Here is a question: Would you know what to do if you were driving and hitting another vehicle? A pedestrian? When a San Diego car accident happens, injuries may be severe, and emotionsMan on the phone after a car accident in San Diego California may be high. However, important things must be taken care of at the scene of an accident and soon afterward. First, check on all parties to ensure they are okay; if not, call an ambulance.  Then, call the police to help document what happened.  The following is a short list of things that should be done during an automobile accident from our San Diego car accident lawyer.

Exchange Information with other Party(s)

Do not be shy. Talk to the drivers of any other vehicles involved in the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, driver's licenses, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information. If passengers are in any vehicle, obtain their names, telephone numbers, and addresses. In talking to drivers of other cars, you should try to be cordial and cooperative in determining that everyone is okay and in exchanging basic information.

Yet, this is important: do not apologize for anything at the scene. If you jump out of your car and blurt out, "I'm so sorry I ran that red light! Is everyone okay?" you may back into a corner regarding legal liability for what happened.  Sometimes, people now have cellphones like the Apple iPhone, which have video mode, and they can or may record what you are saying at the accident scene, etc. Be mindful of technology today! Immediately after an accident, the scene is chaotic anyway, and it might not be evident who was at fault or who was more at fault in causing the accident. Therefore, try to keep your conscience in check until things get sorted out with all the insurance companies involved so you don't unintentionally or unnecessarily admit guilt.  Just be mindful of this!

Talk to Witnesses (Very Important, and it needs to be remembered!

Ask every witness what they saw. Get their names, telephone numbers, or addresses, if and whenever possible. Whether the witnesses are residents of the area, businesspeople who work nearby (ask for business cards), or passersby who were in the vicinity, do your very best to try to talk to as many people as you can. This is not the time to be shy.  Ask them, in particular, if they have ever witnessed other accidents in the same place. If a witness hesitates to talk to you, don't beg or threaten them. Forcing information from someone will get you nowhere. Write down what they tell you, and if they agree, simply get their name and phone number so that you, your attorney, the insurance company, or the court can contact them again.

Inform Your Insurance Company (as soon as you are able)

Tell your insurance company as soon as possible that you have been involved in an accident. You have a duty to do so, usually written in the contract language between you and your insurance company.  Cooperate with your insurance company and tell them what happened and the extent of your injuries. If the insurance company finds out that you have lied to them about anything, you can get into serious trouble, not the least of which may be denying any coverage for the accident. Build support for your case when discussing the matter with your insurance company. Be able to explain the facts of the case to them clearly. Obtain and review a copy of any police report to point out to the insurance company who broke what traffic laws or who was at fault for the accident. Such information will often be provided in the report. Although the insurance company may already know the facts of your case, taking an active interest in ensuring your rights are protected will force the insurance company to take you seriously.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Auto Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in San Diego County or Southern California due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It contains helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It usually sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents or those injured in a California accident.

Mark Blane
Connect with me
San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney