with a car accident attorney.
- Even if the accident was at your fault, it is important not to discuss the accident and admit your fault. Remember that even discussing the accident with the other driver can contain elements that will be later used against you.
- Do not wait too long to contact a good car accident attorney. The experienced car accident attorneys at the Margarian Law firm will take your accident claim with responsibility. They will put all their knowledge and experience into action to guide you through the entire process properly.