Getting into a car accident can be scary and confusing, especially if it is your first accident and you were seriously injured. It’s normal to feel shaken when trying to sort all the difficult emotions. The first step to properly dealing with an accident and protecting your legal rights is to complete all the necessary steps involved in the claims process.
The first thing you should do after a motor vehicle collision is to determine the extent of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. After checking to see if anyone needs emergency medical attention at the scene of the crash, you should try to collect as much information as possible. Next, you should contact the local police station to file a police report.
Why You Need a Police Report
The police do not generally report to the scene of a crash unless if there are serious injuries or fatalities. Even if they do not respond, you should still call them to file a report. A police report, also referred to as a Traffic Collision Report, often serves as the starting point of a legal investigation.
These reports generally provide important information surrounding the accident. They include details about the parties involved in the accident, as well the information of any witnesses to the collision. Law enforcement include statements from all parties about how the crash happened. These details are valuable in determining fault and can aid in reconstructing the accident.
How to Get a Police Report
If the police do not show up at the scene of the accident, you should call them to come. Depending on the specific rules of the law enforcement agency where the incident took place, you should follow the steps below after an accident:
- Immediately call the local law enforcement agency after the accident, while still at the scene. Even if the other party tells you not to do so, you should call while all parties are at the scene. You should also ask the parties to stay until the police arrive.
- One the police arrive, give as many details to the police as possible. Try to answer their questions as clearly as possible.
- Get the contact information of the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene. It generally takes 7 to 10 days after the accident for the report to become available.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved has been injured in a car accident, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-835-5410.