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If you are involved in an accident in San Francisco but you are not at fault, you might think that the onus for your property damage and injuries should rest with the at-fault driver. Although hypothetically you may be right, if you want to recover for your damages and injuries, there is a good likelihood that you will have to do some of the legwork on your own.
It is the other driver’s responsibility to pay for damages that result from their negligence, but negligence is not always clear-cut. Insurance companies aren’t always in a hurry to pay for damages. If you are in an accident, consulting a San Francisco personal injury attorney is an excellent way to get quick resolution for your damages and any injuries you may have sustained.
If you are not at fault in an accident, then it is probably not your responsibility to take care of things; however, it might behoove you to do the following to make the process go more smoothly and to recover more quickly.
When the accident happens
The most important thing to do when an accident happens is to ensure that everyone is okay and to seek medical attention, if necessary. You are going to want to take special note of all the details surrounding the accident. Although a police report might not be admissible in court, it is imperative to lend proof to your case if you send a demand letter or if you should have to escalate the situation to the negotiation process. Although police reports are considered hearsay in court, having one on record is an excellent way to support your version of events and injuries. Calling law enforcement is critical.
Even if you aren’t at fault, you are going to want to record everything. There are times when fault might come into question, and you want to ensure you have everything documented to win your case and to recover for any injuries or damages that you sustain. Make sure to gather all the pertinent information that might become necessary as the case evolves. That includes all the information about the other driver, their insurance company, and any eyewitness accounts of the accident. They might not be necessary, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
When you get home contact the other driver’s insurance company
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the other driver will contact their insurance company immediately. To ensure that your damages and injuries are addressed, you should immediately call the insurer of the at-fault driver to notify them of the accident and to get your statement on file. As time passes, recollection gets foggier, and it might become more difficult to get a resolution.
If necessary, contact your own insurance
There are times when fault is not as clear as you would like it to be. To ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you have someone in your corner fighting for you, it is a good idea to contact your own insurance company. Hiring a San Francisco car accident lawyers is recommended, but so is contacting your insurance provider if there is any issue about who is liable and responsible for the damages and injuries in any automobile accident case. The reason you have an insurance company is to protect yourself, so let them do their job and protect you.
Try to reach a settlement
It is always preferable to reach a monetary settlement before your automobile accident case goes to court. But if the negotiation process isn’t yielding you the necessary settlement, don’t be afraid to hire a San Francisco personal injury attorney to further your case. It might seem like a big hassle, but if the accident was not your fault, there is no reason why you should be left holding the financial bag.
If you are injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault, sometimes you have to take the initiative to ensure that your needs are taken care of. A San Francisco personal injury attorney is the best place to start and to ensure that you recover what is rightfully yours.