With over 42,000 car accidents in the States last 2020, car collisions are something that Americans should prepare for. Whether it is a severe crash or a minor fender bender, the danger in these situations can shake you up. It is normal to panic at first, so knowing how to proceed after the incident is essential. This way, you can handle the process smoothly. Read further to learn how to make a car accident less stressful for you.
If you were recently involved in a car accident, you might want to check this to help you in filing a Costa Mesa personal injury lawsuit.
In a car accident, never forget that your priority should be safety. Check if everybody involved is okay and, if necessary, call for medical assistance immediately. Once you secure yourself and you’re sure you’re free from any injury, carefully move your vehicle to the side of the road that’s away from danger.
Once you’ve parked your car, keep your hazard lights on to alert other drivers to slow down. Be careful in getting out of your vehicle, especially if you are in a busy street. Lastly, if you determine any injury in yourself or if the crash is quite severe, moving your vehicle should be the least of your worries.
Call for Help
When it is safe to do so, call 911. Give your location and the nature of the accident. They will forward you to Costa Mesa Police Dispatch, where you will have to:
- State that you are reporting a traffic collision
- Provide the location of the car accident, nearest intersection, or address
- Inform if any people are injured
- State that you are a party involved in the crash
- In case of a hit and run, the description and direction of travel of any vehicles leaving the scene
- Stay on the line until the dispatcher says it’s OK to hang up
The police will calm the scene and ask you for your statement for the official police report. The police report will document the car accident facts, which will then be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Before the police leaves, make sure to note the officer’s name, badge number, and contact information.
You must get the other driver’s information. Here is a list of what you should take down:
- Phone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Vehicle Information
- Year, Make, and Model
- License Plate Number
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Insurance Policy Number
- Insurance Company’s Phone Number
Ensure that the driver’s name matches the car’s papers (check registration or insurance). If it doesn’t match, determine the driver’s relationship to the actual owner of the vehicle.
Document the Scene
Get as much documentation as possible. Pictures, videos, and even audio recordings can be used as evidence to help your case. These can ensure that authorities have a clear vision of what happened during the accident. Take photos of the impact on the car, both in a full and close-up view. Record the date, time, location, weather, and visibility during the collision. Lastly, note the position of the cars relative to the street and the direction each vehicle was heading.
Talk to Witnesses
If there are any potential witnesses, exchange contact information with them. Eyewitness information can help your lawyer establish fault.
Contact Your Attorney
An experienced attorney can build your case and get you sufficient compensation to recover from the accident. Unfortunately, most insurance companies prioritize their shareholders over their best interests. This means that they may pressure accident victims into signing a settlement that only covers a fraction of what you need to recover.
A personal injury lawyer will investigate all aspects of your case and will negotiate with the insurance company for you. Hiring an attorney can make your recovery process easier while preventing insurance adjusters from taking advantage of you.
If you ever find yourself in a car accident, don’t panic. Once you’ve ensured everyone’s safety, be cool, calm, and collected when dealing with what happens afterward. Do not be afraid to contact a lawyer if you’re unsure how to handle the situation. In the end, the most important thing is that no one is hurt because of the accident.