10 Important Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

Millions of car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them just involve only property damage – that is damage only to the vehicle and not its occupants.  But, one in three accidents leads to personal injury to the drivers or passengers. If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are important steps you can take to protect yourself.  We provide you with a list of some important steps to take should you find yourself in an automobile accident. This list is meant as a guide; if you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact the offices of Maho and Prentice at 805-918-1366.

 

  1. Never drive away from the scene.

  2. Protect the scene. Keep your flashers on. Keep yourself and any passengers safe.

  3. Contact the Police.  Even if the accident is not serious, you should contact the police.  Your insurance company may need a police report to process your claim.  Vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are.

  4. Make sure you make a record with the Police of exactly what happened. If you do not know certain facts, that’s okay.  Do not speculate or guess. Guessing speed of the vehicles involved may also be a difficult proposition, as most people are not looking at their speedometer at the moment of impact.

  5. If it is safe, and you are able, take photos of the accident scene and of the vehicles involved.  Perspective shots are also important, not just the close up ones.

  6. Exchange important information with the other party. Be sure to get the driver’s name, address, telephone number and insurance information.  Take a photo of the other party’s license and information. If there are witnesses to the accident, write down their names and contact information.

  7. Notify your insurance company of the accident.

  8. Seek medical attention. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain spinal injuries. If you were dazed or confused, you may have sustained a concussion. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated. And oftentimes, injuries as a result of a car accident may not become apparent until later, as people are in shock after an accident and sometimes won’t know until the adrenaline rush is over as to where they may feel pain and discomfort.

  9. Create a file to keep all the information you have collected. Be sure to include any claim adjuster’s name and phone number.

  10. Protect yourself – it may be necessary you contact a lawyer to protect your rights. Often times, insurance companies want to take your statement immediately following the accident, but it is important that before you do so, you receive the advice from a personal injury attorney.  Your attorney will work for you, making sure you are fully compensated. At Maho Prentice, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

We pride ourselves in providing personal service to each of our clients.  To Tyrone Maho, Chad Prentice and Samantha Baldwin each case is unique, but we fiercely protect the rights of our clients and handle all aspects of their case with a professional attention to detail that is unmatched.