You are not alone. Thousands of people across California have the unfortunate luck of experiencing their first car accident every day. Here are a few simple pointers to help guide you through the process.
What Should You Do at the Scene of the Accident?
At the scene of the accident, get yourself to safety. Risking your life to get a picture of your vehicle is simply not worth it. Once you are in a safe place, take photographs of your car at the scene of the accident. If there are witnesses present at the scene, get their contact information (name, telephone number, and address). These witnesses could be critical in determining fault, and usually a client forgets to gather the witness’s contact information. If possible, speak with the other driver involved in the accident so you have their name, address, and insurance information.
Notify Your Auto Insurance Company
Once the dust has settled after the crash, notify your automobile insurance company that you were involved in a car accident, even if it is not your fault. This way your insurance company can start the process of opening a claim and potentially get your car fixed sooner rather than later.
Notify the DMV
After the accident, you must notify the DMV. Most California drivers are unaware that they are required to notify the DMV of the accident. The document you must fill out is the SR-1, and it can be found on the DMV website. The SR-1 document informs the DMV that you were in an accident, and what other parties were involved.
What if I Am Injured?
Most motor vehicle accidents involve injuries to the parties involved. If you are hurt, get medical attention! This could be chiropractic, urgent care, physical therapy, and even emergency services if necessary. Establishing a consistent record of medical treatment will help your personal injury case and get you feeling better physically. If you have questions about getting medical treatment or any aspect of a personal injury claim, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.
How Do I Find an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney?
There are several ways to find a personal injury attorney in Fresno. You can Google it, ask your friends or family if they know anyone, ask your doctor for a recommendation, and even look in the Yellow pages if you have one. Please do your research when deciding on who you want to represent you. There are by far many more honest and respectable personal injury attorneys than bad ones. But that does not mean you should not do your homework. Look at the attorney’s Google reviews, research their California State Bar standing, look at their results, and most importantly actually speak with the attorney. Do not be fooled by an attorney stating they are local when really, they live 250 miles away. If the attorney does not take the time to meet with you during that first meeting, just imagine how you will be treated two years down the road asking for a case status.
Beware of “Quick Cash” Settlement Offers
Oftentimes, insurance companies offer accident victims “quick cash” to settle their cases immediately after an accident. It is important that you discuss any settlement offer with an attorney. There is no risk having your case reviewed by a personal injury attorney as we are only paid if we get a recovery for the injured person. Here at Freedman Law, your personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge, experience, and skill to evaluate your case and advise you whether it is in your best interest to settle, negotiate or pursue trial.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement After a Crash?
Similar to seeking an attorney’s opinion about a settlement offer, it is equally as important to contact an attorney if the insurance company requests a recorded statement. A recorded statement can be used against further down the road, and it is important to have an attorney present during the recorded statement to protect your interests and help prepare you beforehand.
Contact the Injury Attorneys at Freedman Law
Just remember you are not alone in this process and Freedman Law is here to assist you if you have any questions. With over 150 years of combined experience, Freedman Law handles all types of personal injury cases. Freedman Law has won more than $1,250,000,000 for our clients and has over 380 5-Star Reviews on Google. Call Freedman Law at (559) 447-9000 24/7 to talk to a Fresno car accident attorney or contact us through our website.