The historic town of Sacramento is a wonderful place to live, and an important one, too. California’s capital makes the laws which govern the state’s huge economy, beautiful natural wonders, and over 40 million citizens.
Of course, sometimes it can feel like all 40 million Californians are on the roads at the same time. Sacramento gets some rough traffic, and unfortunately, it sees its fair share of car accidents. Like it or not, there’s a good chance that you will one day find yourself involved in a car accident — if it happens here in Sacramento, here’s what you should do.
First things first: in the immediate aftermath of an accident, make sure that you are alright. If you’re able to, check on others next. If anyone is injured, including any drivers, passengers, or passersby, then call 911 immediately.
With that taken care of, it’s time to take a look at the scene of the accident. Use your common sense to figure out your next move. If cars are whipping by at dangerous speeds, and if the cars involved in the accident remain safe to drive, it’s sometimes best to pull your car over to the shoulder or off the road. Depending on the options available to you, it may be safer to get out of your car and move to a different location, or it may be safer to simply stay inside of your vehicle. Again, the best course of action depends on the nature of the crash, so use your common sense to determine your next move.
In most cases, call the police
In California, you are required to call the police to the scene of any accident that results in an injury or in $1,000 or more in damages. That’s a pretty low figure given the way today’s vehicles react to an accident, so you frequently want to call the police after a collision.
Even if your accident doesn’t meet the legal standard that requires you to call the police, you still have the right to call them if you wish. And doing so might be a good idea, because a police report can help you document the scene and establish what caused the accident.
Dealing with insurance and legal options
Before you leave the scene of the accident, it’s a good idea to document everything yourself, too. Use your smartphone or cell phone to take photos of the damage caused by the accident, and get a snapshot of the other driver’s insurance card.
Then reach out to your own insurance company. But be careful, because you don’t want to be left on the hook for expenses if the accident was not your fault. Sometimes the most debilitating expenses of all have nothing to do with the vehicles involved. Your health care is important, but it’s also expensive — a serious injury caused by a car accident can follow you for years, racking up medical bills and ruining your finances. Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and you’ll see why if you’re ever injured in a car accident here.
Fortunately, you have options for recovering the funds you lose to medical bills, lost wages, and other consequences of an injury. Reach out to a Sacramento car accident lawyer and share your story. Depending on the details of your situation, you may have the makings of a successful personal injury lawsuit. You could sue the party whose negligence caused the accident that caused your damages, and you could recover funds to make yourself financially whole again.