Car accidents can be very traumatic, whether they are minor or serious. It can be overwhelming after a car accident when you don’t know what you’re supposed to do. Taking certain steps can help protect your legal rights and your future financial interests, and certain errors can prevent you from making a successful claim in the aftermath of the accident.

Top Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in Los Angeles

Some of the top mistakes to avoid after a car accident in Los Angeles include:

Leaving the Accident

After you are involved in a collision, you must stop. Regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident or not, leaving the scene of an accident that causes property damage or injury is a crime. You could be charged with a hit-and-run. Instead, you should be sure to make contact with the other people involved in the accident, check to see if anyone is injured, and wait for emergency services to arrive.

Not Reporting the Collision

Once a collision occurs, emergency services should be contacted to report the accident and request medical care. Accidents of a certain severity must be reported, and it’s better to be safe and report an accident, even if the damage seems minor. The accident report is important information and evidence for the future, and all parties should receive medical care.

Not Receiving Medical Care

It’s important to obtain medical care, either at the scene of the accident or afterward. Even if you believe that you don’t have any serious injuries, the documentation of your state after an accident by a medical professional is important.

Additionally, certain types of injuries may not be immediately apparent to you due to shock or delayed symptoms. A medical professional may notice those injuries. Getting medical care is important for your personal health, and it is also beneficial to your claim. Waiting to get medical care may create doubt that the injuries were from the accident.

Admitting Fault

You should never admit fault for the accident. It’s understandable to be apologetic in the aftermath, regardless of fault, but be careful what you say to the other driver and in the police report. Admitting fault, and sometimes even apologizing, can be used against you by an insurance provider.

Failing to Exchange Information

All drivers involved in the collision should exchange insurance and personal contact information. This includes names, phone numbers, driver’s license information, and addresses. If the collision had any eyewitnesses, obtain their contact information. This is all potentially useful in an insurance claim.

Failing to Document the Scene

It’s important to document the scene of the accident by taking photos and videos of the vehicles, your injuries, the conditions on the road, damage to other property, and anything else that might be relevant. This documentation is crucial evidence in a claim.

Not Contacting Your Insurance Provider

You should also report the accident to your insurance provider, even if you do not need to file a claim with them. Many insurance providers require this report.

Not Following Medical Advice

When you receive medical care after a car accident, it’s important to attend any suggested follow-up visits and maintain the medical care that was recommended. If you do not, it can affect an insurance claim. The insurance provider may claim that your injuries must not be that severe or that they would have healed better if you had followed medical advice. Following your provider’s advice is important for your own health and your claim.

Settling Prematurely

The first offer you receive from the insurance provider is likely to be a lowball settlement, and it will not cover the true extent of your injury costs and other damages. If you take this settlement, you lose the ability to get more compensation. Remember that an insurance provider’s goal is to limit their own liability, not provide you with a fair settlement.

Not Working With an Attorney

You should work with a skilled car accident attorney after a collision. An attorney can help you avoid these and other mistakes during the process of filing your claim.


Q: What Are Three Things You Must Do When an Accident Happens?

A: Three of the things you must do when an accident happens include:

  1. Moving to a safe location, as long as you are able to do so, and calling to report the accident and any injuries you and others in the accident sustained
  2. Receiving medical attention at the scene and reporting the facts of the accident to the officer on-site
  3. Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved

Q: What Are the Red Flags About Another Driver After a Car Accident?

A: Some red flags about another driver after a car accident that may indicate that you will have difficulty filing an insurance claim include the driver:

  • Trying to leave before emergency responders arrive and before you have exchanged information
  • Refusing to give you their insurance provider information
  • Acting aggressively and trying to get you to admit fault
  • Providing inconsistent information about the accident

If another driver involved in the accident acts like this, it is beneficial to work with an attorney to better protect your rights as you recover compensation.

Q: How Much Compensation Can You Get for a Car Accident in California?

A: The amount of compensation you can get for a car accident in California depends largely on the significance of the economic and noneconomic damages you suffered in the accident. If you did not suffer any injuries, your compensation will be much lower than if you had to treat and recover from a traumatic brain injury. Other factors that influence the compensation you can recover include:

  • How experienced and skilled your attorney is
  • Your percentage of liability in causing the accident
  • How much evidence supports your claim
  • If the claim goes to court

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in California?

A: How long it takes to settle a car accident claim in California varies significantly based on the complexity of your claim and other factors. Some claims can be resolved quickly, especially with the help of an attorney. Claims with a clear at-fault party and supporting evidence will likely be settled faster. In more complex cases, where the at-fault party is contested, settling a car accident claim can take much longer. To get a closer estimate based on your unique circumstances, you should talk with your attorney.

Protecting Your Financial Interests After a Car Accident

If you were in a car accident, contact Easton & Easton, LLP, to see how we can help.