The impact of a car accident can be overwhelming and disorienting. In those circumstances, it might be hard to know what to do next. The steps you take in the aftermath of an auto accident can have a profound impact on your claim.
If you're able to, it's imperative that you go through the standard procedures: move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, exchange insurance information with the other driver, call the police, and seek immediate medical attention.
Obtaining and filing a police report
In the event of an accident, it is crucial that you fill out and file an accident report. Legally, you must file a report in the state of California if the damages exceed $1,000, if someone was injured, or if there was a fatality. Even if you are in an accident in which none of those conditions apply, it is still important to file a report. An accident report is a legal, binding document that details exactly what happened and who was at fault. If you are pursuing any legal action, or in some cases, if you need medical attention, that report may make all the difference.
An accident report is important because it contains all of the information of the accident. What exactly happened, who was involved, the location of the accident, the time of day, weather conditions and any other factors that led to the incident. These details are easily forgotten in the weeks and months following an accident. A report is the best chance you have to ensure that all of the details are accurate.
The police officer who responds to your crash may file the report for you. If for any reason an officer is unable to respond, you may complete a form and submit it to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. At least this will provide documentation of the crash and how it occurred.
Your traffic accident report may be obtained in person or by mail at the nearest CHP office.
Get a California car accident attorney who will fight for you
In addition to your police report, a solid auto accident claim can be supported by photos taken at the crash scene, witness statements, and a medical evaluation. If you have sustained injuries in a crash, an experienced attorney can use this evidence to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Daniel C. Carlton has been helping injured people across Orange County for more than 40 years. He has the experience to help you, because he has seen it all. When an accident happens, you need the California car accident attorney who knows exactly what to expect. You need an attorney who can skillfully handle the insurance companies and knows what it will take to win the case. That's why you need Attorney Daniel C. Carlton. Contact him today.