Like most areas of the nation, California roadways are often busy, dangerous places. If you plan to get behind the wheel of a car to drive, you definitely want to be alert, aware of traffic regulations and ready to act at a moment's notice should an unexpected situation place you at risk for injury. The problem is that you can be a safe, cautious driver and still not be able to avoid a problem because you have no way of controlling other motorists' behaviors.
Let's say you're waiting for a red light to turn green, and when it does, you enter the intersection when a car suddenly comes barreling through a red light at the crossroad and slams into the side of your vehicle. The impact of the collision may affect the rest of your life. If you're able, you can gather evidence at the scene that can help you later seek recovery for your losses. If you lose consciousness or otherwise need emergency medical attention, someone else can collect evidence for you.
Important after-accident issues to remember
Your thoughts may be a bit hazy following a collision, especially if you suffered injury in addition to vehicle damage. The following list provides reminders that can point you in the right direction for post-accident support, as well as how to protect yourself from legal problems pertaining to the incident:
- The highest priority after an accident is to seek medical attention. Symptoms of injuries are not always immediately apparent, so it's best to get checked out at the hospital so physicians can monitor you then and in the days that follow in case symptoms develop. Emergency treatment is often necessary to save lives in serious crashes.
- You will want to document any injury or treatment thereof because such information creates a paper trail that may come in handy if you decide to seek compensation for damages in court.
- It's always best to notify police, as well as your insurance agent, as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
- Photographic evidence is also very helpful, especially if you wish to seek legal accountability against another motorist. Even pictures taken by cell phone can help substantiate a personal injury claim.
- Avoid speaking with the other motorist involved or to that person's insurance agency. You may say or do something that will later hurt your case, which is why it may be best to allow an experienced personal injury attorney to act on your behalf.
If there were witnesses to your accident, it's a good idea to ask them for their names and contact information, in case their testimonies are later needed in court. Recovery following a motor vehicle collision begins at the scene; however, it may take weeks, months, even years before you're feeling like your old self again. Then again, if you suffer catastrophic injuries, that day may never come. Learning to live with a permanent disability brings a whole host of challenges to the lives of accident victims in California and beyond.
Support is critical
Hopefully, you have a strong support network at home to help you as you recuperate and move forward in life. From close friends and family members to licensed counselors or ministers, you can take full advantage of any and all resources available.
Many California accidents victims ask experienced personal injury attorneys to help them as they gather accident evidence and pursue justice for the suffering they've endured due to others' negligence.