Accidents are incredibly common and incredibly stressful. The shock of being involved in an accident can make even the most reasonable and level-headed among us freeze up. We have seen it dozens of times, and have helped defend dozens of clients who either fail to remember the specifics of their accident, or are missing vital pieces of evidence or information because, in the moment, they had no idea what to do.
We believe that the best way to handle an accident is to prepare yourself well ahead of time. By teaching yourself the best course of action and repeating that lesson to keep the information at the forefront of your mind, you are helping to ensure that you will not freeze up on site. It is like studying for a test that hasn’t been scheduled. You could be tested tomorrow, next week, or years from now…so the best time to prepare is today!
Here are the steps you should take if/when you get in an accident:
- If it is safe to do so, take photos of the cars where they came to rest before pulling them out of traffic or to the side of the road.
- Exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. We advise that you take photos of the other driver’s Driver’s License, their insurance card, their registration, and their vehicle’s license plate.
- If you need an ambulance, call 911. If the other driver refuses to exchange information, call 911. Otherwise, it is sufficient to exchange information on the scene with the other driver.
- If the collision took place on the highway, you can notify the California Highway Patrol. You can find details of their protocol here.
- Throughout this entire process, take care not to admit any liability or to say anything that could potentially be used against you.
- If there were witnesses to the collision, collect their names and phone numbers. Make sure that these are people who actually witnessed the collision and are not people who simply showed up after.
- Look around for any cameras that may be in the area, and note their locations.
- Call Herrera Law PC for a free consultation!