There are specific steps you need to take directly after an accident on a California roadway. Knowing what to do in such a stressful situation can help you keep a level head.
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Severe injuries may be visible but pay close attention to your neck and head, even if everything else seems fine. If you can move your car safely, pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights. Call emergency services, even if no one is obviously injured.
Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver. You will need this information when contacting your insurance. Record the other driver’s license number, insurance provider and policy number. Ask if you can take pictures of the license and insurance card to avoid illegible writing or scrambled numbers. Do not admit fault, even if you feel it was your action that caused the collision. There may be other factors you are not aware of that change the circumstances of the accident.
Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and any injuries you have. This evidence is vital to insurance claims, police reports and other documentation. The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to fill out certain forms after an accident. Write down your version of events. It may not be easy to remember what happened later. A detailed record will help both the police and the insurance companies.