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Car Accident: What’s the First Thing You Should Do?

The things you do in the moments after your car accident can make a world of difference. If you plan on pursuing the other driver for damages in court, it’s critical that you take certain steps. If you don’t do this, you’ll make your San Francisco auto accident attorney’s job a lot harder than it has to be. The goal is to do whatever you can to protect your legal rights. This means you call the police and let the ambulance take you to the emergency room. You also need to submit your auto insurance claim right away and meet with a skilled personal injury lawyer in San Francisco. If you do these things, you’ll have the best chance of recovering damages from the defendant.

Your San Francisco Auto Accident Attorney Will Need the Police Report

In order to prove your case, your San Francisco auto accident attorney is going to need a copy of the police report. There’s valuable information in this report that can’t be reproduced. For example, when the police come out to the scene, they’re going to speak to any eyewitnesses. They’ll not only get their statement. They’ll also get their contact information. This is something your lawyer won’t be able to get down the road.

Knowing how critical the police report is, you have no choice but to call 911 immediately after your crash. They’ll send a team of officers to the crash scene to do a thorough investigation. They’ll also check to make sure everybody’s okay. When they’re done their investigation, they’ll put their findings into the police report. Some of this information includes the following:

  • Name, contact information, and insurance information for both drivers
  • Pictures of the accident scene and damaged vehicles
  • Names and contact information for any eyewitnesses
  • Notes about any tickets that were issued at the scene
  • Statements made by the two drivers

This is information your San Francisco auto accident attorney cannot gather on their own. With it, they’ll have a very difficult time proving fault.

You Must Go to the Hospital Even if You Think You’re Fine

One of the bigger mistakes accident victims make is they refuse to go the hospital. When the police come, they’re going to arrange for an ambulance to take you to the emergency room. Some people are so concerned with moving on with their day, they refuse to go. They’re more worried about work or school or getting dinner on the table. They don’t realize that they could be suffering from internal injuries.

The other reason you should go to the hospital is that your personal injury lawyer in San Francisco is going to need proof that you were hurt. The best way to do that is to submit a copy of your medical records. If you refuse medical treatment, they won’t have these records. If that’s the case, it’ll turn into a he said, she said situation. You don’t want this to happen, especially with so much at stake.

Make Sure You Report the Crash to Your Insurance Company Right Away

When it comes to filing your auto insurance claim, you may be torn. Part of you wants to meet with your San Francisco auto accident attorney before you file your claim. You’re hoping they can help you. The other part of you know that the insurance company typically believes whichever driver reports the accident first.

If the other driver reports the crash to their insurance carrier before you do, they can say whatever they want. They may say you were at fault. They may even photoshop their pictures and send them to the insurance adjuster. Once they do this, it will be hard to prove that the other driver isn’t telling the truth.

The best thing to do is to report your accident to the insurance company. Let them know that you are in the process of meeting with a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco. At least they’ll take your claim seriously.

You Should Contact an Experienced San Francisco Auto Accident Attorney

Once you’ve completed the above outlined tasks, you should get in touch with a lawyer. You can all an experienced San Francisco auto accident attorney the day after your car wreck if you want to. They’ll sit down with you and get your version of events. They’ll also talk to you to see what kind of documentation you have.

When you first meet with your lawyer, you won’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, you’ll enjoy a free, initial consultation. Even if you decide to retain our services, you won’t pay anything until your case is settled. This gives you the chance to sit down with an attorney and find out what your options are. They can even give you an idea of how strong your case is.

Whatever You Do, You Do Not Want to Miss the California Statute of Limitations Deadline

As long as you follow the above steps, you should have a valid claim for damages. However, you don’t want to miss the filing deadline. In California, there is something called the statute of limitations. This statute limits the amount of time you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In California, you have 2 years to do this.

If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed. You won’t be able to refile it and you won’t be able to sue the defendant. This is why it’s a good idea to meet with a San Francisco auto accident attorney early on, so they have plenty of time to prepare your case.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in San Francisco Today

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may have a claim for damages. As long as you take the necessary steps after the crash, your legal rights should be protected. The best way to know for sure is to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer in San Francisco. They’ll review your case and let you know how to best proceed. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you may have.

Call today and ask if you can schedule your free, initial consultation. If need be, we can conduct this first meeting by Skype or Zoom. Or feel free to come into the office directly. Since the initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose. With so much at stake, the last thing you want to do is try to go it alone.


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