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Should You Move Your Car After an Accident?

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From a minor fender-bender to a serious collision, a car accident can create a form of shock and trauma for everyone involved. This makes it incredibly difficult to think through what you need to do next, and the question of ‘should you move your car after an accident?’ is likely the last thing on your mind.

The first few seconds after a crash can feel like a lifetime. It’s important to stop the car (if you can), and then take a deep breath and assess your situation. According to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), stopping is essential as you could risk being accused of a hit and run. If no one is seriously injured or killed, then you are allowed to move your car to the side of the road.

If your injuries are serious, it’s best to stay in the car until help arrives. Avoid any sudden movements until you know your injuries are not serious. However, if you’re in a situation where the vehicle is unsafe, you may have to risk finding a safer place to wait for emergency services to arrive.

After a car accident, the choices you make can have serious impacts on your health, insurance claim and legal options. If you are ever in doubt about what to do after a car accident call a qualified lawyer, like Avrek Law Firm, to talk you through what you should do next.

What to Do After a Car Crash

Two people arguing next to a car accident - should you move your car after an accident?

There is a lot to remember about what to do after a car crash, and Avrek Law recommends following these 14 steps:

  1. Stop immediately
  2. Secure the scene
  3. Call the police
  4. Take photos
  5. Create accurate records
  6. Exchange Information
  7. Report the accident
  8. Seek medical attention
  9. Keep a file
  10. Locate any witnesses
  11. Don’t admit fault
  12. Understand your insurance
  13. Contact a lawyer
  14. Remove belongings from car

What you do in the next few days after the accident is also critical. Any insurance claims need to be submitted within 72 hours or less from the time of the accident. If you hit a parked car or personal property, it is your responsibility to track down and identify yourself to the owner.

The California DMV recommends securely attaching a note with your name, address and contact information. You still have to report the incident to the local police or state law enforcement. For example, any traffic accident in California requires the submission of a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR-1) within 10 days, if there’s more than $1,000 in damages and if anyone is injured or killed.

What to Do After a Car Accident Injury

Every car accident comes with its own unique insurance process and recovery time. Serious injuries are addressed immediately, often right on the scene. It’s the more minor injuries that can literally cause the biggest headaches due to physical ailments like whiplash. Dizziness, nausea and headaches can last for months and even years after an injury. Make sure you report and track your injuries with your family doctor. California’s statute of limitations allows two years to file your case from the time of the injury.

More acute injuries like sprains, strains and fractures can take weeks to heal and there’s a good chance that you can reinjure yourself doing simple everyday activities. It’s not uncommon for even a minor fender bender to cause a knee injury that leads to a meniscus tear that may take years to heal properly. Always follow the doctor’s advice about when you can resume exercising and your old fitness routines.

If you are pregnant in a car accident, you’ll want to seek out medical attention immediately — no matter how serious the accident. According to a study from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, car accidents are the leading cause of fetal death and maternal injury in the United States. At least 30% of high-impact injuries from car accidents can cause the placenta to detach from the uterus resulting in an emergency c-section. The Birth Injury Help Center reports that even low-impact accidents can cause women to have a miscarriage even a few weeks after the car crash. These additional risks placed on pregnant women in any type of car accident makes it more important than ever to follow the appropriate steps after a vehicle collision.

Vehicle Crashes Surging Across the Country

It’s important to stay vigilant and hyper-aware while driving, now more than ever. Despite the drop in rush hour traffic due to more people working from home during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in car accidents across the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, those who remained on the road engage in riskier behavior, such as excessive speeding, not wearing seat belts and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. More drivers are testing positive for opioids, which almost doubled in March 2020, and for marijunana, which increased by almost 50%.

There are ways to minimize the risk of getting into car accidents. First find out, what time of year do most car accidents happen? Be extra cautious while driving during the summer and fall months, as they see the highest number of motor vehicle deaths across the U.S. compared to all the other months. The National Safety Council found that the months of July, August and October all had more than 3,700 motor vehicle deaths each month. The summer months often see an increase in drivers testing positive for alcohol and drug consumption. Combine that with an increase of people on the road travelling during summer vacation, and there is a much higher chance of getting into a serious car accident.

How to Maximize Compensation From Car Accident Injuries

Between cases of insurances companies acting in bad faith, life-long brain injuries from being rear-ended while driving on a highway, car accidents that resulted in emergency C-sections and insurance companies failing to pay in a timely manner, there are plenty of reasons why Americans rely on expert car accident attorneys like Avrek Law to help them get the compensation they deserve.

Avrek Law has a team of experts ready to hear about your case and answer any question you have — including, “Should you move your car after an accident?” The consultation is free and you’ll get advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in more than 45,000 cases. View one of our locations or contact us for a free consultation.

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