Car accidents are among the most commonly reported causes of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States. Orange County, CA, is a bustling area, and car accidents happen frequently. If you or a loved one experiences a car accident in Orange County, it’s vital to know what to do following the incident for the best chance of recovering your losses. In addition, making any mistakes during the first phases of the aftermath of a car accident can potentially influence your ability to claim compensation for your damages.
Why Are First Steps So Important?
If another driver caused an accident with you, you have the right to hold them accountable for your damages. It’s possible that you could recover the full amount of your damages through an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, but you may need to take further legal action with a personal injury claim if their insurance doesn’t cover everything. Unfortunately, many people assume fault when they shouldn’t, jeopardizing their ability to claim compensation for damages. Others simply overlook their legal rights and settle for much less than they deserve.
Knowing what to do after a car accident in Orange County is critical if you want to ensure the best recovery possible. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer is an excellent resource for advice specific to your situation, but you should know the crucial first steps to take immediately after an accident before you’ve had the chance to secure legal counsel. These initial steps have a strong influence over subsequent legal proceedings. Review the following frequently asked questions to learn more about what to do following a car accident in Orange County.
Orange County Car Accident FAQs
It’s common to have lots of questions after a car accident. Many people who experience car accidents for the first time are so shaken by their experiences they make critical errors that influence their ability to recover their damages. The attorneys at Chris and Frank want you to have the information you need immediately after a car accident. These are some of the most common questions we hear from accident victims in Orange County, CA.
What Do You Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
Immediately after a car accident, your priority should be your personal safety and well-being. Once your vehicle has stopped, check yourself and your passengers for injuries before checking on the other driver. California law requires you to report any car accident that causes significant property damage, injuries, or death. If you can do so, take photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the positions of the vehicles involved in the accident. These photos could be helpful in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
What Do You Do After a Minor Car Accident?
If you have a minor accident with another driver, you may not need to call the police to report it. You and the other driver might be able to work out an agreement between yourselves or settle the issue with a simple insurance claim. However, if you sustain any injury, you should obtain the other driver’s information and insurance details before contacting a lawyer. Even seemingly minor car accident injuries can have devastating effects if left unchecked, and your damages could be more than you initially estimated.
What Is the First Thing You Should Do After a Car Accident?
The first thing anyone should do after a car accident is check themselves for injuries. Car accidents can easily cause severe injuries, and you should seek prompt medical attention immediately after a car accident. Your doctor can help you determine the scope of your injuries and identify any internal injuries that may not have caused noticeable symptoms.
What Do You Do After a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault?
It can be difficult to determine fault for a car accident immediately after it occurs. However, if the fault is evident in a car accident, such as an inattentive driver slamming into your vehicle from behind while you are stopped at a red light, the fault is much more readily apparent. After such an event, check yourself for injuries and try to secure as much evidence from the accident scene as possible before the police arrive to clear the area. Take photos with your phone if you can. These photos can help you prove fault for the accident and hold the other driver accountable for your damages.
What Should I Do If Someone Hit My Car?
If you leave your car parked and return to find that someone has hit it, you may face a difficult road to recovering your losses. If a driver hits an unattended vehicle, they should either wait for the vehicle owner to return to their car or leave a note for the vehicle’s owner that includes their contact information and auto insurance details. If they do not, this constitutes a hit-and-run. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help their client gather the evidence they need to locate a hit-and-run driver, including traffic camera footage or statements from eyewitnesses who saw the hit-and-run occur.
Should I Call Insurance After a Small Accident?
You should never contact an insurance company after a car accident until you have consulted an attorney. Even a seemingly minor accident can involve more damages than you initially expected. Your attorney can review the details of your situation and correspond with insurance companies on your behalf, ultimately helping you secure much more from your claim settlement than you would have likely managed on your own.
Hopefully, these answers help you better understand how crucial it is to take appropriate action immediately after a car accident. Knowing what to do after a car accident in Orange County can significantly improve your chance of securing the compensation you need for your medical expenses, lost income, vehicle damage, and other losses. The attorneys at Chris and Frank have years of experience handling car accident claims for clients in Orange County, CA, and we can apply this experience to your case. Contact us today to learn how our firm can empower your recovery.