Here, in Southern California, almost everyone drives a car every day. With this kind of exposure, a traffic accident is sometimes inevitable. When you are involved in a traffic accident, don’t panic. Regardless who’s fault you think it is, you need to do the following things.
First of all, collect the contact information of the persons involved in the accident. This will include the information of the other driver (or something passengers as well), information about the other driver’s insurance company, information about the witnesses to the accident, and the information about the law enforcement officer that come to the scene if there is one. The second thing is to take a lot of photographs, the photograph may include the scene of the accident (which interception or road did the accident happen on ), the location of the vehicles, areas of physical damage on each vehicle (especially the other party’s vehicle, because you can always take pictures of your own vehicle, but after the other party drove off, you might not have any chance to see the other party’s vehicle again), and the license plates of each vehicle.
The damage you may be entitled to are vehicle damage, other personal property damage, car rental, out-of-pocket expense, and if you are injured you may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses and/or lost wages. You may also claim compensation for your mental and physical pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
Even if you feel comfortable negotiating a settlement for property damage to your vehicle, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney, especially when it involves bodily injury. Sometimes the symptoms of injuries don’t appear until weeks, even months, after a car accident. If you enter into some kinds of the settlement with the insurance company and then find out that you need more medical treatment for your injuries, generally you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for additional compensation.