Vehicle crashes happen in an instant, and suddenly you’re in the midst of a traumatic and difficult situation. You may be hurt, and you’re likely wondering what to do both now and in the near future. There are some things you should do following a car accident in Riverside, CA. First and foremost, you should immediately call the police to report the crash. If you are hurt, seek medical care at the scene or shortly after as is possible.
Tips from California Highway Patrol
The California Highway Patrol, CHP, offers residents some advice about how to handle car accidents in Riverside, CA and elsewhere. They suggest that if there are no injuries, you move the vehicles to a safe area out of the roadway to maintain safety. Exchange information with the other driver including their insurance details. Make notes about the car accident including the time of day, the location, what the weather was like and whatever else you remember about the crash. Note exactly what happened leading up to the crash. These details could escape your memory later if you fail to write them down.
It is important not to accept blame for the accident. It is up to the police to investigate the incident and make a determination. Sometimes there are contributing factors that lead to a collision, and more than one driver may hold some of the responsibility. Most auto accidents in Riverside, CA are avoidable.
Factors that Contribute to Car Accidents in Riverside, CA
Car crashes are not always caused by one thing. In many accidents, there is more than one contributing factor that leads to a collision. These factors generally fall into one of three categories including driver error, mechanical malfunction, and environmental conditions. These factors are helpful when determining which driver is at fault for the car accident.
Common driver-related factors include speeding, following too closely behind another vehicle, improper lane changes and distracted driving. The most common mechanical problems are tire and brake malfunctions. Environmental conditions include rain, fog and glare. In California, more than one driver could be partly negligent in an accident. Even if you were partly to blame for the crash you could still get compensation for damages that were incurred.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Riverside, CA
First and foremost, contact 911 at the scene of the crash, preferably before you move the vehicles. If the other driver asks you not to call the police, it could be an indication that they have something to hide or could be without insurance. Always contact the authorities, especially in instances where there are physical injuries or property damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene while the cars are still in the crash position. This could help later when determining exactly how the accident occurred.
Get the names and contact information for any witnesses in case they do not remain on the scene until the police arrive. The police will take statements from the drivers, passengers and anyone who saw the incident. Do not make conclusions about what happened and do not admit guilt. Remember that you may not be correct about happened because you might not yet have all the facts. The law requires an accident report be submitted. If you have called the police, they will take care of making the necessary report. You can obtain a copy of the completed report from the police at a later date.
Be sure to get checked out by a doctor after the accident. You may not immediately feel hurt, but some injuries may become apparent later. If you don’t want to go in an ambulance, you can visit your doctor or the emergency room later. It is advisable to visit the doctor on the same day as the incident to ensure that the injuries are properly attributed to the crash. If you hit your head in the accident, do not wait to get medical care.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
After a serious car accident in Riverside, CA you will likely be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. They could ask you to make a statement regarding the crash, and they may even offer a settlement. It is advisable that you do not speak with the insurance representative until you first consult with an attorney. In some instances, the insurance company will try to settle for an amount lower than what is fair. They could also try to get you to admit to fault in the crash in order to avoid making the proper payment.
Seek Legal Help after Your California Car Accident
Car accidents can be complicated and there could be many issues that have to be resolved. If you were injured, you need to concentrate on medical treatment. The bills associated with care might be extremely costly, especially if your injuries were serious. There may also be a need for ongoing treatment or surgery. These costs should be paid for by the responsible party. A personal injury attorney will champion your cause and protect your rights.
In addition to the costs of medical care, you may also be owed money for other damages. These could include such things as money for pain and suffering and for lost wages. If you were permanently injured, you might be owed compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. All those injured in the accident may be able to take separate legal action against the negligent driver.
While you may be entitled to money after an accident, it typically requires a great deal of experience to resolve these types of cases. Your attorney will work hard to gather the information necessary for a successful case. Many of these types of cases are resolved through negotiation, however, if not the matter will proceed to court. Your attorney will prepare the case for court, taking care of all the many details needed to obtain a positive outcome.
If you were seriously injured in a car accident in Riverside, CA, we are here to help. Contact our office at 1-800-Hurt Now to schedule a consultation today.