Car accidents happen all the time in San Francisco, and they can be difficult to avoid. When a driver runs a red light, is texting while driving or is drunk driving, there is little other drivers can do to protect themselves. While no one hopes to be in an accident, it is a good idea to be prepared just in case it happens to you.
Part of being prepared for a car accident means knowing what to do after it happens. The steps you take after a crash can help protect your rights and ensure you have the information you need should you choose to pursue a personal injury claim. If you are ever involved in a car accident, consider taking the following steps:
- Do not leave the scene. If anyone was injured, leaving the scene of the accident may be considered a crime. It is usually best to wait until police arrive.
- Make sure others are OK. Check on other drivers and passengers to see if anyone is injured.
- Call the police. When a crash involves injuries or serious property damage, it is very important to contact the police. When they arrive, ask for an official report to be filed.
- Exchange information with others involved. Collect names, phone numbers and insurance information from the other drivers involved in the accident.
- Do not apologize. Apologizing for a crash could be construed as admitting guilt.
- Talk to witnesses of the crash. If anyone saw the crash happen, ask to have their name and phone number. Their account may be helpful for a personal injury claim.
- Get medical assistance. Even if you don’t think you were injured, it is a good idea to see a doctor just in case because injuries can develop over time. Make sure to keep track of your treatment.
- Talk to a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you better understand your options after a serious car accident. The right lawyer can also take on your insurance company for you, making sure you get a fair deal.