Helpful Guide On What Do When You are Involved in a Car Accident
Car accidents: Nobody really wants to be in one. In Southern California, the chances in being in a car accident are huge. The freeways and streets of Southern California are often congested with traffic and by distracted and careless drivers. In the event you happen to meet up with one of these types of drivers “by accident” what should you due in case of a car accident.
Here are some tips when you are involved in a car, motorcycle or truck accident while driving on the streets or freeways of California:
Remember, if possible, pull over to the shoulder of the road or somewhere safe in order to exchange information. You want to do that as soon as possible. You want to be careful not to drive too far away from the scene so that nobody can claim you were trying to leave the scene of the accident. If in fact there is an emergency (for example, serious car damage or somebody is hurt or injured), then call 911 for emergency assistance.
Be polite. Exchange your identification, driver information and insurance information. That’s about all you need to do. Don’t get into the details of the accident much with the other driver.
Never admit you were at fault. Sometimes there is more to the story of an auto accident than meets the eye. Was the other driver speeding? Was the other driver using his or her cell phone while driving? Was the other driver distracted for some reason (kids or pets in the car that may have distracted the driver)? There can be other factors that you may not be aware of that could have contributed to the actual auto accident. Again, it is generally enough to just exchange information rather than try to figure out whether you or the other driver caused the car, motorcycle or truck accident.
If you are hurt in anyway, seek medical attention. Call the police from the scene so that they can assist with the investigation of the accident and so they can assist you with getting emergency medical assistance at the scene. Even If you decline to receive emergency medical attention at the scene, the police can at least note the fact that you had complaints of pain or discomfort in a police report. This notation keeps a record of the fact you did complain of injuries, especially when a representative for an insurance company doubts that such an injury event did occur.
Be wary of an insurance company representative calling you on behalf of the other driver. Even if the accident is not your fault, an insurance company representative or adjuster for the other driver will want to confirm what occurred in the accident with the hope of using some fact for its advantage. Although insurance companies have taken positive strides to handle insurance claims fast and effectively, insurers still have their interests in mind over that of a person making a claim against them. Be especially careful when an adjuster or representative wants to make an in-person quick settlement offer to pay you for any kind of injury you claim you have. Some insurance companies may offer an initial up front settlement offer along with a promise to pay your future medical bills as long as you agree to sign a settlement release that promises to pay those future medical bills up to a certain amount (for example $2000 or $3000 for medical bills). Those releases also say that the injured person promises to give up his or her right to make a claim for pain and suffering in exchange to receive that future medical benefit. Sometimes the value of an award or compensation for pain and suffering is worth more than a promise for future medical benefits. The point to remember is that you do not have to agree to any injury settlement offer that is made within days of a car accident. It is best to make certain from your medical doctor or providers the extent of your injury before you decide to accept a quick upfront settlement offer from an insurance company representative of the other driver.
Consult with an experienced auto injury accident attorney. Injury attorneys often know the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid paying what really is fair and reasonable for damages caused by someone at fault. Injury attorneys can monitor the progress of an auto injury claim, as well as to get an insurance company to make a decision quickly. Some insurance companies often delay the investigation, or are too backlogged in which to move the claim handling process for the repairs of your car, or for payment of your rental expense while your own car is in the repair shop. Injury attorneys can also make sure you are able to get the medical treatment you need for your injuries, and while your injury claim is in process. Injury attorneys can often negotiate an injury settlement on your behalf after they have submitted all your medical reports and bills to an insurance company. In the event an insurance company is not willing to fairly negotiate a settlement for an injury claim, an experienced auto accident attorney can then file the necessary legal documents in court in order to begin the litigation process for an injury claim.
The Gonzalez Law Firm, Attorney David Gonzalez, has well over 20 years handling auto injury/personal injury claims. He has earned his clients substantial injury compensation settlements and awards in the millions over his many years of handling auto injury accidents. Call him to schedule an appointment in order for him to put his years of experience to work for you. You will receive personal and professional attention. He can assist you during such a stressful time. Car accidents can be stressful. You can lose time from work or lose money because of medical expenses that you did not foresee. Mr. Gonzalez will make certain that you are treated fairly by an insurance company. He serves the Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties of Southern California. He can even meet you where you live if it is necessary. His clients come from all cities such as Santa Ana, Anaheim, Fullerton, Whittier, Riverside or San Bernardino.