California Car Accident FAQs
Each day, thousands of auto accidents occur on the streets and highways throughout California. In the wake of a serious car accident, many drivers are often confused, disoriented, and unsure of what to do next. The experienced car accident lawyers at Martinez & Schill LLP are often asked many of the same questions by prospective clients, including:
Q: What should I do if I am in an accident?
A: If you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you do not leave the scene or you could face criminal charges. Call an ambulance if there are injuries, and notify the police that an accident has occurred. If your vehicle can be moved, make sure that it is out of the roadway. Do not apologize or admit fault to anyone on the scene.
Q: What should I say to the other driver(s)?
A: At the scene, it is important to check with everyone involved for possible injuries. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers, but do not apologize or admit liability. Even if you think you are to blame, there may be other circumstances that contributed to the accident.
Q: What should I tell the police?
A: When filing a police report, either over the phone or to an officer on the scene, it is important for you to be cooperative and to tell the truth. Discuss only the facts, however. You may have an opinion about what happened, but now is not the time to talk about it. Do not admit liability or make accusations.
Q: Should I call my insurance company?
A: Yes. As soon as is reasonable following your accident, you contact your auto insurance company to begin the claims process. You will need to provide the basic details about the accident, and failure to do so in a timely manner could jeopardize your case. If your insurance company or that of any other party asks you for recorded statement, speak to an attorney first. If it is safe to do so, taking photos of the accident scene and damage can help your case. These photos may be forwarded to your auto insurance carrier and your attorney.
Q: How soon should I call a lawyer?
A: The best advice is to contact a personal injury lawyer soon after the accident, especially if you or a member of your family has been hurt. Acting quickly can help preserve evidence, as well as the testimony of potential witnesses. Your attorney can also guide you through the insurance claims process and can assist with getting you the medical attention you may need.
Q: What if the accident was my fault?
A: You may believe that your actions or negligence caused the accident, but determining liability is best left to the professionals. For example, you may think the accident happened because you ran a red light, but what if a defective car part prevented the other driver from stopping quickly enough? A car accident can be a complicated matter, so you should avoid making assumptions or statements about liability.
Q: What if the other driver flees the scene?
A: Any car accident is frightening, but the situation is often worse when one party drives away. Following a hit-and-run accident, a qualified attorney becomes even more valuable. If you can describe the other vehicle, or you managed to get a partial license plate number, your attorney can work with authorities to find the other party.
Contact Our San Diego Car Accident Attorneys
At Martinez & Schill LLP, your initial consultation is always free, which means that you have nothing to lose by contacting us after an accident. Our experienced San Diego car accident attorneys will help you in the pursuit of justice and will work to get you the compensation you need get your life back on track. Call 619-512-5995 to schedule an appointment today.