If you have been involved in a car accident in the State of California, you may be wondering what steps you should take to protect yourself afterward. After you receive any necessary medical treatment, it is always a good idea to speak with an attorney.
If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered in the accident. Contact attorney Johann Hall today for a free consultation regarding your potential personal injury claim. California car accident attorney, Johann Hall. has successfully handled many personal injury cases and has gotten favorable results for many different clients.
What to Do Immediately After the Car Accident
There are some critical steps you must take immediately after being in a car accident. First and foremost, obtain any medical care you need. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may need to be transported via ambulance to the emergency room right away from the scene of the accident. If your injuries were less severe, remain at the scene of the accident and report it to the police or the California Highway Patrol if you are in an unincorporated area.
What to Do If You Have Been Involved in a Serious Accident
If you have been involved in a serious car accident, one that results in injury or death to anyone or that results in property damage over $750, you must report the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days. In order to report the accident, you or your insurance agent (or your attorney) must fill out and complete the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (known as Form SR-1).
Additionally, you will also need to submit an SR-1 along with other filings that the police, insurance companies, and any administrative agencies involved require. The DMV SR-1 form is required even when the accident took place on private property or when the accident was caused by someone else. To be able to fill out the SR-1 accurately, you’ll need to make sure that you get the following information while still at the scene of the car accident:
- Time and place of the accident
- The other driver’s name, date of birth, and address
- The vehicle owner’s address and name
- The other driver’s license number and information
- The policy holder’s address and name
- The name of the other driver’s insurance company, the policy number, and the expiration date of that policy
- Explanation of property damage and any injuries
It is essential to file the SR-1 California accident report because the failure to do so could potentially result in the suspension of your driver’s license. One thing to be aware of is unless the police officer at the scene determines that the other driver was the one at fault for the accident, any accident that is reported by the police to the DMV will end up going onto your driving record.
Next Steps After Reporting the Accident
After you have reported the car accident, it is advisable to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case in the event the other driver is at fault. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries resulting from the car accident. You may also be able to receive compensation for any medical bills you have that were related to your injuries from the accident and that were reasonable. Additionally, you may be able to be compensated for your lost wages due to time off work, though generally, you must have a note from your doctor taking you off work for the period of time during which you are claiming lost wages.
Once you have completed medical care for your injuries from the accident, your attorney will request your medical records and also copies of your bills, along with any other relevant information related to your case. Your attorney will then send a copy of your records and bills to the at-fault driver’s insurance company along with a demand for settlement. At this point, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement for you and your case. If you are agreeable to the settlement that your attorney achieves for you, then you have the option to settle your case at that time and there will be no further litigation. If you decline to accept the settlement, the next step will likely be further litigation by formally filing your personal injury case and then taking your case to trial.
If you have been involved in a car accident and believe the other party to be at fault for the collision, contact California attorney Johann Hall right away. There are certain limitations on when your case can be filed, so it is important to call today or fill out our online contact form.