What to do if You are Involved in a Car Accident in Los Angeles, The San Fernando Valley, Ventura or Anywhere in California
If you are involved in any car accident or other motor vehicle traffic accident in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley or anywhere in California, here are some general helpful tips and advice (see disclaimer at bottom):
Be prepared– Obtain and keep the following in your car or other motor vehicle:
Cell telephone to call for assistance and also to use as a camera
Paper and pen or pencil
Camera to photograph all involved vehicles, people and scene of accident
First aid kit and other emergency gear such as cones and flares
Your proof of liability insurance or insurance coverage card. If you do not have it, you may simply request a copy from your insurance agent or insurance company. Be sure you have appropriate insurance coverage to not just pay possible claims made against you by other parties, but also to protect your family and you. (You should contact a California Insurance Attorney for a free insurance coverage review and advice)
If you have any special medical conditions requiring special care, a card describing same
Injuries- Check everyone involved for any injuries and if anyone needs urgent medical care then immediately call 911 for assistance.
Police– If the car accident is not your fault, we advise you to call the police and obtain a police report to confirm same. This report is often called a "Traffic Collision Report". While this may take some time, including waiting for the police or CHP, it often saves considerable time in the long run and is well worth it. Clients have come to us when the other party admitted fault at the scene, but then later changed stories. A clear police report or traffic collision report may prevent this potential problem. Also, if you are not at fault and you can leave all vehicles in there immediate post-collision position until the police arrive, then you should do that as it should help prove you were NOT at fault. In addition, be sure to tell the police officers all pains and injuries you feel, no matter how slight, as they may get worse later and earlier documentation of all injuries often is very helpful in proving they were caused by the collision(s).
Move to Safe Area- When appropriate, move all vehicles to a safe position or area and do not place yourself in any danger. Turn on the vehicles' hazard flashers and use other warning devices, such as cones, if available and if safely can be displayed. If the placement of the vehicles right after the accident is important to prove the other party at fault, try to wait for the police and get photographs of the vehicles from different locations and angles before moving them. If you must move the vehicles prior to the police arriving, then be sure to take many photographs showing their position before moving them.
Exchange and record information–Obtain the all names and contact information for the driver and owner of each car, truck or other vehicle involved in this collision(s), all witnesses and passengers, and their drivers' license numbers. Read and copy the other person's driver's license information and insurance card; do not rely on the other party to give you the correct information as it may be wrong or false. Also, take photos of the driver's licenses and insurance information cards using the camera function in your mobile phone device. This is an excellent way to preserve information, but also write it all down to be 100% safe! For each vehicle, also record the license plate number (take photos, too); vehicle description including make, model, color, anything written on the other vehicle(s) such as company names, telephone numbers, logos or other identifying information (again, please also take photos); and the location of all property damage (both from this collision and any other damage that looks unrelated and/or preexisting). Remember, please take photographs of all identifying names and logos on the other vehicle(s), as well as all driver's licenses and insurance information cards.
Other party working- If the other driver was working at the time of this incident, obtain all work and employment contact information.
Statements- Be courteous and polite, but never admit fault or liability as, among other reasons, there may be other factors that occurred that you may not yet know about, including the other party may have been speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If injured, do NOT give any statements to any insurer until you consult with a California Car Accident Attorney.
Take photos - Use your camera- Take photographs of all involved vehicles, the scene, anything that contributed or may have contributed to causing this incident, and the people involved. Don't forget, many cell telephones also function as cameras.
Take notes- Prepare a detailed sketch and summary of what occurred and what you believe caused this accident. This is important to do right away as you may later forget certain important details.
File all required reports with the police, your insurance company and the DMV. If you were injured, you should consult a California Car Accident Attorney for advice before giving any statements to any insurers or to the DMV as your attorney may be able to do this for you. Some insurers require such reports right away or may deny coverage and if it is a hit and run or uninsured motorist (UM) claim also be sure to make a traffic collision report (i.e., police report) immediately and then submit the required DMV forms, known as SR-1 and later the SR-19 form, when required. Again, your attorney may be able to do this for you. Be sure to timely comply or your claim maybe barred due to certain procedural time deadlines and, if you have any questions or injuries, you immediately should call a California Car Accident Attorney for advice and assistance with these forms. The initial consultation with our firm isFREE!
Injury Claims- If anyone involved suffered any injury requiring medical care contact an experienced California Personal Injury Attorney for help, including with car repairs or negotiating a total loss payout, arranging a free loan car or reimbursement of all rental expenses; obtaining medical care, including doctors, physical therapy, specialists (such as orthopedic and plastic surgeons, neurologists, dentists and psychologists – usually without any payment until your claim is resolved), medications, scans (e.g., MRI and CT Scans) and X-Rays, surgery and hospital care (often on a lien basis which means you do not need pay any deductible or even any co-payments until your claim is resolved); and, when appropriate, cash advances to assist you with expenses during this difficult time.
The initial consultation is FREE and on injury cases there is NO fee with our firm UNTIL you win!
The information contained in this Website is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter or any particular claim or case. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without first seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a California Car Accident Attorney or an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content of this Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, strategy, laws, verdicts or settlements. These Attorneys and Firm expressly disclaim all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this general page and entire Website. All rights reserved.
You guys did a great job in settling my case! Hope you all do well and prosper. Thank you for a job well done. Jackie C.
We had two prior attorneys who were unable to settle our car accident case. We then hired Gary and Robert Walch and they not only got us both great settlements, but personally spent time with us explaining everything clearly. We couldn't be happier. Thank you! A.M. and M.A.
Dear Gary, I just want to thank you for working so hard on my case! I know at times we were a bit difficult, but you did a great job. I thank you and your son for good results. I will pass your number on to any one that I run across who may need a PI attorney! I send you warm regards. Julie B.
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