Nobody expects to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. When an accident occurs, there are a number of steps a motorist may take to enhance everyone’s safety and document any damages resulting from the accident.
Steps in the immediate aftermath of an accident
Immediately following an accident, a motorist should move their vehicle out of traffic where possible and check for injuries. Roughly one in three persons involved in a California vehicle accident sustain injuries, so evaluating the need for emergency medical assistance should be a top priority.
Motorists ordinarily will want to call the California Highway Patrol or local police. Not only can police assist in ensuring the safety at an accident scene, but police reports can provide important documentation on how an accident occurred and who is at fault.
If able to safely do so, a motorist will want to obtain identifying information about other drivers and any witnesses, as well as insurance information from other drivers.
If possible, it can be helpful to take photographs of the accident scene from multiple vantage points. Photographs of damage to vehicles or property can also help. Take note of any local businesses that may have a surveillance video of the accident.
Motorists should generally seek medical assistance for any injuries sustained in the accident, including seemingly minor injuries. Injuries like whiplash can seem minor at first but result in significant discomfort over time.
Medical review of injuries not only helps with recovery but can also serve as important documentation of your injuries if you later need to seek recovery.
Motorists should notify their insurance company as soon as reasonably possible after the accident.
Finally, motorists should recognize that they may be entitled to recover damages resulting from the motor vehicle accident. Those involved in an accident should consider consulting an experienced attorney.