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The Top Ten Things to Do After a Car Accident

If you have just been in a car accident, you will definitely be shaken up. Nevertheless, there are certain steps you must take to protect the evidence and collect the maximum amount possible for your damages.

  1. Keep calm.  If you get out of the car and blurt out, “I’m sorry, I just didn’t see you,” you have sealed your fate and you will be found at fault in the accident — even if the other driver may not have seen you either.  Be polite, but do not speak more than is necessary.
  2. Call 911 if anyone was injured.
  3. If you see anyone who may have witnessed the accident, ask them to stay at the scene for a few minutes until you can get their contact information.
  4. Move your car to the side of the road if you can.  If your car cannot be moved, you should call a towing service or the police.
  5. If you hit another car, you must show your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance card.  Get the same information from the other driver and write down all the details.
  6. If the police come to the scene, do not volunteer information, but answer their questions honestly and as briefly as possible.
  7. In many cases, injuries from an accident do not become apparent until hours or days later.  Get medical help and make sure to follow the doctor’s advice.
  8. Make sure to fill out the DMV accident report form within 10 days if the accident caused more than $750 in property damage or if anyone was injured, even slightly.  If in doubt as to the amount of damages, file the form anyway.
  9. In many cases, the insurance company may try to settle with you very quickly, before you know the true extent of your injuries. Do not sign anything without getting legal advice first.
  10. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than your law firm and its representatives.  Remarks you make to other people can end up hurting your case.

If you have been in an auto accident, immediately call our offices.  Having experienced legal representation greatly increases your chances of getting a fair settlement from the insurance company.

Categories: Auto Accidents
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Law Office of Michael & Michelle Mandel
1438 Market Street
San Francisco, California, 94102 USA
415.626.5400