• Gil Arbel

First Steps to Take Immediately After an Injury

Every day there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States. Many of these accidents are relatively minor fender-benders, while many others involve serious injuries or fatalities.

Even the "minor" accidents can cause long-lasting injuries.

Unfortunately, if you drive long enough, it is very likely that you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident of some kind, whether it is your fault or someone else’s.

If you are involved in a traffic collision, it is important to know the first steps to take.

Do I Need to Call 911 if I am Involved in a Car Accident?

One of the first questions typically asked after minor traffic collisions is whether or not you should call 911 and request that law enforcement, paramedics, and/or other emergency response personnel come to the scene of the accident.

Of course, every accident is different, and common sense should prevail, but it is better to err on the side of caution and call 9-1-1 - you do not know if any injuries might manifest themselves later, if there is significant damage to any involved vehicles that cannot be seen easily, and it is best to have a report documenting the accident.

However, if you feel that the traffic collision is so mild that you know you will not want to make any insurance claims and trust that the other individual(s) involved feel the same way, simply take some photos of the damage, exchange basic contact information, including driver's license information (name, address, driver's license number and state), insurance information (carrier, policy number, insured individual(s) and vehicle(s), and phone number to make a claim), and vehicle and registration information (license plate no. and state, vehicle make, model, color, year, etc.); also take note of the date, time, and location of the accident and your best description of how it occurred.

For this reason, there is no hard-and-fast rule that provides a definitive answer for every situation. Nevertheless, there are general guidelines and some specific rules to help you determine whether 911 should be called:

• Contact the police if you or another person (including passenger, pedestrian or other driver) suffers an injury or if there is a fatality; and

• Contact the police if there is damage to your or another person’s car or other property. Depending on the severity of the damage, however, it may not be necessary to contact the police, or the police may not respond to the accident.

Ultimately, if you are in doubt regarding whether to call 911, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recommends calling 911. According to the Department, it is better to be safe and let the 911 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance. If you do not call 911 or if the police do not come to the accident scene, you should at least file a police report. What’s more, you can also call 311 to report any type of crime where there is no immediate threat to life or property. If you are an accident involving relatively minor property damage or if you believe there has been a motor vehicle violation, you can call 311 to report the issue. These general guidelines and rules for when to call the police are also applicable to situations involving other types of accidents, such as public transportation accidents or accidents on another person’s or business’s property, including slip and fall accidents.

If you have questions regarding contacting the police in an accident, the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Arbel Law Firm can answer your questions.

Why Is It Important to Call 911 After a Traffic Accident?

Any car accident lawyer would say that there are several legal and practical reasons why it is important to call 911 after a motor vehicle or other type of accident. Notably, contacting the police can help protect you from legal liability. In certain situations, California law imposes a legal obligation on a person to contact the police in certain situations. Failure to contact the police after an accident involving an injury or fatality can result in civil and criminal penalties, including imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of two years and a maximum term of 15 years and by a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000.

As a practical matter, contacting the police can help you facilitate your insurance claim and the processing of your claim. Furthermore, contacting the police can help protect you in civil disputes involving other individuals. The police will arrive at the accident and document the accident scene and any injuries. What’s more, the police may also issue a citation if they believe that another party is at fault. A police report can be used in future litigation and is a useful tool to combat testimony from another witness at trial. Not only will it help protect you from claims of other injured drivers, you may also need to protect your rights against other passengers in your car or passengers in another car involved in a crash.

Contact the Law Office of Gil L. Arbel for Personal Injury Attorneys.

If you have been involved in any type of accident, it is important reach out to an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights. At the Arbel Law Firm, our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys has extensive experience protecting the rights of injured victims. Contact the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at our firm today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us today at (818) 968-7149 or email us at GIL@ARBELEGAL.COM.

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