Involved in a car accident in California? Know the basics here!

Car accidents are unfortunate and can have serious consequences. If you, or a loved one, get injured in such a car accident, one of the first steps should be about calling 911. Sadly, thousands of car accidents are reported in California every year. A considerable number of victims do not ask for compensation or file a lawsuit, primarily because they don’t know the personal injury laws, which are inherently complicated.  Working with a skilled car accident attorney in CA can help you get the compensation you deserve. Here are some things to follow and do after an accident.  

Reporting the accident to California DMV

Reporting the crash or accident to California DMV is a must for all drivers, if – 

  • The accident resulted in injuries
  • Someone was killed in the crash
  • There has been property and vehicle damage worth $1,000 or more

Informing the insurance company

California requires drivers and car owners to carry liability insurance. If you have been injured in an accident, let your insurance company know right away, or within a reasonable time. You are required to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, for which your lawyer can be quite handy. 

Filing a lawsuit

If the insurance company denies your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit against the party at fault, for which again you will need a personal injury attorney. Most car accident claims and lawsuits are often settled outside of court, but to get the right settlement and to carry forward the negotiations, your attorney is important. If the matter eventually ends up at trial, your lawyer will be the one arguing on your behalf.  

Finding the right lawyer

Not all car accident lawyers are same, and you should be hiring someone with experience. Ensure that your lawyer is known, reliable, and approachable, so that you don’t have a hard time getting details and updates. Your lawyer should be handling the case personally, instead of letting a junior or someone else from the firm. Many attorneys in California work on a contingency basis for such cases, which means you pay them when and if they win. Most of the other costs will be adjusted from the settlement. 

Check all relevant details before you hire an attorney, and if needed, do ask for references. You can also check on Google for reviews of California law firms to make the right choice. 

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