What To Do After A California Car Accident
Our experienced attorneys fight for the injured
A car accident can happen at any time in San Jose or anywhere throughout California. Within seconds, you can be hit by a car and left with serious injuries. Your vehicle is damaged. Many people aren’t sure what to do next. But there are steps you can take to help protect your health and your right to seek financial compensation.
The experienced car accident lawyers at The Swanson Law Group have been fighting for the injured in San Jose for more than a decade. We understand that a crash can impact your life physically, emotionally and financially – whether you were involved in a car crash, bike accident or pedestrian accident. That’s why we focus on building strong cases so we can fight for the compensation you deserve.
What should you do after a car accident? (Note that these steps also apply to bike accidents and pedestrian accidents.)
Call the police.
Some people don’t want to bother with the police after being hit by a car. They may think it isn’t necessary or that it will take too much time. But there are many reasons why it’s a good idea. The police can secure the scene and help everyone stay safe. They can arrange for medical help for everyone who is injured. Another thing they will do is fill out an accident report that will document important details about what happened.
Get medical attention.
You may feel shaken up after a crash, but otherwise seem fine. You may not think you need a doctor. But it’s in your best interests to get medical attention as soon as you can. Not every injury has symptoms that are obvious and immediate. Sometimes, symptoms may not appear until hours or even days later. A doctor can diagnose and treat any injuries you do have, and provide documentation.
Get some information.
Ask for contact information of other people involved in the accident – such as other drivers, passengers and witnesses. This includes names, addresses and phone numbers. Be careful not to discuss the crash or who caused it. Write down information about other vehicles in the collision. Be sure to include make, model, year, color and license plate number. It can also help to write down your account of what happened.
This can provide important documentation of the crash. Take photos from different angles. Try to get a wide shot that captures the positions of all vehicles, as well as close-ups of vehicle damage. You can also take photos of road conditions, nearby traffic signs or signals and any landmarks. Get some shots of any skid marks on the road and any visible injuries that you have.
Talk to a car accident lawyer.
As soon as possible, contact an experienced car accident attorney to schedule an appointment. You may wonder if you even need legal advice. But it’s important to understand your rights and your legal options. A lawyer can review the details of the accident, answer your questions and give you the information you need to decide what to do next.
What causes car accidents? A negligent driver may have been speeding or running a red light. They may have failed to check for oncoming traffic when making a turn. Some drivers cause crashes because they were texting or distracted by something else. Others were fatigued or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Negligent drivers need to be held accountable for the damage they cause after a car accident. But recovering financial compensation after being hit by a car can be complicated. Drivers often deny doing anything wrong and refuse to accept any responsibility. This puts you in a position of having to prove that they were at fault.
Insurance companies aren’t on your side, either. They are always concerned about profits so will try to pay you as little as possible. There are many tactics they use, such as questioning the seriousness or your injuries, arguing your injuries were pre-existing and trying to blame you for causing the crash.
Sometimes they’ll make a lowball settlement offer. They’ll say it’s the best that they can do but will promise quick payment. We think you deserve better.
How can a lawyer help after a car accident?
Our lawyers want to know everything that happened. We listen to your story and review the details of your crash. We want to know about your injuries and how they have affected you and your family.
Our legal team investigates to get the facts. This involves gathering evidence, such as video from any nearby traffic cameras. We carefully review accident reports, medical records and other documentation. We identify witnesses and ask them about what they saw. If needed, our lawyers consult accident reconstruction experts and other specialists.
Our attorneys know how to build strong cases that hold negligent drivers accountable. We reject insurance company attempts to minimize your compensation. Many times we are able to negotiate a settlement. But if the insurance company won’t agree to a settlement that meets your needs, we’ll be ready to fight for you in court.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, bike accident or pedestrian accident, talk to an experienced lawyer who will take your case seriously right from the start. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.