Padilla Law Group, LLP

What steps should I take after a car accident?

The moments following a car accident in California can be frightening and overwhelming. Those involved may struggle to get their bearings, and, if they suffered injuries, they might be in pain and simply want medical attention. In short, the minutes and hours following a wreck can be chaotic. However, the actions taken, and those that you fail to take, may have a profound impact on your ability to recover compensation if you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

The first and most obvious step is to ensure that everyone is OK and call for medical assistance if necessary. You should be sure to stay at the scene and exchange information with any other drivers involved in the car crash. Doing so allows you to be able to contact their insurer and track the individual drivers down in the event that you need to serve them with notice of a personal injury lawsuit. You should then call the police so that you can file a police report. This report can may allocate fault, which could be important when pursuing compensation.

The steps you can take don't end there, though. You should talk to witnesses to get their accounts of what happened and take down their contact information. By taking pictures of the accident, you can preserve a visual record of the accident, which may also be beneficial at trial. Be careful when discussing the accident, too, because anything you say may be used against any personal injury claim you file. Lastly, moving forward from the accident, you should keep track of all damages you incur, including detailed accounts of your medical treatment and missed work.

If you adequately carry out these steps, you can better protect your interests in any potential personal injury case that may arise. Some lawsuits can be settled through out-of-court negotiations while others will go all the way through the trial process. In either case, it can help to have professional guidance both at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.



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