Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
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Toll Free 866-543-7598

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You were in an accident! Do you know what to do next?

Most accidents occur in the blink of an eye. One minute, you're driving along, and the next you find yourself confused and dazed. More than likely, you sit there wondering what just happened. From inside your car, you assess as much of the damage as you can.

In the chaos that follows, you might not know what you should do. You also might not know that the actions you take in the first minutes following an accident could affect your insurance claim and any potential personal injury claim you might think about filing.

Remain at the scene

If you leave the scene of the accident, you could face charges for hit-and-run. This could happen even if the accident wasn't your fault.

Assess injuries

When you can safely get out of your vehicle, check on the others involved. Anyone who complains of back or neck pain shouldn't move until emergency medical personnel arrive unless the situation presents a mortal danger to that individual. In that case, move the person.

Report the crash

Call 911 and report the accident especially if anyone suffered injuries. The police report could help later.

Exchange information

Depending on the circumstances, you and the other driver or drivers should exchange the following information:

  • Names and addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Driver's license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance information

Obtain as much information from and about any passengers in the vehicles involved as well.

Never say you're sorry

In the heat of the moment, you might automatically apologize for any involvement in the accident. Do not do this. The other party could use your words against you and expose you to legal liability. In addition, don't discuss the details of the accident with anyone but your insurance company, the police and your attorney.

Talk to any witnesses

If anyone not involved who witnessed the crash remained at the scene, ask him or her to tell you what they know. Ask for their contact information. You could need it later. Anyone who might live in the area who was at the scene might also have information regarding whether the area sees many accidents.

Take photographs

Document the scene as best you can by taking photographs. In the aftermath of an accident, your memory might not serve you well. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, their positions and the surrounding area at the very least. There is no such thing as too many pictures, but if you take too few, you could miss an important detail.

Call your insurance company

Report the crash to your insurance company. Answer questions truthfully and provide any information about what caused the accident that you know. Failing to be forthright with your insurance company could result in a denial of any claim you make. Having the police report could help you provide the insurance company with details regarding those involved and what happened.

Medical records and expenses

Keep track of all medical treatments and expenses. In addition, keep track of how your injuries affect your life. Record time missed from work and activities you can't participate in due to your injuries, along with how your injuries affect your personal life and members of your family.

Dealing with your insurance company

Be wary of any settlement offers you receive from your insurance company or that of the other driver. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They do not look out for your best interests. Most offers end up well below what you may obtain and might need in order to cover your financial losses. In addition, you might not know the full extent of your injuries right away.

A California attorney can help you with your insurance claim and determine whether you might benefit from filing a personal injury claim.

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Office Location

Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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