Accidents Happen. What Happens Next?
San Jose Accident Lawyers Explain What to Do After a Car Accident
Car accidents happen every day. From a simple fender bender to a major accident resulting in a fatality, no two accidents are the same. There are many factors that can lead to an accident—including some that even the drivers are unaware of. Moreover, all parties involved have responsibilities in the aftermath of an accident, even if you do not believe that you are liable for the incident. Unfortunately, few people know what to do in the event of a serious collision.
The legal professionals at Needham, Kepner & Fish, LLP are San Jose accident lawyers who will work to ensure that you are protected after an accident. With our help, you will be properly represented during the claims process or even in court if necessary. The last thing that you want after being the victim of a vehicle accident is to be taken advantage of by the process afterward. Contact us for a free consultation and begin the process of recovering your losses today.
What Do I Do After an Automobile Accident?
Immediately after an accident, you may be overwhelmed with all the different necessary steps and the multiple people involved. Whether you are minutes post-accident, a few days down the road, or if you just want to be prepared, knowing what to do can save you time and money. The following is our recommendations on what to do if you are involved in an automobile accident:
- Stop: It is extremely important that you immediately stop if you are in an accident. Law enforcement may accuse you of committing a hit and run if you do not stop.
- Share: You must exchange your license, registration and insurance information with the other driver. It is important to record their information however possible.
- Move: If your vehicle is blocking traffic or creating a hazard for other motorists after stopping, you should move it to the shoulder so that it is out of the way. If you hit a parked car, attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle and make sure you identify yourself before leaving. If you cannot find the owner, leave a note with your contact information on the windshield.
- Report: If someone is injured or killed, make sure you report the accident within twenty-four hours. It is best if you call 911 from the scene to get a police report, even if there seem to be no injuries and only minor damage.
- Insurance: Contact your insurance company to report the accident. However, you can and should refuse to give an official, recorded statement until you speak with an attorney. For more information on how best to do this, contact our experienced San Jose accident lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish, LLP.
- DMV accident reporting: If you are in a motorcycle or car accident, you must fill out a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form. You can find this form online or at your local DMV office. Failure to report any accident in which a person is injured or killed or there is more than $1,000 worth of damage may result in a suspension of your license.
What Happens If I Try to Handle a Car Accident Claim Myself?
If the accident was not major, then sometimes the drivers involved may decide to resolve the damages themselves without including insurance companies. However, this can create several risks for you and your family. A driver may agree to cover the damage to your car on the day of the accident. But they may then see the repair bills and realize that it is too expensive for them. At that point in time, your insurance company will not be able to accurately collect evidence if you file a claim.
You are also facing the risk of trusting that another driver will not go to their insurance company even though they said that they were not going to. There are also situations where a driver will claim injuries that may not even have been a result of the accident so that they will get coverage. This means that your insurance company may end up paying them an extremely large settlement or even a lawsuit. You must make sure that your insurance company has your testimony of what happened and check your policy.
The San Jose accident lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish, LLP want to be sure that you are protected, so partner with us if you believe you need representation against other drivers or other insurance companies.
Contact the San Jose Accident Lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP Today
Recognized for their outstanding legal and personal service, the San Jose accident lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP provide aggressive, thorough representation to clients who are injured in San Jose auto accidents or who suffer other physical or business injury in San Francisco, Monterey or elsewhere in the Bay Area.