Car accident claims typically differ from state to state, with San José claims falling under Californian jurisdiction. Unfortunately, numerous drivers are ill-informed about the car accident claim process, resulting in unfair settlements when accidents occur. Below are some steps to remember if you find yourself in a car accident.
Pull Over and Provide Help Where Needed
Whether you hit an unattended car or cause severe injuries during your commute within San José, pulling over will be the first step to take if you find yourself in an accident. If possible, attend to any parties needing assistance and call 911 for medical assistance. Failure to do this could land you in jail or leave you with hefty fines.
Ensure that you also report the accident to the California Highway Patrol or the San José Police Department when other parties sustain injuries or death occurs. If the owner of the vehicle is not within the vicinity of the accident, you are required to leave a note detailing your contact information. Lastly, if your vehicle is the subject of a runaway accident, make it a point to report the matter to the police to avoid future legal repercussions.
Next, exchange information with the other driver regarding the names and addresses of the registered owners, followed by the vehicle registration details. Remember to exchange your insurance information at this juncture, as it will be vital to make your claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have enough details about the other parties, contact your insurance company. Explain the details of your accident and send any additional helpful information, such as photos taken at the site of the clash. Note that you are not required to have your statement recorded, as this could save some of your claim benefits.
Insurance companies are also likely to compensate you if you have evidence of an insurance policy. This equates to a 15/30/5 cover for a San José driver that takes care of the injury to a single party, multiple individuals, and any property damage caused.
Contact Your Lawyer
Your lawyer will be essential to your accident claim, with legal experts providing contact information, such as on this San Jose car accident lawyer website, for finding your preferred support.
An accident attorney will, for instance, help you review witness statements, medical records, and even police reports to ascertain the cause of the accident. They can also help evaluate the terms of your policy, with numerous insurance contracts excluding some types of perils in the covers.
Additionally, lawyers will help gauge the appropriate compensation needed for further medical checkups while determining the financial costs required to offset any loss of income. Professional help will especially come in handy since San José follows a comparative negligence policy allowing you to make a claim when others are at fault, an aspect numerous drivers are unaware of.
Note that individuals have up to 2 years to file for personal injury claims within California, after which aggrieved parties can no longer request compensation. Additionally, make it a point to consult attorneys specializing in car accidents, as this will be vital in helping your work with experts in this field.
Referrals will often be the most suitable when contacting a lawyer for the first time, with previous interactions with your family and friends being ideal for this.
Depending on the injuries sustained and property damage caused, you can recover damages as the final step in your car accident claim process. Compensation often includes payment for lost wages, medical expenses reimbursement, or pain and suffering.
Legal representation will be your go-to if you need help with the above steps, with an expert car accident attorney being your go-to. Make it a point to utilize the above procedures in order to help you get the best success rate for your claim.