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The 5 Steps You Need to Take After a Car Accident

An accident occurs, and it’s easy for the participants involved to react in a way that could potentially harm their ability to pursue compensation. Unfortunately, this happens far too often, and individuals fail to take the necessary steps they need to get justice.

When it comes to filing a claim, you need to take every step necessary immediately after the crash to protect your rights. Below, we’ll break down some of the things you need to do to build a strong claim and avoid having the insurance company taking advantage of you.

If you find yourself injured in a car accident, call our firm at (805) 628-4967 today.

Step 1: Exchange Necessary Documentation

You want to make sure you’re exchanging necessary documents with the other driver involved in the crash. Get the driver’s license and contact information, as well as his or her insurance policy information. This information is what you’ll provide to your insurance company.

Your insurance company will contact the other driver’s insurance provider to get additional information. From there, the two companies will work together to determine fault and potentially pay out compensation.

Step 2: Make Important Phone Calls

There are a few phone calls you want to make immediately after an accident. The first call you want to make is to local law enforcement. When damages exceed a certain amount and you suffer an injury, police should be called out to document the entire crash. If a severe injury occurs, the law enforcement can also dispatch an ambulance.

You should also call your insurance company to report the accident quickly. The faster you get your insurance company the necessary information and your statement on record, the better.

Step 3: Speak with Witnesses & Take Photos

If there are any witnesses who saw the accident, you want to get their contact information. These individuals can help explain the situation that occurred and back up your story regarding who was at fault. Provide the witnesses’ contact information to your insurance company and they can help to gather information.

Make sure you take photos of the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and visible injuries you or your passengers may suffer. These photos serve a valuable purpose in proving property damage and injuries in a car accident claim.

Step 4: Get Medical Help Quickly

After a crash, injuries are not always immediately apparent. They could take days to manifest. You should see a doctor as soon as you feel any kind of pain. The longer you wait, the more the insurance company will try to use this against you. They may try to claim that you suffered an injury in a separate incident. Medical records can be a strong piece of evidence to help you file a claim.

Medical help can get you started with treatment, and it can also help with the medical records you need as proof of the injuries you sustained. Your doctor can help attest to the fact that the injury you suffered was caused by the situation in which you were involved.

Step 5: Hire a Lawyer

While you may think that you have a simple claim and it’s something you can do yourself, many insurance companies thrive off vulnerable people trying to handle their own claims. It’s important to speak with a lawyer who understands the complexities of a car accident claim in California. Having legal representation can help you understand your rights.

Even more, having an attorney can help you better understand how to utilize the evidence you have. If the insurance company tries to deny your claim, you and your lawyer can work to prove that negligence existed, and you have the right to pursue justice.

At Crane Flores, LLP, we make it a point to provide you with excellent service when you need it most. Our car accident attorneys are here to help you throughout Oxnard, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. We go the extra mile to protect your rights and safeguard your options to pursue compensation.

Call our firm today at (805) 628-4967 and we’ll be there for you when you need us most.