Los Angeles traffic is notoriously tough. According to a global traffic analysis, the City of Angels has the worst traffic in the U.S., particularly on Interstate 405. Four of the worst traffic corridors in the world are in L.A. – many of the rest are in Moscow.
Thousands of auto accidents happen in Los Angeles County every year. If you find yourself in one of them, here’s what to do:
Check for Injuries and Report the Incident
California state law requires anyone involved in an accident involving bodily injury to remain on the scene and render reasonable assistance to others in need. It’s also necessary to report the accident. Do so right away so help arrives sooner.
Photograph the Accident
Photograph damaged cars, the surroundings and the license plates of any other vehicles involved. Mobile devices are helpful here, since they will automatically tag each photo with the time it was taken.
Talk to Other Driver(s) and Witnesses
When talking to others on the scene, do not make any statement that can be construed as accepting blame, such as saying you didn’t see a car or light. You are required to attempt to exchange insurance information. Also get the names and phone numbers of witnesses.
Talk to the Police
While it’s OK to give basic statements to the police, remember: You’re not required to answer detailed questions without a lawyer. You can and should ask the officers to ticket the other driver. Get the officers’ badge numbers and find out how to get a copy of the police report.
Let your Lawyer Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Your insurance company has a right to know about any accident you are in. In fact, your insurer can sometimes be a valuable ally in an accident case. However, you shouldn’t make any kind of formal statement about the specifics of the accident without a lawyer. And DO NOT TALK with the other driver’s insurance company.
Get a Checkup
It’s absolutely essential to see a doctor, even if you feel fine. In an accident, even a mild impact to the head can cause serious trauma later. A doctor’s opinion can help establish the extent of your injury and what your medical costs will be, which helps determine how much you could win in court.
Call an Accident Attorney
Only a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can protect your rights, establish the facts of your case and help you win money you may be entitled to. Contact Los Angeles accident attorney Josh Cohen for help.