What to do After an Accident


Providing guidance to injury victims throughout Santa Clara County, the Bay Area, and the State

Knowing what to do following an accident is the first step in protecting your rights and preventing mistakes from hurting your case. The Law Office of Robert B. Kopelson represents clients in San Jose, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the State of California in personal injury claims involving motor vehicle accidents, uninsured and underinsured motorists, and slip and fall accidents. In each case, I apply my drive towards creative and well-researched legal strategies and my personal connection to clients and their legal needs.

Protecting yourself after an accident

When you are in a serious accident, you may have difficulty focusing on anything other than the physical and emotional aftermath. However, obtaining as much pertinent information as possible is important to ensure a fair insurance settlement or to support a lawsuit, if necessary. If you can, you should gather

Names and contact information of possible witnesses
Contact information and insurance information for other drivers and vehicle owners
License plate numbers of others involved in the accident, especially if they attempt to flee the scene
Details about the accident scene, such as the position of the vehicles, weather and road conditions, traffic signs and speed limits
Take photographs of the accident scene (before the cars are moved), your injuries and the vehicles

In addition, you must protect yourself. Do not apologize or admit fault. If the crash was not your fault, insist the police come out and make a full report. Often you won’t feel much or any injury at the scene, but will later. If the police refuse to come out and make a report, exchange drivers license information and vehicle license plate information. Have the other party write out and sign a paper stating what they did and that it was their fault (e.g. “I didn’t see you stop, and I rear-ended you. It was my fault alone.”). These days with cell phones and iPads, you can have the person send you an email if you have no paper and pen, or they can call your cell and leave a verbal message saying what happened and that it was their fault.

If there are witnesses to what happened, get their names and phone numbers. This is very important, as we are seeing the police refuse to write reports more and more, and then if no witnesses are located, the other party changes their story later and it becomes your word against theirs. Obtain a copy of the police report. You should contact the Law Office of Robert B. Kopelson immediately, even before you speak to any insurance company. Do not sign anything until you have spoken to me. Insurance companies often twist your words and fish for information to help them later deny or minimize your claim. They do this to get you to accept a settlement offer that is much less than you need and deserve. My personal injury law firm in San Jose will assist you in pursuing your rights.

Seek thorough, efficient representation for your San Jose personal injury lawsuit

If you have questions about your insurance coverage, or if you have been involved in an accident, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Robert B. Kopelson. I offer free consultations, representation on a contingency-fee basis, convenient evening appointments and home and hospital visits. Contact me today at 408.293.4000 or through my online form.

My office is conveniently located in downtown San Jose, serving clients throughout Santa Clara County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the State of California.

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