Vehicle Accident FAQs
Q: What is the first thing I should do after a car accident?
A: Access whether you suffered any injuries or pains from any of your body parts. If you feel pain, stay in your vehicle, contact authorities and wait for paramedics for help.
Q: What should I do at the scene of the accident?
A: After accessing your body condition, you should contact authorities to report the accident, exchange auto insurance with the other driver, photograph any property damage to both vehicles, find witnesses, and promptly seek medical attention.
Q: What kind of information should I get from the other driver in the accident?
A: You should get the other driver’s name, driver’s license number, address, phone number, license plate number of the vehicle, make and model of the vehicle, and the registered owner’s name. Additionally, you should get information regarding the other driver’s auto insurance information like auto insurance company name, policy number, and adjuster’s name, phone number and address. The Beliz Law Firm’s Glove Compartment Vehicle Accident Fill-Out Form can help you with gathering the other driver’s information.
Q: Do I need to notify the DMV of my car accident?
A: Generally yes. You or someone representing you (i.e. attorney or your insurance company) needs to notify the DMV whenever there is an auto accident on a California street/highway or private property within ten (10) days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $750.
Q: Should I speak to the other driver’s auto insurance company immediately after the accident?
A: No. There is no law or case that forces you to speak to the other driver’s auto insurance company. At some point after the accident, you should present your injuries and damages to the other side. You should contact a reputable and knowledge California car accident attorney to determine the proper time to begin a dialog with the other driver’s auto insurance company.
Q: Do I have to sign a medical release authorization if the other driver’s insurance company sends it to me?
A: No. The other driver’s insurance company has no legal right to force you to sign a medical release authorization. Only once you file a complaint in court do you have to allow the other driver’s insurance company to review the medical records related to your injuries.
Q: Should I release my medical records immediately after the accident to the other driver’s insurance company?
A: No. Many injuries from car accidents do not appear immediately after the incident. Symptoms may develop over time and you don’t want to prematurely release your medical records until your injuries have subsided and/or treatment is completed. You should contact a reputable California car accident lawyer to determine the proper time to show your medical injuries to the other driver’s auto insurance company..
Q: How quickly do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit before I lose the right?
A: Generally, one must file a personal injury lawsuit within two (2) years from the date of injury. But California’s statute of limitations laws can be complex. The time limitation for filing a lawsuit is different in different types of cases. The applicable statute of limitations is subject to legal interpretation and dependent upon the unique facts of the particular case. The applicable statute of limitations for any particular case requires the analysis and advice of a reputable California car accident lawyer.
Q: What kinds of compensation may I receive from the other driver’s insurance due to a car accident?
A: A skilled and knowledgeable California car accident attorney may be able to get you compensation for your past medical expenses, future medical expenses, loss of earnings past and future earnings, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. In addition, you may be able to receive compensation related to the property damage of your vehicle, tow charges, rental charges and loss of use of your vehicle.
Q: The other driver who caused our car accident does not have auto insurance. Is there anything I can do to be compensated for my harms and losses?
A: Yes. A reputable California car accident lawyer will help determine whether there are other parties who may be liable in the accident. A well knowledge attorney may look at whether the vehicle was owned by a different person other than the driver, if the driver was in the course and scope of employment, if there was negligent entrustment of the vehicle or many other fact scenarios. In addition, you may be compensated for your injuries if you have uninsured motorist coverage under your auto insurance plan.
Q: The other driver who hit me does not have enough insurance to cover my injuries. What can I do?
A: If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to be compensated for the difference between the other driver’s insurance and your underinsured motorist coverage. For example the other driver may only have a $15,000 policy and your injuries are greater then the policy but you have a $100,000 underinsured policy limit. Therefore once you exhausted the other driver’s insurance policy, you may get up to another $75,000 in compensation to equal your underinsured policy limit. You should seek and speak to reputable California accident lawyer to discuss your various options.
Q: If I was a pedestrian and was hit by a driver with no insurance is there anyway I can be compensated for my injuries?
A: Yes. Other parties may be held liable for your injuries if the driver was in the course and scope of employment or there was a different owner of the vehicle than the driver. Further, you may be compensated if you have uninsured motorist coverage. A reputable California pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine the proper negligent parties.
Q: What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
A: Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help you be compensated for property damage, medical expense, pain and suffering when a driver has no or less than the value of the injuries you suffered in an auto accident.
Q: What is the minimum amount of auto insurance one may have in California?
A: Under California Insurance Code section 11580.1b, the minimum liability insurance requirements for private passengers vehicles are (1) $15,000 for injury/death to one person, (2) $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person, and (3) $5,000 for damage to property.