It is estimated that 277,160 people were injured in car accidents in California in 2017 – and that’s just 1 state out of all the US states. If this has happened to you, you will be overwhelmed with a number of emotions. That’s normal, it happens to everybody in a car accident. It’s easy to make mistakes when filing claims or miss deadlines when you are this overcome with this life crisis.
One of the first things you should do is contact an Oakland personal injury attorney to help you navigate this overwhelming process so that you don’t miss any important steps or deadlines. You deserve compensation, and you’ll get what you deserve when you contact a personal injury attorney for help. Here are 3 notes to keep handy when you’ve been in a car accident.
Find Safety, Document the Scene
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to pull your car over to safety if it is safe to do so. Then, get every piece of information you can find on the accident. Take photos if you can of the road conditions, the amount of traffic at that time of day, and of the conditions of both vehicles.
Take the information of the other driver, and see if there are any witnesses that weren’t in your vehicle at the time. If there are, document their names and contact information.
There’s no such thing as collecting too much information after a car accident. You may not need that image of a tree. But you might need it. Photograph everything, and get every piece of information that you can as early as possible.
Keep documenting when you get to the hospital or start seeking medical care after the accident. Every Band-Aid matters now.
Now it’s time to call for help.
Call for Help
The next thing you need to do after a car accident is make your phone calls. If there is personal injury, you will need to call the police at minimum, and an ambulance if the injury is severe. You may have already done this, or the other driver may have.
Now you need to call your insurance company. Don’t do anything more than provide them with the most basic information. If you are unsure of anything, tell them you don’t know all of the details right now and you will get back to them with that. The insurance company is legally required to get back to you within 15 days of that phone call. Tell your insurance company that you will be getting a personal injury attorney.
They will want to settle with you for as little as possible by the time this is done. This won’t happen on the day of the accident. But if they know upfront that you are getting a personal injury attorney, they will know they won’t be able to settle for less than what you deserve.
The next thing you want to do is call an attorney. You probably don’t know everything that you are required to do to get the most compensation that you deserve. That’s what personal injury attorneys are for. Most work on contingency, which means they will work your case without pay until you settle the claim. You can get a free consultation, and you won’t pay anything upfront. Make the phone call.
Don’t Delay on Anything
Whether you are calling an attorney or working with your insurance company, don’t delay due to the statute of limitations law. Under certain states’ legislation you only have two years to file your personal injury claim. That may sound like a lot of time now, but it isn’t, especially if you have been injured.
Contact expert help as early as you can. The sooner you get a personal injury on your case, the easier this whole process will be.