As leading Manhattan Beach auto accident attorneys, the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC have represented many clients who have been injured in auto accidents. We know that when a driver knows what to do after a car accident, it can have a big impact on their cases.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you won’t be involved in an auto accident. A car accident can happen to any driver at any time, no matter how safe they are behind the wheel. Smart drivers realize this and should know what to do after an auto accident.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident in California to Protect Yourself and Your Rights
To help our readers protect themselves and their rights, we’d like to share a few of the things you should do after a car accident, as well as some of the things they shouldn’t do:
Here’s what you should DO:
Check for Injuries
First, make sure everyone involved, including yourself, gets medical attention. Call 911 and render whatever aid you can to the victims.
Just because you feel okay after an accident doesn’t mean you haven’t received any injuries. Even serious injuries may take a while to make themselves evident.
Contact the Police
The police can investigate the cause of the accident, as well as who was at fault. They can issue tickets and make arrests, if necessary.
Their accident report will also be vital in proving who was liable for the accident.
Gather and Exchange Information
Exchange names, drivers’ license numbers, contact information and insurance information with the other driver(s). Write down license plate numbers and note the make, model and year of every vehicle involved.
Gather Evidence and Witnesses
Try to collect as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident as well as the accident scene.
Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Provide them with all the information you have gathered and follow their instructions.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies are not always on your side, even if they are paying for some of your losses.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
You should consider speaking with an experienced attorney to discuss your options. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
What You Shouldn’t Do After a Car Accident
The things you should do are important, but the things you shouldn’t do are just as important.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident until help arrives or you’ve exchanged information with the other driver(s). It can be illegal to immediately leave the scene of an accident in California.
- Don’t accept responsibility for the accident (this includes saying things like “I’m sorry” to the other driver, which may be interpreted as an admission of responsibility).
- Don’t tell anyone you feel “fine” after an accident until you’ve had a doctor check you out.
- Don’t wait to get legal representation.
- Don’t agree to any settlement until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
- Don’t record a statement until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
- Don’t discuss the accident with anyone until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
- Don’t make any social media postings about the accident.
These steps are important to follow after any auto accident in Manhattan Beach, especially if you were injured in the accident. Failing to do so could potentially prevent you from collecting compensation for any accident-related injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in California
Generally speaking, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or property damage claim related to a car accident in California. However, it is best to consult an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents for more specific details depending on your situation.
Yes, both parties can share liability during a car accident. This is known as comparative negligence. In a personal injury claim, a judge or jury will consider the negligence of each party and assign a percentage of responsibility. Your compensation may be reduced depending on your own degree of fault.
It is impossible to know the exact amount of compensation you may be entitled to until all the facts related to your accident have been evaluated. You may be able to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. An experienced attorney can help you determine what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Call Us After Your Manhattan Beach Auto Accident
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Manhattan Beach due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries, including pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.
For more than 25 years, the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC have been protecting the rights of clients injured in auto accidents in Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, Hermosa Beach and other South Bay Communities. Our clients know they can rely on our experience, expertise and dedication to obtain the maximum settlement amount they deserve.
Contact the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC to schedule a free consultation meeting to discuss your auto accident. Our Manhattan Beach auto accident attorneys are here to learn more about the details of your case, answer any questions you may have and explain your legal options for moving forward. We handle most Manhattan Beach auto accident injury cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront charges for our services and we only collect a fee after we’ve won your case.