Whenever you get into an auto accident in San Diego, California, you are bound to have a lot of questions. You may not be in the best position to make the right choices at the time, as you might be in shock, severely injured, or even unconscious at the time. In other cases, you might be angry at someone else for causing the accident or traumatized by the scene before you. This is where it is essential to know what is expected of you and to take the necessary steps to respond appropriately.
You Must Stop at the Scene of Any San Diego, California, Auto Accident You Are Involved In
If you are involved in any kind of auto accident in San Diego, California, you are legally required to stop at the scene. This is true for collisions involving other drivers, pedestrians, bicycles, the property of others, etc. If you do not stop at the scene, for any reason, you may be charged as a hit and run driver. You may say that there was no damage or no injuries to defend yourself, but you will still face consequences. The best thing to do is to stop, assess the situation, respond to any injuries to the best of your ability, and contact the authorities. Be sure to exchange your insurance information and contact details with anyone else who is involved, and collect the contact information of witnesses. Failing to stop at the scene will result in charges, fines, jail time, the loss of your license, or other penalties.
You Must Do Your Best to Respond to the Injuries of Others Involved in the Accident
If you are in a position to do so, meaning that you are not so seriously injured that you cannot help, then you must do your best to respond to the injuries of others who were involved in your San Diego, California, auto accident. You may not know what to do, but you have to try to help. Calling 911 can ensure that you get assistance on the scene as quickly as possible and that you get directions for providing any first aid that you are able to provide. The 911 operator may walk you through the steps of CPR, tell you how to put pressure on a wound, or simply help you to remain calm and keep others calm while you wait for help. You want to avoid moving anyone who could have a spine or neck injury, though if you absolutely must move them to prevent further harm (as in from a burning vehicle) then you will not be held accountable for any harm that results from your attempt to help. You will, however, be held accountable for failing to try to help if you are able to do so.
You Need to Know Which Evidence and Information to Collect from Others at the Scene
When it comes to collecting information from others who are involved in your San Diego, California, auto accident,
you’ll want to know exactly what information to request. For example, you need to get the driver’s license information, the license plate numbers, the insurance information, the vehicle registration information, and contact information of anyone else who is involved. You should also write down a general description of the other vehicles, including their colors, makes, and models. In cases where the driver is not also the owner of the vehicle, you should get the name and contact information of whoever does own the vehicle.
You can also collect the contact information of passengers and of witnesses who may have seen what happened. You should ask witnesses to remain at the scene until the police arrive so that they can give a statement. However, you cannot force them to do so. They may decide to leave the scene. This is why it is wise to get their contact information right away. When the police do arrive, get their names and badge numbers and ask about getting a copy of the police report.
It is also useful to make a diagram of the incident and write down what you remember from the collision. Then, take pictures of the position of vehicles, the property damage, the personal injuries, and anything else that may be relevant to the case. You might get photos of traffic signals, of the conditions of the road, of the weather and street lights.
The more photos and evidence you are able to collect, the better off you’ll be. The more information that you write down, the easier it will be to recall what happened exactly as it happened without missing or forgetting important details. For instance, you can write down the order of events, the estimated speed of the involved vehicles, and the exact location, date, and time of the collision. All of this will prove useful when you are tasked with proving that your version of events is the correct version of events. When you talk to a San Diego, California, auto accident attorney, you can bring all of this information with you and get started on the right foot in your auto accident claim.
You Would Be Wise to Avoid Discussing Fault After a San Diego, California, Auto Accident
While you should write down the events as they occurred and while you should cooperate with the police, you do not have to specifically discuss fault. You should not apologize to anyone or discuss what you may or may not have done wrong. It is difficult to know exactly what happened and who was at fault for how much of the collision without waiting for an investigation to be completed. Yet, if you say the wrong thing, your words may be used against you and you may end up liable for the incident.
Consult with Medical Professionals and a Skilled Car Accident Attorney
Seek medical treatment after any auto accident, even if you don’t think you are injured, just to be sure that any injuries you may have are documented and treated. Then, call the San Diego, California, auto accident attorneys at Hurt Now for a free consultation.