Do You Need to File a Car Accident Claim in California? Get Answers to Your Most Common Questions

If you have been involved in a car accident in California then you are likely wondering what your next step should be. In many cases, that may involve filing a car accident claim – but how do you do that? Keep reading to get the facts. If you require a personal injury attorney for assistance contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000.

Whom Do I Contact if I Am Involved in a Car Accident?

After you have been involved in a car accident, start by contacting emergency personnel if medical help is needed. Then contact the police, assuming there is more than $950 in damage to one or both vehicles. Finally, auto insurance companies should be called. If the other party is at fault, contact their insurance company. If they are uninsured, contact your own insurance company.

Do I Need to Contact the DMV?

You are required by California law to contact the DMV within ten days in certain situations. This includes accidents in which someone was killed or there was any injury – even a minor injury. If there is more than $1,000 in property damage then you will need to contact the DMV.

Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Right Away?

Yes and no. In most cases you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case. However, there are exceptions. Likewise, there is evidence available immediately after an accident that may be lost with time. As a result, while you are not required by law to file right away, we do recommend that you call a personal injury attorney right away. The sooner we can get started, the better your chances will be.

What Do I Do If I Do Not Have Insurance?

If you were not at fault then you will simply file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. Just remember that whomever you speak with there does not represent you and is not on your side – their goal is to settle for the least possible amount. This is one of the reasons we recommend working with a personal injury attorney.

Do I Have to Take My Vehicle to a Specific Place to Be Repaired?

No. You have the right to have your repairs done at any body shop or mechanic you choose. That said, there are generally repair shops within the network of the insurer. You can work with them and have the insurance company billed directly, or choose your own, negotiate the price, pay out of pocket, and be reimbursed.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

This is an easy one: Yes. If you have suffered an injury and/or have property damage of at least $1,000 then you should talk to a personal injury attorney who can let you know what your options are. Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now to get started.