Law Offices of Robert S. Patterson
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After a Car Crash

What to Do When You Have Been in a Car Accident

Advice from a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer

At the Law Offices of Robert S. Patterson, we know how traumatic car accidents can be. Accident scenes can be confusing, evidence can be unclear and memories cannot always be trusted. But our car crash attorney in Santa Barbara can diligently investigate your accident and help determine what happened. With nearly 35 years of experience, we can prove how another’s negligence caused your car accident. But your actions following an accident are equally important.

What to do at the scene

If you are involved in an accident, take the following steps at the scene:

  • Call 911 — if there are injuries, the dispatcher can tell you what to do until paramedics arrive.
  • Write down anything the other driver says and get contact and insurance information.
  • Get the names of any witnesses, along with their addresses and phone numbers.
  • Use your cell phone to take pictures of the vehicles, damage and debris.
  • Make detailed notes about the chain of events.

What to do after the accident

After a car accident, make sure to take the next steps, including:

  • Get medical attention for any obvious injuries, follow all medical advice and keep a record of appointments and treatment.
  • Be aware that some injuries may take a while to manifest. Pay attention to how you feel.
  • Call your insurance company, but only provide basic facts.
  • Keep a record of lost work time and productivity.
  • Note any emotional, behavioral or life changes, such as depression.
  • Get legal advice from an experienced car accident injury attorney in Santa Barbara.

What not to do

When you are involved in an auto accident:

  • Do not talk to the opposing insurance company.
  • Do not accept an insurance company settlement before you know the full extent of damages.
  • Do not talk about the accident to the other driver or witnesses.
  • Provide only the basic facts — not speculation — to law enforcement.
  • Do not write anything about your accident, injuries or activities on any social media site.

Contact an experienced Santa Barbara car accident attorney

The Santa Barbara Law Offices of Robert S. Patterson combines the experience of a large firm with the personal attention of a small firm. We primarily serve Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, though we work with clients from Los Angeles and San Francisco as well. Initial consultations are free. Call us at 888-479-4589 or contact us online.

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