What to do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident in California

Ah, California. The sunshine state. A brilliant place to visit, drive around, and learn about. Whether you are here for pleasure, for business, or because you live here, California is a fun place to visit. Most of the time, you will likely stick to the major cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

However, trips to some of its more regional places, like El Centro or Temecula, can be great fun. What happens, though, if you get injured on this journey? What do you do?

Car accidents are, sadly, quite common. Too common in many ways. They can be entirely your fault, the other driver’s fault, or a mixture of both. What do you do, then, if you are involved in a car accident in California? What is the protocol?

First off, get details and photo evidence

The first thing that you should do is get out of the vehicle (if you are able, DO NOT move if you cannot). Speak to the other party and try to work out between you both who is generally at fault. Most of the time, it should be obvious. You should then look to take photos of the vehicles – get images from all angles of both vehicles so you can show beyond doubt what has taken place and what damage is present today.

Try and find a consensus with the other party

Your next task is to try and find some kind of agreement. If someone is clearly at fault, then they must hold their hands up (yes, even if you were at fault). So long as you are properly insured and care for your car, this should not be a killer for your insurance policy. However, if neither side is willing to take the blame, you have a problem.

Contact the relevant authorities

First off, if anyone is injured, then call an ambulance. If the incident is serious enough, call the police. Call a tow team to get the vehicle moved away if the car is damaged.

At this stage, you probably want to bring in a third-party specialist. For example, you could hire one of the different kinds of car accident attorney Temecula has to offer. There are many experienced injury attorneys in the area. Contact a lawyer and find out when they can meet you to discuss your incident. You might be either pursuing a claim or defending yourself against one.

Also, contact your insurance company and get them informed of the details. Do not delay this; the sooner you contact your insurer, the sooner you can begin to determine the next steps.

Wait for the results

At this point; everything becomes a waiting game. You must wait until all legal avenues are dealt with, and then you can take things further. Most of the time, this means waiting for compensation to clear and/or for legal dates to be set in stone. You have much to think about here, and it will be time-consuming with many visits to your attorney and mechanic.

Good luck, but be prepared and patient. It is rare that an auto accident in California is cleaned up on the day – or even within a week or two. This is a long-term process, but if you are patient and follow the above protocol, you should be able to find a happy enough ending to a trying process.

Author: Brandon Park