Knowing what to do if you’re in a car accident in Los Angeles can help you protect yourself and your future claim for compensation. Car accidents can be jarring and traumatic, and thinking about what to do after being injured can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, it’s important that you receive medical attention, gather information, and take other necessary steps after being injured in a car accident.
You aren’t alone if you or your loved one have been injured in a Los Angeles car accident. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are here to help. When you meet with us, we will carefully review your case and answer any questions you have. We will help you understand your legal options and work with you to develop a legal strategy to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and other damages. Contact Saeedian Law Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.
1. If Possible, Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Space
If you are on a busy road or highway when the accident occurs, try to pull over to the side of the road. If you are injured and unable to do so, you should put on your emergency hazard lights and wait for help. Turn off your vehicle’s ignition to reduce the risk of a fuel leak causing a fire. If you can safely get out of your vehicles, move away from the vehicles that have been damaged and encourage others to do the same.
2. Call 911
Call 911 and report the accident. You should ask for a police officer to come to the scene. If you or anyone else has been injured, you should ask for emergency medical help. While waiting for the police to arrive, do not confront the other driver, admit fault, or speak to anyone else if you are exchanging information. When the police officer discusses the accident with you, try to remain as calm as possible.
Describe what has happened but ensure you don’t unintentionally admit fault due to the shock of the accident. Try not to make assumptions about what happened or make other comments that could inadvertently make you look like you caused the accident. The information in the police report will be part of an investigation to determine liability and whether you are entitled to compensation.
3. Write Down Everything You Remember About the Accident
After being involved in a car accident, you may experience shock and a surge of adrenaline. After the accident, you may have a difficult time remembering what happened. It’s essential to write down everything you remember about the accident and the other party as soon as possible after the accident. It’s easy to forget details of the car accident in the turbulent aftermath of a car accident. Think about what happened in the minutes before the car accident. Do you remember any unusual circumstances? Did you see the other driver texting or swerving in and out of a lane? Write down every detail that could help prove the other driver caused your accident. If you can do so safely, take photos and videos of the car accident scene, including photos of your injuries.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver or Drivers
You will need to gather relevant information about the other driver, such as his or her license plate number, phone number, name, insurance policy information, address, and details about his or her vehicles. If there were witnesses to the accident, it’s crucial that you write down their contact information. Witness testimony could be critical to proving that the other driver is at fault.
Continue Getting Medical Attention
The adrenaline caused by the car accident may mask symptoms of serious injuries. For example, you may not feel the full extent of your neck pain until hours or even days later. If a paramedic suggests you go to the emergency room, follow their advice. If your injuries are not extremely serious, you should still undergo a medical evaluation through your own doctor’s office. Documentation of your medical treatment can help prove that the car accident causes your injuries. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s orders, take prescription medication, and attend therapy appointments. Taking your treatment seriously and keeping documentation of your treatment will help you prove your claim.
Do Not Share Details on Social Media
It’s understandable to want to tell your friends and family that you are okay after a car accident. You may be tempted to post about the accident on social media. A better strategy is not to say anything about the accident online. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys may be watching your social media accounts and looking for any way to discredit your claim that the accident caused your injuries.
Continue to Document Your Medical Treatment and Injuries
Take photos of your injuries and keep a journal related to your injuries. In your journal, you should write down all the negative effects you have experienced from your car accident injuries. You should include all the days you’ve had to miss from work, any missed employment opportunities such as training sessions or other benefits, and include updates about your injuries. You should also document your pain levels and list the activities you can no longer participate in due to your injuries.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Finally, discussing your case with an attorney is one of the most important steps after receiving medical treatment. After a car accident, the at-fault parties’ insurance adjuster may begin contacting you, asking you to sign a settlement offer. First-time settlement offers are usually far too low. An attorney will be able to investigate your case, determine your case’s value, and negotiate the best outcome possible.
Before you make a sworn statement or accept any offers from the defendant or the insurance company, you should speak to your attorney. Contact the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Saeedian Law today to learn more about how we can advocate for you.