2024 What to Do After a Car Accident in California? Step-by-Step Guide

If you find yourself in a car accident, it’s quite possible that you’ll be in shock. If you have injuries, especially significant ones, that’s likely going to exacerbate the situation. It can be difficult to know what exactly to do after an accident. However, taking certain actions during and after the accident can help your California car injury lawyer make the case to get you the restitution that you need. 

What to Do After a Car Accident in California?

A Step-by-Step Guide of What to Do After a California Car Accident

Getting into an accident can be dangerous and disorienting. It can also potentially leave you limited in terms of what you might be able to do in the aftermath. Even if there are some things that can be helpful to a later personal injury claim, it’s important that you don’t try to do more than any injuries allow. Your health is always the most important thing after an accident. 

To whatever extent you can, though, there are some important steps to take after an accident. They are:

Get Medical Attention

It’s always critical that you get medical attention after a car accident. If there are paramedics at the scene, then it can be important to let them check if there are any traumatic injuries that you aren’t aware of. 

However, because their focus is traumatic injuries, it can also be helpful to get a full medical examination after the accident in case anything was missed. It’s critical that you don’t delay, either, since that could be used to argue that your injuries weren’t serious or weren’t a result of that accident.

Get Contact Information

At the scene, you will want to make sure that you get the contact information of anyone else involved in the accident. It’s also helpful to see if there were any eyewitnesses who saw the accident unfold. They may be helpful in demonstrating negligence later. 

Be Cautious About Discussing the Accident

It’s important to be careful when discussing the accident as well. The defendant’s lawyers could end up using anything that sounds like taking the blame against you. In particular, you will want to be especially careful when talking with anyone from an insurance company. Generally, it’s better to let your lawyer represent you in these discussions when possible. 

Get Good Documentation

If your injuries allow, or if you have someone with you who can help, it’s a good idea to get photos and videos of the scene of the accident. Documentation of any damage, injuries, skid marks, signs, or anything else that may be relevant could later be helpful in proving your case. 

It’s also important to continue keeping good documentation moving forward, as documentation of your injuries and the costs that you’re dealing with can be particularly helpful in making your case.

Get a Good Lawyer

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you find a trusted car injury lawyer in Sacramento, CA. You’ll want to be sure that you’ve left them enough time to investigate your case, put together your claim, and represent you with insurance companies or in court. Therefore, the sooner you reach out, the better it will be for your case.

FAQs

Q: What Restitution Is Awarded in a Car Accident Claim?

A: If you’ve been in a car accident, then you know the costs that come with the situation. Fortunately, if you aren’t the party at fault for the accident, you may be able to recover a good portion of the costs that you’ve incurred. These costs are covered in damages and will typically be paid out in two forms. 

Economic damages are those that cover the clear financial costs of an injury. They include costs like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, as well as future medical bills and lost earning capacity. 

Non-economic damages are those that address the more intangible costs, such as the psychological and mental impacts of the accident. These losses can’t be solved by money, but the funds may make them easier to manage.

Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Civil Claim After an Accident?

A: The statute of limitations in a car accident claim is typically two years. However, there could be some differences based on who is liable, the ages of those who were injured, when the injuries were discovered, and a few other factors. A lawyer can help you better understand what limitations apply to your circumstances.

Q: What Does a California Car Injury Lawyer Do?

A: A California car injury lawyer is responsible for helping you seek fair and just compensation. They investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and collect evidence to help prove liability. They can also represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or other defendants involved. If needed, they can do the same in court and make the case for the restitution that you seek.

Q: Is It Better to Settle a Claim or Go to Court?

A: Whether you want to settle your claim or go to court is a personal decision. It’s going to depend on your tolerance for risk, the amount of funds that you’re counting on, your desire to wrap the case up, and a few other considerations. Generally, though, a settlement will result in a situation where you take a little less money for the opportunity to avoid the risk and lengthy time that a trial may involve.

After a Car Accident, Contact a California Car Injury Lawyer You Can Count On

After a car accident, your thoughts are likely a whirlwind. The stress and shock of the situation, along with any possible injuries, leave most people unable to process everything that’s happening. 

As the situation clears up, though, there are many things that you can do to help your situation. Be sure to document what you can and get proper contact info. It’s also important that you have a full assessment of your injuries. 

Make sure that getting in contact with a California car injury lawyer is a priority, as we can help you through the next steps. Contact Kreeger Law Firm if you’ve been in a car accident and need to seek the restitution you’re owed.