What to Do After a Car Accident

San Jose Car Accident Lawyers

What steps should you take immediately after a San Jose car accident to preserve your rights as a potential personal injury claimant?

Step 1: Get medical help for you and anyone else at the scene who needs it.
It's crucial to protect your rights as a claimant, but it's even more important to protect and preserve your life - and the lives of individuals around you. Even if someone doesn't seem "that hurt," he or she may want to take a trip to the doctor's office (or the hospital). After all, the scope of the medical damage may not be obviously apparent. It's better to be safe than sorry, given that the quality of medical care given immediately after an accident can have a profound effect on clinical outcome.

Step 2: Collect information - or get someone to collect information for you.
What kind of information should you collect? Here is a brief list:

  • Names and contact info for all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, witnesses, and any other relevant parties
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident (you can use your cell phone to take them), including pictures of your injuries, the accident, your vehicle, and other vehicles involved
  • Insurance and license information from all parties, incident reports, any statements that anyone made about the traffic accident, especially those to the effect of "sorry about that" or "I really should have watched where I was going back at that turn."

Step 3: Get law enforcement involved.
Unless you got into a trivial fender-bender with no visible damage and obviously no injuries, contact law enforcement to fill out an accident report.

Step 4: Record and preserve information and evidence from the scene.
After you get back from the accident (or from the hospital), record as much information as you can. Write down how you remember the accident occurring - be as detailed and as vivid as possible. Even if you're somewhat uncomfortable, don't wait to do this recording exercise, or you may find that your memories will get warped or fuzzy - even days after the crash.

Step 5: Connect with a reputable San Jose car accident lawyer.
If another driver's insurance company representative calls you to weigh in on what happened, you might make a small misstatement that could imperil your ability to collect compensation. Play it safe, and retain proven, capable legal counsel as quickly as you can.

Call Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP – (800) 900-0863

Our San Jose car accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you preserve your rights and resources as a potential plaintiff. Contact us at (800) 900-0863 to set up an appointment for a free case consultation.

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