No matter how safe and careful you are on the road, accidents can still happen because other drivers may not exercise the same reasonable amount of care as you. As a licensed driver in California, you ought to prepare for the possibility of getting into a car crash by learning the safety and precautionary measures below.
Stop your vehicle
If a car hits you, the force from the impact may be substantial enough to cause your vehicle to stop completely. However, you should pull over if your car is still in motion after a collision.
Check if anyone sustained injuries
Check to see if you or others sustained injuries from the accident. Call 911 immediately and seek medical attention if necessary. You do not have to wait for the police to arrive if you have a medical emergency.
Move the car to a safe area but remain at the scene
If it is safe for you to drive, you should move your car out of the travel lane as it is a road obstruction that may cause more damage. You could transfer your vehicle to the nearest shoulder. You should remain at the crash scene, particularly if it caused injury or death to another person, because the police might misconstrue leaving as an attempt to flee.
Get the information of the other driver(s)
It would be best if you asked all drivers involved in the accident to exchange contact information with you. Obtain all drivers’ names, addresses, contact information and driver’s license numbers. You can even ask to see driver’s licenses, insurance information and vehicle registrations for verification purposes.
If you have a cellphone with you, you can take photos and videos of the car accident. You can also ask for the contact information of witnesses in case you will need their testimonies to prove you were not at fault. Gather as much evidence and documentation of the car accident, including license plates and the photos of all the vehicles concerned. You will need to report all significant information regarding the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The more you have, the better.
Never admit fault and do not say you are okay
Insurance companies can use what you say to deny your claims and lower settlement offers, especially if you acknowledge you did not suffer any damages or injuries. Regardless of who you think caused the accident, do not apologize or admit fault. Go to the hospital so they can examine you more comprehensively because car accidents can cause injuries with delayed symptoms.
You have as much a right as the other drivers to review the facts of the case and determine who really caused the accident. You might be able to recover compensation.