Everything happens quickly in a crash. With multiple vehicles, there are often many factors that contribute to an accident. Even in a single vehicle wreck, there may be several things that contributed to the crash, from driver conduct to faulty auto equipment to poor road design. Whether or not you think you may have been at fault, it’s critical that you take certain actions after a crash to protect your interests.
First, make sure you contact the police. If your accident occurred in city limits, contact the city police. If the crash was outside city limits, contact the county law enforcement agency or the California Highway Patrol. The police will dispatch one or more officers to the scene, and they will conduct an investigation. This includes taking pictures and measurements; talking to drivers, passengers, and witnesses; and starting on the police report.
Next, if you are able to do so, collect evidence that you may need to press your case or to defend yourself if you are sued. Although the police investigation and report are important, do not rely on them to provide the only evidence. You will likely need to give a statement and possibly a sworn deposition if a lawsuit is filed.
Make sure you nail down the facts as much as possible by taking pictures and your own measurements. Locate the positions of traffic control devices, such as stop lights, stop signs, and other signs. Look for cameras that might have recorded the accident or the events leading up to it. Common locations include intersections and storefronts. If you are unable to collect this information, ask someone to do it for you as soon as possible after the accident.
See a doctor right away even if you think you are not seriously injured. The symptoms of some injuries are not apparent immediately but take time to develop. For example, there may be no indication of soft tissue injuries, internal bleeding, and post-traumatic stress disorder right after an accident. Always report changes in your condition or symptoms to your health care provider immediately, and keep all appointments.
If you aren’t sure what to do, contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer. We are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and lawsuits that arise from bad accidents, and we can help.
You can rely on the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP to guide you through the difficult time that follows a serious accident. We are here for our clients and will passionately seek appropriate compensation for you as the result of your injuries or those of your loved ones. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.