After a Car Accident

After a car accident, there are several important steps that you should immediately take in order to protect yourself and your family.  As soon as possible, preferably immediately, you will also need to talk to an experienced auto accident attorney who can preserve your legal rights.  If you were injured and taken to the hospital, follow your doctor’s medical advice.  Get needed rest, return for follow-up visits as directed, and do everything your doctor recommends for treatment.  This will be important both for your recovery and for your personal injury claim.


In a serious accident case, most likely the police have already come out to the scene of the car accident and made a police report.  If the police never came out to the scene of the accident or the collision was not reported to the police, it is imperative to report it immediately.  Contact a personal injury attorney at once to obtain legal advice on how to rectify this issue and make sure the accident is properly reported to the authorities.


The next important thing you need to do is report the accident to your insurance company.  Most insurance policies have standard provisions that require you to report an accident within a matter of days, or as soon as practical and possible after a car accident.  If it turns out the other drive did not have insurance and you need to go through your own insurance company or your uninsured motorists’ coverage, you want to make sure that your insurance company will not deny you coverage for failure to timely report the accident as required by your auto policy.  


When contacting your insurance company, don’t give them any statements until you have representation by a lawyer.  Just report the vehicle collision, that’s it.  If you speak to an insurance company representative too long, you may find yourself making statements that the insurance company will later use against you to deny coverage.   Insurance company’s have a bad reputation for being good at eliciting statements from you and then using those statements against you to deny your claim. 


The next thing you should do is contact a car accident lawyer San Diego.  An experienced lawyer will then take over the representation and protect your legal rights and interests.  Your lawyer will handle communications with the insurance companies involved, so that you are not talking to them and possibly making statements that could harm your case.


In order to avoid problems with the DMV, you will also need to file an accident report with the DMV on the prescribed form.  If you have a lawyer, then your lawyer will handle the making of this report on your behalf.   If you are a client of Injury Law Group, we complete all of the required information on the form on your behalf, have our clients sign it, and mail it to the DMV on your behalf.


Finally, it is extremely important that you start keeping a daily journal in which you jot down notes about the car accident and your injury, while the incident and surrounding circumstances are still fresh in your mind. Include as many details as you can about the accident and your injuries, as well as how your injury is affecting your ability to enjoy the things you used to do before you were injured.  Later, during settlement negotiations or at the trial of your legal matter, you and your injury attorney will refer to these notes to refresh your recollection and present a stronger case.