With millions of people on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday, there will be an increase in traffic accidents. These accidents may be caused by traffic congestion, speeding, weather conditions, distracted driving or impaired driving. Car accidents can be very stressful and scary situations. It is common to feel shocked and anxious. We hope you have an accident free holiday, but it is important to be prepared for any situation. Below, we have outlined steps to take in case of an accident.
Steps to Take After a Thanksgiving Car Accident
Call the police. A police officer can protect the scene, contact medical authorities and evaluate the situation. They are trained to deal with stressful situations and they could help you stay calm and guide you through the immediate aftermath of an accident.
In addition, they will write up and file a report about the accident. Their report could be beneficial to you. For example, a police report could provide important statements about the accident and witness information that you may need later.
If police do not investigate the scene, you must submit a written report to California law enforcement within 24 hours if anyone was injured or killed in the accident. In addition, you must submit a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
Seek medical attention. Always put your health first. If you are badly injured, try to stay calm and call 9-1-1 immediately for medical assistance. If you cannot find any injuries, then check on the other party to see if they are injured.
If you are not assessed by a medical professional at the accident scene, we recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. A medical assessment is important for two major reasons. Most importantly, you want to know that you have not sustained severe injuries in the accident. Adrenaline could keep you from feeling any pain. Once the adrenaline wears off, delayed injury symptoms could appear hours or days later.
Secondly, medical records are important when filing an insurance claim. If you delay medical attention, the insurance company could claim your injuries are minimal or were caused by a different accident. Then, they could try to minimize or deny your compensation.
Exchange important information. During a car accident, it is imperative to exchange specific information with the other party. Important information includes names, contact information, driver license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information. You will need this information when filing a police report or an insurance claim.
Take pictures of the scene. If police do come to the scene, do not rely solely on their police report. You want to have your own information too, especially if the police report establishes that you are at fault for the accident. Having your own information could keep you protected in a claim or lawsuit.
Take pictures of the vehicles involved, license plates and damages. In addition, pictures could provide information that the police report leaves out, such as the time of day, traffic conditions, weather and road conditions.
Contact a car accident attorney. If you have been in a car accident, it could be beneficial to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney could help you find appropriate medical professionals if you have sustained injuries.
In addition, a car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options after a wreck. An attorney could gather important evidence, talk to witnesses and build a strong case for you so you are not forced into an unfair settlement. An attorney could also fight for you in court if need be.
Need a Modesto Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin to discuss your situation. Depending on the circumstances, you could have a viable claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Call us at (209) 522-2211 or fill out our online case review form to discuss your situation today.