Car Accident FAQ

Being involved in a car accident is often a shocking and painful experience, and often people are unsure of what to do — or what not to do — in the immediate aftermath.

At Sweeney, Sweeney & Sweeney, APC, we have more than 50 combined years of experience in handling personal injury claims for car accident victims. Following are answers to common questions that many car accident victims have.

What are the first things I should do when I'm involved in a crash?

First, it is important that you remain on the scene and call an ambulance if you or someone else has been injured. You should also call the police and file a report of the accident, but do not in any way suggest that the accident was your fault — not to the police or to the other driver. Liability for the crash is a matter that your personal injury attorney will investigate.

Other steps to take include:

  • Getting the names, phone numbers and addresses of people involved in the accident, as well as contact information from any witnesses
  • Take pictures of the visible facts of the crash, including vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks and road conditions
  • Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected from the very start of your claim

Should I talk to the police about the accident?

Yes. Describe what happened, but focus solely on the facts — where the vehicles came from, where they collided, which vehicle had the right of way, etc.

Should I wait to get medical treatment?

No. If you wait to get treated for an injury, the insurance company will interpret this as evidence that your injury is not as serious as it is. If you are unsure of how to get medical treatment, contact us. We can help you get the medical care you need and help you obtain compensation for medical expenses.

Should I inform my insurance company that I was involved in a crash?

Yes. Waiting to notify your insurer could result in your accident not being covered. However, when you contact the insurance company, provide only the facts of the case and avoid making any statements about who was at fault. You should contact a personal injury lawyer before making any more statements to the insurance company.

Should I inform the other party's insurance company about the accident?

In general, no. The other party's insurer — and likely your insurer, as well — may take something that you said and manipulate the statement in order to minimize or altogether deny your accident claim. Again, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident, and your lawyer can handle any further communication with the insurance companies.

Also, if the other party's insurer contacts you for information, you are not obliged to make any statements. Instead, refer the insurer to your attorney.

Should I provide a recorded statement to the insurance company?

No. You can give the facts of the accident to your own insurer, but you do not have to provide a recorded statement before you speak with an attorney. The reality is that insurance claims adjusters are skilled at asking questions that are designed to result in the reduction or denial of your claim. Insurance companies are businesses, and they are in business to make money. Their lawyers often try to use recorded statements in order to minimize or deny the value of accident claims.

At Sweeney, Sweeney & Sweeney, we are experienced at going up against insurance companies and helping injury victims obtain maximum compensation.

To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, email us or call our office in Temecula. We are here to help you.