Many people consider California to be one of the most beautiful places to live in the USA. Unfortunately, it is also one of the states with the worst driving safety rates in the country. Since Californians rely on various means of transportation, especially cars, to get around, the chances of a car crash increase significantly.
For instance, Orange County, located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Southern California has its fair share of traffic accidents because of its congested roads. Although it’s one of the most desired places to live in, it’s also a place where a lot of accidents occur daily and many of the victims end up with minor injuries but some sustain serious mobile impairment, or even worse, end up losing their lives.
With that being said, knowing the primary causes for these car accidents is crucial but as a responsible driver, you must also know what to do immediately following a car accident.
In this article, we share some key tips to help you protect yourself.
Check for Injuries
Your top priority after a car accident has occurred is safety and making sure no one’s injured and seeking medical assistance if anyone needs it.
Car accidents often result in severe and even fatal injuries and this is why it’s a crucial step to see whether someone is hurt in the collision. Start by looking for any signs of blood, cuts, or bruises on your body. If you feel pain, try to stay still and not move until help arrives at the scene. Even if there are no visible signs of an injury, call 911 and get the proper medical attention to be on the safe side.
Contact an Attorney
Once a car accident happens, the first thing you need to do is to check whether you’re okay and whether the passengers in your car or another vehicle are fine. Regardless of the seriousness of the accident, whether it involves minor or major damages, there is a major possibility that a complex lawsuit could be headed your way. For this reason, it would be wise to immediately get in touch with a local reputable attorney to help you with the case and guide you in the process.
But how much does an Orange County accident attorney charge? Our key advice is to understand your attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation. Most of the attorneys in Orange County offer contingency fee billing so that those who need legal counsel most can get it.
Seeking advice from an attorney is valuable and recommended as it will help you prove liability, deal with the insurance company, negotiate the best settlement and receive the compensation you deserve.
Get to Safety
If the car crash occurs on a busy freeway where many other vehicles are passing by at high speed, trying to get to safety as quickly as you possibly can, or moving your car to the side of the road while waiting on the police or medical professionals to arrive is recommended.
However, if you’re under the influence of alcohol, you must remain calm and not make any bad decisions, like leaving the scene of the accident. This is illegal and if you do so, you’re potentially exposing yourself to serious civil and criminal consequences.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, look at experienced drunk driving accidents attorneys in Orange County as the best option to get through this difficult time in your life, and help you fight for justice and compensation.
Document the Accident
Although you might be experiencing a whirlpool of emotions after the accident, you should remain calm as best as you can and try to collect as much evidence as possible. This evidence is vital as it will be passed on to the local authorities who will gather reports of the incident.
The first thing to do is exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and take their full name, driver’s license and license plate number, insurance info like policy number, and effective dates. To make things easier on yourself, you can gather information of the make, model, and colour of the vehicle and the accident scene by putting your smartphone to work and taking photographs but remember to do all this from a safe location.
If you feel uncomfortable talking and exchanging this information with the other driver, you can wait for the police to come and help you do it.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Reporting your accident to your insurance company is also important. If you’re unable to do so, ask an attorney to do it as a way to protect you from signing statements or other documents that may work against your interest and affect your claim later on. Always provide all relevant medical records to the insurance agent to get the compensation you truly deserve.