When you are involved in a car accident in California, it is important that you take action immediately to protect your rights, ensure that you are operating within the law, and improve your chances of recovering compensation. Here is a look into what you need to do if you have been seriously injured in a car accident in San Diego:
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do if you have incurred serious injuries is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you do not seek medical attention, then recovering compensation for injuries will be much more complex. When you seek care, be sure to keep a thorough record of all medical treatment, appointment, bills, etc. All of this information will need to be presented to an insurance company during the claim process.
Notify Your Own Insurance Company and File a Claim
You do not need to notify the responsible party’s insurance of your car accident, although it will be important that you get the at-fault driver’s information. When you report your accident to your insurance company—which you should do as soon as possible—share the other driver’s information with your insurance company. While California is a traditional fault based insurance state, meaning that your insurance will only be responsible for paying damages that you caused, they can pursue the claim with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Further, if you have certain other California insurance coverage types, like uninsured motorist insurance or medical payments coverage, then your own insurance may help to pay for your damages, even if you were not at fault. (Medical payments coverage will pay for injuries even if you were at fault).
File a Mandatory Report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles
After you have been in a car accident in San Diego, filing a traffic accident report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles is mandatory if:
- Property damage totaling more than $750 occurred;
- Anyone was injured at all; or
- Anyone died during the accident.
You have 10 days from the date of your accident to report the crash in order to be in compliance with the law. Failure to report an accident may result in a fine, and could even harm your chances of recovering compensation, too.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Attorney
Knowing with whom to file your claim, how to report an accident, and what medical evidence you may need when seeking damages after an accident can be confusing. And because California allows you to file a civil action directly against an at fault driver when you are in an accident, knowing which path to recovering damages to take may not be straightforward. To help you answer all of your toughest car accident questions and to guide you through what to do after a car accident, reach out the experienced San Diego car accident attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP. Our attorneys have a history of client satisfaction, and will work hard on your behalf. Call us today at 858-350-8855 to schedule your free case consultation today.