What to Do After a Car Accident in LA

January 10, 2014

Ellis Law Corporation

Auto Accident

No matter who is at fault, car accidents can be confusing, overwhelming and life-changing for passengers and drivers. It is important to remember that the choices and steps people take following accidents can influence whether charges can be filed and the outcome of any potential litigation.

Steps that can make or break a Los Angeles car acccident claim

If you been involved in a car crash in California, protect your legal rights by following the steps mentioned here.

Immediately after an accident, find out whether anyone was injured or died and call police and an ambulance for assistance. If there are no injuries, still call police so that an officer can file an auto accident report. It is imperative that police can document all injuries, including your own. Failing to immediately seek treatment may impact a Los Angeles car accident claim. It is also critical to note that in California, authorities can file hit and run offenses against motorists who fail to stop at the scene following crashes. Even if an accident involves a driver hitting property or another parked car, the person must stop and check out the damage and make an attempt to locate the owner.

While drivers wait for authorities, they should protect themselves and the scene from any other accidents. It is a good idea for drivers to put on their vehicles’ flashers and put out flares, if they are available. As long as both parties are able, it is vital that both drivers exchange personal information, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, insurance carriers and policy numbers, along with the makes, models and colors of the involved vehicles.

Involved parties should get personal information from witnesses, too. California motorists must show their driver’s licenses, registration cards, proof of insurance and current addresses to police and any others involved in the crash. Drivers who can’t produce valid, current insurance company information and a policy number may be subject to a citation and a $250 fine.Gathering as much information as possible right after an accident is the best approach, so motorists have everything they need if filing a car accident claim.

Though car accidents are stressful and can make some people anxious, it is best to not say anything to anyone about who may have caused the accident. Write down notes about the accident and take photos of the scene, including traffic signs and lights and any damage to property or vehicles.

More tips on what to do after a car accident

In addition, drivers must remember to report accidents to their insurance companies. In California, serious accidents in which someone involved is either injured or dies, must be reported to police or the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours. Crashes that involve an injury, death or property damage that exceeds $750 must be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident.

Contact an attorney to discuss filing a Los Angeles car accident claim

For more than two decades, the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Ellis Law firm have helped accident victims in the greater Los Angeles area. Our dedicated legal team will work diligently to secure the maximum damages to which you may be entitled for your personal injuries, emotional trauma and property damage. If you or someone you know was injured in a car crash in LA and are in need of skilled legal assistance, contact us today for a free case review at 310-641-3335.