What NOT To Do After a Car Accident

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On just about every car accident page on our website, you’ll see various things that we recommend that you do after you have been involved in a crash: take photos, see a doctor, call the police, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, etc.. However, what you don’t do after a car accident can sometimes be just as important as what you do. The May Firm strongly recommends the following:

    • Don’t leave the scene without calling the police. California law requires anyone involved in a traffic collision to move their vehicle to a safe location, exchange information with the other driver, and notify the police of the accident. There is no provision that states that you can leave the scene without informing authorities if the damage was minimal or if one or both parties simply don’t want to deal with police. Victims of car accidents are also not exempt from the requirement to call police. If you were involved in any kind of car accident, call the local police department and let them know that it happened. That way, you aren’t breaking any laws and you’ll have a police report to help you out later if you end up filing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
    • Don’t admit any fault. It should go without saying that if you’ve been involved in an accident, you need to avoid saying anything that could be viewed as an admission of fault. “Oh my gosh! I didn’t even see you!” could be used against you later in court to suggest that you were the cause of the crash, not the person who really was at fault.
    • Don’t talk to your insurance company without first calling a lawyer. Most insurance companies require you to report any sort of accident that you were involved with, even if you are expecting the other party to compensate you for any injuries or damage to your vehicle. The May Firm will never advise you not to notify your insurance company of an accident if your policy requires it. However, we would strongly recommend you give us a call first so that we can be the ones to reach out to the insurance company. They’ll use anything that you say to them to try to get out of paying for the damages. The personal injury lawyers at The May Firm will make sure that they get the information that they need.
    • Don’t forget to document the scene! Some people get caught up in the emotional chaos that follows being involved in an accident and forget to document their surroundings. Take photos, talk to witnesses, and get information from the other driver.
    • Don’t enter into a settlement agreement without consulting a lawyer. Insurance companies, including your own, are not on your side. Their interests include settling your case for the lowest dollar amount possible – you can be sure that any offer that they make is far lower than what you deserve! Consult with a personal injury lawyer, like our personal injury experts at The May Firm, before entering into any settlement agreement so that we can make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of.

Disclaimer: Information on this page is designed for general information purposes only and should not be interpreted as being legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. You should always consult with an attorney before making a decision about your case. Pages are updated periodically but information provided on this page may not be up to date as circumstances may change over time. Please see our [LEGAL DISCLAIMERS] page for additional legal disclaimers.

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