You’ve been in a car accident. Your mind is racing. Is everyone ok? What happened? What do I do now?
Unless you are in a major car accident, the police in the City of Los Angeles will in all likelihood not come to the accident scene. They are too burdened and stretched too thin to come to a small incident. It may not be the same in all cities. Assuming the police do not come to the scene, what should you do? First, stop and do not leave the scene. If you leave, you could be prosecuted for a hit and run violation/leaving the scene of an accident. This carries criminal implications. This is not the road upon which you should embark.
Second, be a good listener. Talk to the other people involved in the accident. Get their information. Southern California is the fraud capital of the world. Ensure that you account for all people who may present claims. Fraud takes the form of stuffed people in cars (they were not there at the scene but claims are presented by them), medical treatment does not occur, etc. Take pictures if you can. This will show the nature and extent of property damage, skid marks, etc. Get the names of any potential witnesses. People who are not directly involved quickly forget the incident and change their minds over time and do not want to get involved. They may move away or die. It is of crucial importance to get this information as soon as possible.
Cooperate with your insurance company. If you do not, your policy contains a cooperation clause and your coverage may be jeopardized if you do not.
If you are hurt, go to a doctor and follow the doctor’s advice. Do not make medical decisions yourself. If you do not have medical insurance, doctors can treat you on a lien basis and wait for payment for their services until your case ends, if you make a personal injury claim against the other parties involved in the accident.
Contact your Car Accident Lawyer to advise you of your rights in a personal injury case. Do not wait as the passage of time may prejudice your rights to pursue the other party for your injuries.