What to Do if You Are In An Accident in Los Angeles
Auto accidents happen every day, and you may be involved in one at some time. Regardless how carefully and responsibly you drive, you may be at the mercy of events, or someone who is not so responsible.
Try to remain calm. Check to see if anyone is injured. Move yourself out of traffic lanes and danger. However, moving a seriously injured person yourself can cause them further injury. Call 911 and describe the emergency situation.
If you can safely set out flares or make your vehicle more visible to traffic, do so. Turn on flashers and open the hood.
Do not leave the scene of any accident – it is illegal. Wait for police and/or firefighters.
Documenting the Accident
It is important not to be blamed for the auto accident if it was not your fault. Take note of the physical surroundings, jot down notes for your memory, take pictures with a camera or cell phone.
Write down the other drivers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers and full auto insurance information. Avoid discussing the accident or interpreting what happened.
Cooperate with police officers and take their business cards or badge numbers, and a report number if available. If your vehicle is to be towed, take your valuables.
Even if you believe you are not seriously injured, it is important to be examined by a physician promptly. Injuries are not always immediately apparent. You should be treated for any, and have your condition documented in case you need to be compensated for injuries.
After the Accident
Contact an auto accident lawyer right away. Please note: insurance companies care most about their profits, not you. They will most likely try to minimize your claim, and cast any statement you make to support that.
Your attorney will advise you on how to inform your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company of the accident. Do not provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. They will ask questions about the accident or your injuries which can be vague and misleading. If there is any inconsistency in your statements, this will reflect poorly on your case.
Since 1936, Rose Klein & Marias LLP has served injured people in Southern California. We have several convenient locations and always pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.