What to Do After a Car Accident in San Diego

car accident in San Diego

After a car accident, you may feel vulnerable, scared, and even in shock. The last thing you feel is prepared for the next steps.

Nobody plans for this moment, but as personal injury lawyers, we’ve walked countless clients through this process.

Here’s exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) do to protect your well-being and legal rights after a car accident in San Diego.

Stay Calm and Remain at the Scene

First and most importantly, make sure you and everyone in your vehicle are safe and not injured. Remain in your vehicle until you’ve assessed the situation and determined it’s safe to exit.

Never leave the scene of an accident: it’s illegal under California’s hit-and-run laws. Instead, stay put and dial 911 immediately to report the accident.

Explain the situation and location to the dispatcher and state whether any injuries require an ambulance. The San Diego Police Department or California Highway Patrol will be dispatched to investigate and file an official report.

Gather Evidence and Information for Your Claim

While you wait for authorities to arrive, start documenting everything at the scene:

  • Use your cellphone to take photos and videos of vehicle damage, road debris, traffic signals, or anything relevant.
  • Collect names, phone numbers, and statements from witnesses who saw what happened and from the other driver(s). Their testimony could prove invaluable later.
  • Jot down the exact location, time, weather conditions, road hazards like poor lighting or debris – any potential factors.

And don’t forget to request a copy of the police report once the officers complete their investigation. This report contains crucial details you’ll need in the future.

Seek Prompt Medical Attention

Even if you left the accident scene feeling physically okay, you still get evaluated by a medical professional. Certain injuries like whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding may not show symptoms immediately.

If you delay treatment, you could jeopardize not only your health but your chances of a legal case down the line.

So, head to the nearest emergency room or schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. Explain all symptoms you’re experiencing and request thorough examination and documentation. These medical records build critical evidence for your claim.

Common car accident injuries we see include whiplash, concussions, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. Don’t take chances – your health is too important.

Notify Your Insurance Company Promptly

Most insurance policies require reporting an accident within a tight window, often just 24-72 hours. If you delay notifying your provider, they could attempt to deny your claim entirely on that lapse alone.

When you do report the accident, provide your insurer with accurate, comprehensive details, like:

  • Date, time, location of the collision
  • Description of precisely how the accident unfolded based on your recollection
  • Extent of any injuries to yourself, passengers, or others involved
  • Vehicle damage details for all cars in the incident

Back up your report with evidence like photos, videos, witness accounts, the police report, and any medical documentation you’ve already gathered. This helps substantiate your version of events right from the start.

Also, remember that when speaking with an insurance company (whether your own or the other party’s), you should never admit fault or make a recorded statement without consulting with your attorney.

No matter which side they’re representing, the insurance company has one job: to save the company money, not to help you.

Let a Car Accident Lawyer Handle the Rest

After an accident, you’ve already got enough on your plate dealing with injuries, vehicle repairs, missed work, and turning your life upside up again. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the added burdens of investigating fault, dealing with insurers, and protecting your legal claim too.

This is where our team at Pasternack Injury Law Group can step in as your counsel. We’ve spent years going toe-to-toe with insurance companies that want to devalue or deny claims at all costs. We know all their tactics and how to fight them effectively.

From conducting exhaustive investigations into your accident and gathering every shred of evidence to negotiate with adjusters, we leave no stone unturned when pursuing compensation for our clients. We help you collect maximum reimbursement for injuries, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

Take the First Step Today With Pasternack Injury Law Group Today

If the unthinkable happened and you or a loved one were hurt in a car crash in San Diego, don’t try to go it alone against the insurance giants. Having the top-rated legal representation of Pasternack Injury Law Group gives you the highest chance of recovering every penny you’re owed.

We understand this is a difficult situation. That’s why we’re here to lift the legal burdens off your shoulders so you can focus on healing while we protect your rights.

Take the first step by calling us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our skilled San Diego car accident attorneys. We’ll examine your situation, explain your options, and map out a legal strategy to secure the justice you deserve.

Don’t accept a lowball settlement that fails to account for your full damages. With Pasternack Injury Law Group in your corner, you gain the power of legal advocates with the resources and drive to go after the compensation you’re owed.

Accidents can happen in an instant, but their impacts can reverberate for years. Take back control by calling us today.

Author Bio

Barry A. Pasternack

Barry Pasternack brings over three decades of legal experience to his role as the founding attorney at Pasternack Injury Law Group. He holds a J.D. from the esteemed California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1988. Located in downtown San Diego, Barry’s practice serves clients throughout the San Diego region, providing comprehensive guidance and representation.

Barry’s commitment to his clients is unwavering, and your initial consultation is always free of charge. You only pay attorney’s fees when he successfully recovers compensation on your behalf. When you choose Barry Pasternack, you’re selecting a skilled legal professional who will tirelessly fight for your rights and work diligently to help you on your path to recovery.

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