What to Do After an Accident in California
Most of us have been in a car accident or know someone who has been in a car accident. Yet, those experiences have not prepared us for knowing what to do in the event of future accidents. Failing to exchange necessary information or miscommunicating can have a bleak outcome. There are some essential steps everyone should complete after an accident in California. After reading this article, it may be helpful to print this article and keep it in your car.
If you were recently in an auto accident and are wondering about compensation or legal options, our team at Solution Now Law Firm can help you. We have the experience to help you navigate the legal process and provide a solution.
Exchange information after a car accident. You should first exchange your contact information with the other driver. California law requires drivers to exchange contact information and insurance information during accidents. The following information should be exchanged during an accident:
- Driver’s name and current address,
- Driver’s license number,
- VIN and license plate number,
- The current home address of the owner of the car,
- Car insurance information (Name of insurance, Address, and Policy number)
Additionally, it may be helpful to collect the contact information of witnesses. Witnesses can include your passengers during an accident if you are an Uber or Lyft driver or a driver for any ridesharing service. Make sure you copy their information and their account of the event.
Call the police. You should also be aware that most policies require notification to the police within a specified time if the accident is a hit and run. If the accident involved injuries or death, the driver must, within 24 hours, make a written report. The driver should send the report to the California Highway Patrol. The driver can also send the report to the city where the accident happened.
Take pictures after the car accident. Twenty years ago, most drivers would have a camera stored in their car. Most people no longer keep a camera in their vehicle because our smartphones have cameras. Yet, smartphones, like most technology, have limitations. Smartphones have a memory capacity. Smartphones have a battery life capacity. Also, all of us forget to bring our smartphones at times with us. Thus, having a digital camera in our car is essential for many reasons.
Examples of relevant photographs may include:
- Your vehicle and the other driver’s car,
- Factors that may have caused the accident,
- The state installed street cameras,
- Damage to other objects at the accident scene, and
- Tire marks.
Contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles. If anyone is injured or the vehicle damages exceed $750.00, you must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days.
Failure to notify the DMV may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Call a lawyer. Also, contact an experienced lawyer of car accidents and personal injuries. They can provide more detailed steps of things you should do after a car accident. For example, they can answer whether you should call your insurance company. They can provide other answers as well.
If you were recently in an auto accident and are wondering about compensation or legal options, our San Jose car accident attorneys at Solution Now Law Firm can help you. Call us at (408) 256-2871 or visit our website. We have the experience to help you navigate the legal process and provide a solution.