You’ve been planning your California vacation for months. The day finally arrives for you to take a break, let your hair down, and enjoy some fun in the sun. Your trip begins just as you imagined. You check into your luxury hotel suite, visit the local beach, indulge in a cultural dish, and check out some famous tourist attractions. Then, in an instant, you’re involved in a car accident, and your dream vacation turns into your worst nightmare.
What do you do? You’re in an unfamiliar place, likely driving a rental car, and your heart is racing. Although panic is a natural response, it’s essential to remain calm and follow the advice below.
Check For Injuries
Take a few deep breaths, then analyze yourself and other passengers to determine if anyone was hurt. If injuries are detected, don’t react on impulse.
Be Aware of Smoke, Gas Leaks, or Fire
While hopping out of the vehicle with injuries isn’t advised, if remaining in the car until help arrives poses a greater risk, it’s best to retreat. If you notice smoke, smell gas, or see fire coming from the vehicle, do your best to get yourself and the other passengers out and away from the car to prevent further damage.
Call For Emergency Assistance
The next step is to call for help. If you’re able, contact the local authorities and ambulance. Provide as much information about your location and injuries. Stay where you are until police and paramedics arrive on the scene.
File A Report
If you can speak with the police at the scene of the accident, file your report. Try to remember as many details as possible to give the officer a clear understanding of what occurred. However, avoid admitting fault, which could lead to legal and financial consequences. Whether you believe you’re at fault or not, it’s best to wait until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
Assess And Record Vehicle Damage
Assessing and recording vehicle damage is essential for your insurance claim. If your injuries aren’t severe, walk around the car and take pictures of anything that’s out of place. If you’re hurt, you can look around for store or traffic cameras that may have recorded the collision that you can reference later. You can also ask the officer to photograph your vehicle and include it in the incident report.
Seek Medical Attention
Not all accident injuries are visible or apparent in the beginning. Sometimes you won’t experience pain or discomfort until the adrenaline wears off. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention. If you don’t need an ambulance ride, find a California emergency center and check yourself in. Allow the doctors to complete a full examination to determine whether you’ve been hurt. You’ll also need a medical report for your insurance providers (health and car) and employer.
Contact A California Personal Injury Lawyer
Navigating a car accident and insurance claims is difficult enough. Adding injuries and being out of town to the mix is a disaster waiting to happen. Don’t try to resolve the matter yourself. Instead, contact a firm with some of the best California personal injury lawyers to assist you. They will be your boots on the ground while you focus on returning home safely and healing from your injuries.
As local personal injury attorneys, they have the knowledge and experience to help you deal with insurance companies, police, witnesses, the other party, and most importantly, the California court system. Whether you believe you’re the guilty party or not, your personal injury attorney will help you get the best outcome.
File An Insurance Claim
Now that you have a California personal injury lawyer to guide you, contact your auto insurance provider to file a claim. Provide them with essential details, including photos of the vehicle damage, traffic and store cam locations, the California police department contact information, your incident report, medical records, and your attorney’s details.
Follow-Up With Your Doctor
Once you arrive home, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for another examination. Your doctor is aware of your medical history and can provide the best diagnosis and treatments. They can also give you a note for your employer, complete disability documents, or send medical reports to your health and car insurance providers.
All you wanted to do was visit California, relax, unwind, and have a good time. Never in a million years did you think you’d end up in an accident with injuries that would take weeks, months, or even years to overcome. Although it’s natural to panic and act on impulse, using the advice above is the best approach to help you get through the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of an auto accident.