In some auto accidents, a civil lawsuit is a distinct possibility – here’s what to do.
The moments after a car accident are frightening, which can make it difficult to know what to do right after the accident occurs. Emotions are all over the place, and your thinking is not always clear or rational. That’s why it’s important to understand what to do after a car accident, before it happens to you, so that you are prepared in case you or the other parties file a civil lawsuit.
- Check people first, belongings second. The most important task you can do after a crash is to check on all of the drivers and passengers who were involved in the crash to make sure everyone is all right. If not, then call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone unless there is imminent danger that requires you to do so.
- Call the police. When there is physical injury, death, or significant property damage, then you need to call the police and ask that the officers arriving at the scene file a police report. This report will be an important piece of evidence in the event you are involved in a civil lawsuit.
- Get in touch with your insurance company. You will need to notify your insurance carrier that an accident has occurred, the truth about what happened, and the extent of your injuries. The carrier will likely require a police report. Find out what to do if you have insurance problems after a car accident. (will link this to new blog post on insurance problems)
- Record all medical treatments. If the car accident results in a civil lawsuit, then you will want to have all records of your medical treatments for your attorney. This includes any and all doctor visits, prescriptions, special procedures, etc. Keep all originals and make copies.
- Contact a civil litigation attorney. It is a good idea to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer if anyone was injured in the crash. The attorney can help you defend yourself if you were the one at fault, or can help you recover the maximum amount if you were the injured party. If you think you may need a civil attorney, the Lawyer Referral and Information Service of San Diego County can provide you with a free lawyer referral. The lawyer will offer you up to 30 minutes of free consultation, which allows you to discuss your auto accident case.