What do I do after a car accident in California?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2018 | car accidents |

If you’ve just had an accident, everything feels a little sideways. Lights are flashing, smoke is rising and the ring of steel on steel or broken glass can linger in your ears. It can be a fragile time, when emotions are running high at the same point that actions matter the most.

What should be my first move after an accident?

Stop and put the vehicle in park before shutting off the engine. Move only if people are in danger unless you do. If anyone was injured, call 911 immediately. If the effect appears limited to damage, call the local police on a nonemergency line, as some jurisdictions require all accidents to be reported.

What should happen once everyone is confirmed safe?

Every accident that caused damage should have an information exchange between drivers about the details of their vehicles and their insurance policies. Driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance policy identification numbers are the most important.

Who should be informed after an accident has happened?

Your insurer should be informed as soon as possible so your agent can investigate a claim and begin the payout process. Any injury or damage above $750 in costs must be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.

Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?

An attorney may be helpful if another driver caused damage or injury through negligence or reckless actions. Legal representation can help forward claims to a successful conclusion through settlements, negotiation or a lawsuit in civil court.