So, you’ve been in a car accident in California. Although most of us know what do to in the immediate aftermath – moving our vehicles out of traffic if we are able to, for instance – we may not be prepared for managing the other activities that come after car accidents. Today, we teach you about your legal responsibilities after you have been involved in an auto accident.

First, attorneys say that those who have been involved in a car accident should never admit any type of fault to police officers or first responders. You could be in an overly emotional state, leaving you vulnerable to intense questioning from police. Some people are bullied into admitting fault when, in fact, they were the victims. Avoid taking responsibility at the scene, no matter what.

Next, make sure that you file a full report to the police if you are a car accident victim. This ensures that you have additional legal protection, not just “your word against theirs” in a legal confrontation. A reckless driver will do anything to try to get out of paying for your medical costs and pain and suffering, but having that key legal proof can make the difference in your civil case.

Finally, experts say that drivers should refuse to sign any unofficial forms, especially those from insurance companies or entities not related to law enforcement. The only documents you should be signing are those from your insurance company, the police or your physician. This can protect you if you decide to seek financial compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering or other civil claims in California court. Be prepared in the aftermath of a car accident by maintaining your personal information and taking the necessary precautions to protect your legal rights.

Source: CheatSheet, “10 Things You Should Always Do After a Car Accident,” Micah Wright, Feb. 06, 2017