If you’re involved in a car accident in Los Angeles, you will likely suffer some type of injury. Thankfully, most motor vehicle accidents are minor. You may be able to walk away from the crash with nothing but a few bumps and bruises. The biggest bruise may be to your ego.
However, some accidents are very serious. In any case, if you expect to recover compensation from the other driver, there are certain things you need to do immediately following your crash. This is the only your Los Angeles auto accident lawyer will be able to prepare your case and file your claim.
Here, we’ll talk briefly about the steps you need to take in the moments after your car accident. We’ll also explain why it is so important that you do these things right away. If you have questions after reviewing the information here, simply give us a call and schedule your free, initial consultation.
You Always Need to Call 911 Following a Car Accident in Los Angeles
One of the biggest mistakes accident victims make is agreeing to not call the police. It’s not uncommon for the other driver to ask you to hold off on calling the cops. They promise to give you their insurance information and contact details so you can work things out directly with them. As tempting as this may be, it could be a big mistake.
Not only are you legally required to report your car accident in Los Angeles, but the only way to protect your legal rights is to call 911. When you call, the dispatcher is going to send an officer to the scene. They’ll also call for an ambulance. Once the officer arrives, they’ll do a thorough investigation of the crash. They’ll ask both drivers for their version of events. They’ll also talk to any eyewitnesses and get their contact information.
The other crucial thing the police will do is write up a police report. This report has information in it that your personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles cannot get any other way. Some of this information includes the following:
- Name, insurance information, and contact details for the drivers involved
- Contact information and statements made by any eyewitnesses
- Description of the road conditions and accident scene
- Pictures of the damage to any vehicles
- Statements made by each driver
- Notes regarding any tickets or arrests that were made at the scene
The other thing the officer will do is document if there are any intersection cameras at the crash site. If so, your Los Angeles automobile accident attorney will be able to secure footage from that camera. This may be able to help you prove fault.
You Must Go to the Hospital Even if Your Injuries Are Minor
It can be very difficult to convince accident victims to go to the hospital. Most people just want to put the accident behind them and be on their way. Unfortunately, if you don’t seek medical treatment immediately, you’ll have no idea if you’re injured. You’ll also have no way of proving that the crash is what caused your injury.
Imagine that you are shaken up after your accident. However, you don’t go to the hospital for three days. When you do go, the doctor tells you that you have a fractured collarbone and internal bleeding. You learn that you’ll need emergency surgery.
When your Los Angeles auto accident attorney argues that your injuries were a result of your accident, the defendant will claim otherwise. They’ll say something other than the crash caused your accident. They’ll point to the 3 days between the accident and your hospital visit as the timeframe for this intervening cause. This is the last thing you want to happen.
What if You Don’t Think You’re Hurt?
So many people ask why they must go to the emergency room if they aren’t hurt. The truth is that you have no idea if you’re hurt or not. Even if you’re a doctor, you can’t examine yourself. Until you’ve had the necessary tests performed to make sure you don’t have any internal injuries, you could be at risk. The best thing to do is get checked out and make sure you’re healthy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. And if you do have a serious injury, you shouldn’t let it go untreated.
Make Sure You Notify Your Insurance Company Right Away
When you’re involved in any sort of collision, you need to let your insurance carrier know. Contact them as soon as you’re home or back in the office. Let them know what happened and let them know you may need to file a claim.
Once you find out how much it’ll cost to fix your vehicle, you’ll have a better idea of how much your claim will be. If you also incur medical bills, you’ll need to know how much these cost as well. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
Your attorney can review all of your documentation and determine what your total claim should be. They’ll also communicate with the insurance adjuster assigned to your case. If they refuse to pay your claim, then you’ll have no choice but to file suit. Hopefully, this won’t be the case. But if it is, your attorneys are ready to file suit on your behalf.
You Shouldn’t Wait to Contact a Los Angeles Automobile Accident Attorney
Once you know that everyone is okay, you should contact a Los Angeles automobile accident attorney. Let them know you’ve been involved in an accident and may need representation. They’ll help you schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.
When you do come in for your first meeting with a lawyer, make sure to bring whatever documentation you have. Bring any letters or emails you’ve received from the insurance company. Also, make sure to bring a copy of the police report. This information will help your personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles evaluate your case and decide if they want to represent you.
If you decide that you do want to hire one of our attorneys, let them know as soon as possible. You can sign your contingency agreement and move forward with your case. Since the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. Furthermore, our clients don’t pay anything upfront. You won’t pay until we settle your case.