What To Do If You’re In A Car Accident

What To Do If You're In A Car Accident

Things to Do If You're Involved in an Auto Accident

Auto-accident 

CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY TO SUMMON POLICE and/or PARAMEDICS

Then get the following information:

  1. Name, address and phone number of other driver(s) involved in the accident

  2. Driver's license number of other driver(s) involved in the accident

  3. Insurance information of other driver(s) involved in the accident, name of insurance company, policy number

  4. Registered owner information of other vehicles involved in the accident

  5. If any of the other drivers appears to be on the job for a company, get the name of that company

  6. Passengers in other vehicles? Get their names, addresses, phone numbers

  7. Actual location of accident (street, intersection, exact address, if possible)

  8. Witness information: Names, addresses, phone numbers

  9. Jot down basic information such as weather conditions, street condition, traffic (light, medium, heavy), time of day that accident happened

  10. Very Important: Do not speak to anyone other than your doctor(s) without the advice of an attorney.  In particular, DO NOT give a statement to any insurance company, recorded or not, without the advice of an attorney.

What if you don't have auto insurance?  Click here to read Uh Oh, Car Accident With No Liability Insurance: "But I'm Not At Fault" 

Keep a camera in your car at all times (disposable, camera phone, digital camera, etc.) and take pictures of the cars (including damage, license plates), people, scene.Camera_phone

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Some excellent links What To Do If You're In An Accident

MSN Money: Insure Your Car.  Important tips on basic auto insurance

State Bar of California. Links to 14 important questions such as "What Information Should I Get at the Scene" and "Do I Need Auto Insurance?" as well as a link to download an entire pamphlet on the subject.

Roadragers.com. Practical tips and advice from the site whose tagline is "when you just can't take it anymore."

Important Link: Auto Insurance Coverage From A Personal Injury Lawyer's Perspective


If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, please contact me immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Are You Entitled to Compensation For Your Car’s Loss in Value After an Accident?

Before-After-3     What happens when you're in an accident, it's the other driver's fault, their insurance fixes your car but now your car is worth less than it was before the accident?  In legal terms, this decrease in value is called Diminution in Value.  

    The vehicle looks okay but disclosing that it was in an accident will certainly decrease the amount a buyer is willing to pay.  So, it begs the question "Can I ask to be paid for this decrease in my vehicle's value?"  

    The answer is a qualified "yes."  The law in the State of California (it may be different in different states so please consult your attorney) is "When the damaged property cannot be completely repaired to its pre-accident state, the measure of damages is the difference between its value before the injury and its value after the repairs have been made, plus the reasonable cost of making the repairs."  This comes from an old case 1946 which is STILL GOOD LAW today! (For reference, Merchant etc. Assn. v. Kellogg E. & D. Co. [28 Cal.2d 594] (1946) 28Cal 2d 594, 600).  


What The Heck Does This Mean?  Can I Be Compensated Or Not?

    Here's what all of this legal mumbo jumbo means:  If the vehicle cannot be restored to its original value (which is almost always the case in a car accident), the owner can collect not only the cost of repairs but the difference between the vehicle's value before the accident and after the repairs were made UNLESS the cost of repairs was greater than the decrease in value.  

Example 1: YES!!! You Can Be Compensated

    Example 1: Say your car was worth $30,000 before the accident and it cost $5,000 to fix it.  But now if you went to sell your car today (after the accident), you could only get $20,000 because of the accident, you're entitled to an additional $5,000 for diminution in value! 

Example 2: NO! You Cannot Be Compensated 

    Example 2: Now let's say your car was worth $30,000 before the accident and it cost the same $5,000 to fix it BUT now if you went to sell your car today (after the accident), you could still get $27,500 for it, you are NOT entitled to any more money.

Asc2     Diminution in value is a question of fact.  This means that you must have objective evidence to prove your car's value before the accident and your car's value after the accident. This can be determined by a qualified appraiser and is an issue that should be discussed with your attorney.   

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, please contact me immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"