Insurance, Police, or Lawyer? Who Should You Talk to First After a Car Accident?

car accident

Stress can seriously wreak havoc on our bodies. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, stress can increase aches and pains and delay the healing process. Managing stress following a car accident comes down to eliminating uncertainties about the process.

Knowing what to do and who to talk to after an accident occurs can make the process seem less overwhelming. Keep reading to learn more about who should be your first call after a car accident in California. 

At the Scene: The Police

If a car accident occurs, the first thing you should do is call the police.

Your safety as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers should always come first. If anyone is injured, calling 911 is the first step in getting them the medical care they need. Calling the police is important whether or not you were at fault for the accident.

The police can assist other parties, keep the road clear, and provide general car accident help. While you’re not required to talk to the police, if you weren’t at fault for the accident, it’s a good idea to cooperate with their investigation. The police will create a report that will serve as a major piece of evidence for your claim or lawsuit.

The most important thing to remember is to never admit fault. If you aren’t sure what happened or aren’t sure how to answer their questions, err on the side of caution and limit your response.

You are required to provide your license, insurance, and vehicle registration to the police. If you are suspected of driving under the influence, implied consent laws will apply.

Here’s what the police will collect at the scene of the accident:

  • The time and location of the accident
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all parties involved
  • Statements from all parties
  • Contact information and statements from witnesses
  • Insurance information for all parties
  • Registration and VIN for all parties
  • A description of any applicable environmental or road conditions that may be factored into the cause of the crash
  • Any surveillance footage or video of the accident
  • Notes about any injuries
  • How the accident occurred and who was at fault 

When to Contact an Attorney

After you have made sure you are safe, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney right away.

While your first priority should be seeking medical care, this call should be next on your list. Even if you don’t think you were injured in the accident, you should get yourself checked out and speak with an attorney.

Common car accident injuries are notorious for taking time to manifest. This is in part because of the adrenaline flowing through your body right after an accident. Injuries can take days to weeks to show up and delaying treatment can affect the outcome.

When you connect with a personal injury attorney right away, they will help you get the medical care you need.

One of the biggest challenges of car accidents claims and lawsuits is proving your case through documentation. The earlier you start documenting everything that happens, the stronger your case will be and the more likely you will get a fair settlement. 

When it comes to choosing the right attorney, look for a law firm with significant experience handling claims like yours in California. You don’t want just any attorney handling your case. You want an attorney who has years of experience and a proven track record handling car accident claims.

If you aren’t sure who was at fault for the accident, you should still contact an attorney. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages in the state of California. 

Why You Should Call an Attorney Before Your Insurance Company

While it is important to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, there are several key reasons why this step should be last.

If you weren’t at fault for the accident, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company for the other driver. Remember that this insurance company represents them and is trying to protect their interests.

They will ask you to give a statement about what happened and will try to catch you off guard and get you to admit fault for the accident. They will also look for any opportunity to minimize your injuries and damages from the accident. This is why it’s so important to talk to a personal injury attorney before you call your insurance company.

Personal injury attorneys can give expert car accident advice and prepare you before you talk with any insurance representatives. Fortunately, the best personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 so you can contact them right away after an accident occurs.

If there were multiple parties at fault for the accident or the at-fault driver didn’t have adequate insurance, things can get even more complicated. A good personal injury attorney will help you manage these many moving parts and keep your stress levels down so you can focus on healing. 

Were You Involved in a Car Accident?

Knowing what to do after car accidents can be tricky.

If another driver was at fault for the accident, they or their insurance company may try to take advantage of you and get out of paying for your claim. The most important thing to remember is that your health comes first.

If you’re ever unsure what to say or do after an accident, we are here to help 24/7. Click here to contact us today for a free consultation. 

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