Archive | March, 2012

10 Things to Do in Case of an Auto Accident

2 Mar
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Author: Mark A. Doughty

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File under: Personal Injury Law, Auto Accidents, Car Crash, What to do


March 1, 2012

The following information was written by Northern California Accident – Injury Lawyer, Mark A. Doughty to help you have general information. It is intended to inform the public and not serve as legal advice.
10 Things to Do in Case of an Auto Accident


1.) Stop

No matter how minor an accident may be, the failure to stop can result in serious criminal consequences. If possible, stop your vehicle at the point nearest the accident scene without obstructing traffic more than necessary.

2.) Render Aid

If anyone is injured:

– Render first aid to the extent you are qualified

– Stop bleeding

– Call a doctor or an ambulance or both

– Do not move an injured person in any way that could possibly add to his or her injury.

3.) Protect the Scene and those Involved from Further Damage or Injury

If the accident has obstructed the roadway, take measures to adequately warn approaching drivers. If the highway is obstructed at night, illuminate the accident scene if possible. Use the warning flashers that are standard equipment on most vehicles. If you can do so safely, take photos of the scene and the vehicles at rest before they are moved.

4.) Dial 911 to call a Police Officer

State and local police officers are trained accident investigators. Their expertise may be invaluable in establishing the reason the accident occurred.

5.) Gather Information and Write It Down

Don’t trust your memory. Write down the facts, including the names and addresses of witnesses; skid marks and distance measurements; and the names, addresses and license plate numbers of the drivers involved.

Participants in automobile accidents are required by law to exhibit their driver’s licenses and provide their vehicle registration numbers, insurance carriers, insurance policy numbers, and names and addresses of their local insurance agents to each driver involved in the accident.

Below is a handy form to help you collect the appropriate information:

Name(s) Address(es) of Driver(s)____________________________________________________

License Plate Number(s)__________________________________________________________

Insurance Carrier(s)______________________________________________________________

Name(s) and Address(es) of Agent(s)_____________________________________________

Name(s) and Address(es) of Witness(es)_______________________________________________

Skid Mark Measurements__________________________________________________________

Distance Measurements__________________________________________

6.) Be Careful What You Say

Do not admit fault even if you think the accident was your fault. You may discover later that the other driver was equally or more at fault. Statements made during the excitement of an accident may be misconstrued or later misquoted by others. Discuss the accident with the investigating officer, your attorney and your insurance company.

7.) See Your Doctor

Serious injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed. It may be hours or even several days before you feel the effects of the injuries received. Consult a doctor or hospital if there is the slightest chance you may be injured.

8.) Inform Your Insurance Company Immediately

Your insurance company employs trained investigators who will attempt to develop all evidence for your defense. Failure to promptly notify your insurer may void your policy and leave you without insurance coverage for damage resulting from the accident.

9.) File an Accident Report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Regardless of fault, the operator of every motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury or property damage of $750 or more within the State of California must report the accident to the DMV within 10 days using a SR-1 form or you may lose your license.

10.) Consult Your Lawyer Promptly

If you anticipate filing a civil claim for damage or facing a trial on a traffic violation charge, the sooner your lawyer is brought into the matter the better he or she can advise you and protect your rights. Your personal injury lawyer can obtain statements from the witnesses while their memories are fresh and assure that the true facts are preserved.

Get your lawyer’s advice before giving any interviews or statements, except to representatives of your insurance carrier.


If you or a loved one is involved in a serious injury accident you should contact the Law Offices of Mark A Doughty, Accident – Injury Attorney at once.

For Yuba City, CA – call 530.674.1440
For Sacramento, CA – call 916.979.1917
For Lincoln, CA – call 916.645.1917

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