What to Do After a Car Accident
Advice from a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
The moments after a car accident are critical. Specific measures should be taken to ensure the wellbeing of the accident victims, to seek proper medical attention, notify law enforcement, and to preserve and obtain evidence that may be necessary in supporting a claim for compensation.
The Rudman Law Firm, APC is an experienced personal injury law firm that represents victims of auto collisions in Los Angeles, Encino and other surrounding areas. Together our lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience investigating, negotiating and litigating car accident claims. We offer the following tips to guide those recently involved in a motor vehicle accident:
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
In the moments after experiencing an auto accident, it is typical for a victim to be in shock and feel nervous. But what is required is to stay calm, remain at the scene, and take your time to protect yourself. Note that it is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of a car accident, and doing so can result in the revocation of driving privileges, license suspension, and criminal charges for “hit and run”.
- Take Account of Personal Safety. Those involved in the accident should insure that they are no longer in danger. Where possible, drivers should move their cars to the side of the road. Occupants of an automobile should be careful not to exit a vehicle if by doing so they risk being hit as a pedestrian in a roadway or shoulder of a highway.
- Identify Injuries. The occupants of a vehicle involved in a car accident should immediately take note of which parts of their bodies feel injured. Certain severe injuries can be made worse with movement, such as a cervical spine injury. It may be necessary for a body part to be immobilized. If there is any doubt, the injured person should remain still until emergency medical personnel arrive to render aid.
- Call 911. Emergency Services should always be called to the scene of an accident, so that necessary medical aid can be timely administered. Further, 911 can dispatch the proper law enforcement agency to the scene of the incident, so that a traffic collision report can be made, and to facilitate the necessary exchange of information between the drivers.
- Obtain Witness Information. Especially in Los Angeles, witnesses to a car wreck may be quick to leave the scene and uneager to get involved. Promptly, but politely, ask for their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses because their account of what they observed may help resolve a dispute between the parties as to who was at fault for the accident.
- Exchange Information with Involved Parties. In California, drivers are required to provide certain information to the other parties involved in the incident, including:
- Name, address and contact information
- Driver License Number
- License Plate Number
- Auto insurance information
It is helpful to use a smart phone to photograph the other party’s Driver License, License Plate and Auto Insurance card, rather than writing down the information.
- Take Photographs. It is important to take photographs of the following items at the scene of the incident in order to document the evidence:
- The vehicles in their original positions of rest (only if it is safe to do so)
- The property damage to each of the vehicles involved
- The general scene of the incident, including any markings or debris in the roadway
- Visible injuries
- Do Not Get in an Argument with the Other Driver. Often times after an accident, tension is high, people are angry, scared or in shock. This is not the time to discuss how the accident occurred, who was at fault, or how damages will be paid for. Other than responding to questions posed by law enforcement officers, the parties should not discuss the accident at the scene.
Call the L.A. Auto Accident Lawyers at The Rudman Law Firm, APC
After leaving the scene of the crash and seeking appropriate medical attention, accident victims should contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer immediately. Our auto collision lawyers will guide you through the entire process while protecting your interests, ensuring your rights, and advising you of the many potential pitfalls in pursuing a claim for compensation. Call The Rudman Law Firm, APC for a free phone consultation at our Encino office (818) 769-6969, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN.