A crash can throw your life into uncertainty. With so much at stake, the steps you take can be key to protecting your safety and your access to support. What should you do after a collision?
Immediately after the crash, check for injuries and move to safety if possible.
After a collision, your top priority should be your safety and the safety of your passengers. Take stock of any injuries sustained during the crash. If possible, you should also move your vehicle to a safe location so that other vehicles do not put you in danger while you wait for assistance.
Contact the authorities.
While California law only requires drivers to report an accident if someone was injured or killed in the crash, you may want to contact the authorities even if the accident seems minor. The police will create a report, and this report may be key to a future insurance claim or legal action.
In addition to contacting the police, you may need to call for medical assistance if anyone experienced serious injuries during the crash. If you and any passengers do not appear injured, you should still seek medical attention to ensure that any underlying injuries have the treatment they need.
Take steps to preserve evidence and collect information.
While a police report will create a record of a crash, you may also want to collect information for your own records if you are able. This might include taking photographs of the car, recording information about the driver and their insurance policy, writing down any relevant information like weather conditions and collecting the contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
Seeking medical attention is also an important way to preserve both your health and evidence of the crash. Your medical record can link your injuries to the crash and show that you took those injuries seriously, both of which can protect your access to financial support from an insurance claim.
Reach out to an attorney.
Navigating an insurance claim or a lawsuit can be complicated, especially if you are making a claim for the first time. Seeking guidance from an experienced lawyer may help you understand your options, approach these processes with greater confidence, hold negligent drivers responsible and fight for the compensation you need.