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Top 10 Things To Do After a Car Accident

Stay Calm & Stay in the Car (if Possible)   

Here are the top 10 things to do after a car accident.  The air bag will mostly likely go off – which is a good thing. So, prepare yourself for the ‘airbag gasses’. They are very unpleasant.

Air bags definitely save body parts from damage. They also release an unpleasant gas that sort of makes you choke.

The experts say to stay in the car and call 911 (or the equivalent if you’re outside of the United States). That may or may not be good advice – so, you should make a judgement call when you have an accident.

For instance, if you’re in the middle of an intersection and can safely get out of harm’s way – then do it.  If you’re able to drive the car – then try to get it out of the road.  If, after the accident, you’re on the side of the road with no one around – then just stay in the car and wait for help.

 

2. Report the Car Accident

Call 911 as soon as you find your cell phone. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and you’ve told them your description of what happened. The emergency help might not be able to get there as quickly as you want them to. Don’t believe what you see on television or the movies – when the ambulance gets there immediately.

 

Your injuries might not be apparent right after the accident. Call for an ambulance right away if you think you or your passengers need it. Many injuries will start off as minor pains (like whiplash) which if not taken care of properly could get worse over a few short days. Besides, getting a doctor to document EVERYTHING sooner can only help any insurance claims you need to make later.

 

3. Exchange Insurance details with other driver(s)

Always exchange driver details (after an accident) and take some accident notes. Write down the following details:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone Numbers
  4. Driver License
  5. License Plate Number
  6. Insurance Company Name & Policy Number

It’s possible that the driver of the car will be different than the name of the insured on the accident vehicle. They could also be borrowing someone else’s car. Take down the details for each of the drivers and the car owner. Also write down a description of the truck, including: make, model, and color.

 

4. Locate Any Witnesses

Hopefully someone else saw the accident. Try to get their name and number just in case you need a witness. They might not volunteer – so, you should ask.

 

5. Don’t Admit Fault

It’s easy to be upset when you’ve been run into (or when you crash into someone else). Don’t yell at them and say that it’s their fault, even if it is. Don’t admit to it even if you think it’s your fault. It might not be your fault.

Let the authorities do their jobs and use their tools to come to a conclusion. You don’t want to admit to something – as – you could just be in a state of shock or sadness. Or even hurt badly.

Don’t sign any documents – unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.

6. Don’t Share Injury Concerns

If someone asks, “How are you doing?” keep a low profile by saying, “I’m shaken up”. The truth of the matter is you don’t know what is or isn’t wrong with you at this early stage. Besides, you don’t want to make statements while in shock and later have to refute them after seeking the advice of a medical professional.

 

7. Know What Your Car Insurance and Health Insurance Covers

Knowing your car and health insurance details could save you a lot of grief when dealing with a car accident scenario. It’s always better to know BEFORE an accident that you’re fully covered for ambulance trips, tow trucks, or rental cars.

Check your policies for specifics and get extra coverage today for those essentials you’ll need covered if you’re injured or your car cannot make the drive home.

 

8. Photograph and Document the Accident

Use your cell phone to take pictures. Take photographs of the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and the entire accident scene to give perspective of the event. Take wide shots of tire skid markings to show vehicle travel paths. Photographs showing the entire accident can help you make your case to claims adjusters if there is a dispute.

If you require the services of an attorney, he or she won’t be able to help you without enough knowledge of the accident. Pictures will serve to prove what happened.

 

9. Report Accident To Your Insurance Company

As soon as your stomach has settled and you’ve gone to the doctor to get checked over, call your insurance company to report the accident – even if the damage seems minor or the other driver wants to settle without making an insurance claim. Seemingly small fender-bender car accidents can reveal major damage later on – like a bent car frame – so get your insurance company in the know sooner or you might be without coverage when you really need it.

 

10. Call Your Lawyer

While your car is sitting on the side of the road, take that time to call your lawyer. Ask the lawyer exactly what should you do before the car gets towed. If you get your legal beagle in the know sooner – than that might help you get the most from an insurance claim and help you see things more clearly later on.

Remember to remove your belongings from your car before it’s towed. Rescue any driving gadgets, insurance papers, repair reports, receipts, purse, wallet, school books, computers or music before leaving your keys with the tow operator.

Remember that vehicles are just stuff. People are priceless. Try the best you can to be thankful for what you have today, not for what you lost. Be sure to thank a higher power for your teeth and your toes.

In the next blog – I’ll discuss how to prepare an Emergency Road Kit.

 

In case of an Accident –

Call Odessa Law Practice @

432-301-9252

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Do I Have To Stop Car If I Have An Accident?

Do I have to stop the car if I have an accident?  Hit and run penalties are severe. So if you don’t stop the car when you have an accident, you could be fined, sent to jail or both. This depends on the extent of the damage and/or injuries. You also could lose your driver’s license.

The law says you must stop your car if you have an accident, whether the accident involves a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car or someone’s property.

If you drive away, you can be charged with hit and run even if the accident was not your fault. You must also exchange information with the other driver. You need to give them your name and driver’s license number, the vehicle identification number of the car you are driving, the name and address of the car’s owner, the name and address of your insurance company and your insurance policy number (or other evidence of financial responsibility, such as a bond posted with the Department of Motor Vehicles).

If you hit a parked car or other property, try to find the owner or driver. If you cannot, the law says you may drive away only after you leave behind, in a conspicuous place, your name, address and an explanation of the accident, and the name and address of your car’s owner (if other than yourself). You also must notify the local police either by telephone or in person as soon as possible.

You need to call the police if the accident caused a death or injury. An officer who comes to the scene of the accident will conduct an investigation. If an officer doesn’t show up, you must make a written report on a form available at the police department or office as soon as possible.

Do not volunteer any information about who was to blame for the accident. You may think you are in the wrong and then learn that the other driver is as much or more to blame than you are. You should first talk to your insurance agent, your lawyer or both.

Anything you say to the police or the other driver can be used against you later.
Don’t agree to pay for damages or sign any paper except a traffic ticket until you check with your insurance company or lawyer.

Be sure to cooperate with the police officer investigating the case. But, stick to the facts. For instance, if you were driving 30 miles an hour, say so. Don’t say, “I wasn’t speeding.” Say “I was only driving 30 miles an hour”.

Feel free to contact us for any questions at: 432-301-9252


Accident in Pleasanton, CA

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How Can a Lawyer Can Help You in an Accident?

Accidents How can a lawyer can help you in an accident?  Let’s say the victim caused an event that happened because they forgot to do something.  But they didn’t do it on purpose.  Accidents happen every day. It’s defined as an event that occurs by reason of an act or omission of a person but without the element of voluntariness, or it happens by pure chance.

 

We see the results of unexpected events every day here at Odessa Law Practice because accidents happen every day.  Almost every person has caused one or two (most likely more) and it is usually not a big deal. However when an accident causes substantial injury, damage to property or death, then it becomes a big deal. This article will discuss accidents in general and how a lawyer can help you help yourself prior to, during, and after an accident.

Accidents

Who or What Caused the Accident?

This cause can be segregated into a root cause (main cause) and subsequent cause. Knowing the root cause of the accident helps one determine who to blame and who not to blame.  More importantly, who to make liable in case of the accident. For example, Mr. Aaa and Mr. Bee were arguing over the second floor veranda. Mr. Aaa shoved Mr. Bee which caused the latter to run into the flower vase on the ledge and knock it over.

 

Then, the flower vase bashes the head of Mr. Cee – who was just a passerby. Of course you will say that Mr. Bee was the one who actually touched the vase but common sense will dictate that the root cause of the accident was Mr. Aaa,  who shoved Mr. Bee, without which the latter would not have ran into the flower vase.  Click here to see how a lawyer can help you in an accident.

 

What Is Insurance For?

The next question – from a lawyer’s point of view is “Is there adequate insurance coverage for the injury, damage, or death?”

The operative word here is “adequate” because in some cases, the damage or injury is too great or the insurance is too small to cover the entire cost. In this case, the person at fault or if unknown, the persons involved will be made liable, subject to reimbursement later on. For example, if Mr. Zee’s car insurance only covers a maximum of $20,000 per accident but the repairs for the damage property is $25,000 then Mr. Zee has to pay out of his own pocket, the difference.

What Can A Lawyer Do?

The discussion above is pretty basic and in most cases an accident involves a lot more facts and issues so the case may get complicated. This is the reason why most individuals hire a lawyer, to sort things out and determine whose fault it is to begin with. Attorney Gerald Fugit will make sure that everything is sorted out for the insurance companies so you have:

• Zero liability or at the very least minimal liability, as the accused;
• Maximum awards and satisfaction on to the punishment of the person at fault, as the accuser.

 

What if it was Your Fault?

Then the more you need a lawyer. This is because you need to make sure that all your rights are safeguarded. In that, you are made liable only for what you should be made liable and not made liable for more. Attorney Gerald Fugit will:

• Explain your rights and obligations;
• Go about defending your cause to the full extent of the law;
• Make sure that whatever liability given to you is the absolute minimum.

You Need Attorney Before You Sign Any Paperwork!

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