Motor Vehicle Accidents FAQs

What should I do if I am in an accident?

Regardless of how minor you think the accident is, you should always report it to the police. Write down names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, and make sure the police officer gives you a copy of the driver exchange information form. Call your insurance agent and your insurance company immediately for further instructions. If you do not report the accident, the insurance company may deny payment of any claims you file subsequently. Your insurance company must notify you within thirty days of receiving proper notice of the claim whether it will pay or deny your claim or that it is investigating the claim.

If the accident is not my fault, do I have to let my own insurer know about it, and, if I do, will they raise my insurance premiums?

Yes, you need to inform your insurance company of the accident. California is a no-fault automobile accident state. That means your insurance company is required to pay for your medical expenses up to a certain amount, depending on the policy you purchased.

What if I received a traffic citation stating I was the cause of the accident? Do I still have a case?

That depends. If the accident was not completely your fault, you can still recover damages from the other driver for the portion of the accident that was his or her fault. California allows injured parties to bring claims against others even if they were partially at fault.

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