Everyday traffic hazards are a common cause of car accidents in San Diego. On the day this blog was written, the CHP reported accidents caused by everything from tree branches and loose tires to wandering cows. If you’re involved in a collision as a result of a road hazard, remember to do the following things:
Check for Injuries and Clear the Roadway
Your first concern should be for your own personal safety and that of the other accident victims. If anyone appears to be injured or in shock, dial 911 immediately to report the accident and to request help. It’s generally OK to administer basic first aid, but take care if anyone has a back or neck injury. In these cases, simply try to keep the injured party calm until help arrives to prevent further damage.
If the law allows and you can safely move your vehicle, clear the roadway to prevent additional accidents. This is generally acceptable if the accident is minor with little damage. When this isn’t possible, set out warning signals like flares or reflective triangles to give advance notice to oncoming traffic.
Call the Authorities and Notify Your Insurance Company
If no one required medical assistance, call the authorities to report the accident. They’ll let you know if a police officer will be dispatched to the scene or if it’s acceptable to simply exchange information. While you’re waiting, you can also notify your insurance company to start the claims process.
If anyone has suffered any type of injury or damage, document everything including witness and victim information, time of day, weather conditions and the location of the vehicles. Use your cell-phone camera to take pictures of the scene and any damages to the vehicles in question. Take notes about anything you hear or see during this time even if you don’t think it’s relevant.
Finally, consult with one of our San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys if you’ve been hurt as a result of a road hazard. During your initial meeting, our professional litigators can explain your rights and whether you’re entitled to any type of financial compensation from your own insurance company or someone else’s. Depending on the individual situation, we may be able to seek a settlement from a homeowners policy, a personal liability policy or even a local government body in addition to auto insurance providers.