A person who negligently operates a vehicle is required by law to pay for any and all damages caused. All operators of vehicles must drive with "reasonable care under the circumstances". If such care is not used, and an accident occurs, they are responsible for all damages.
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If you have been injured through the carelessness, negligence or irresponsible behavior of another individual or organization, you probably have a valid personal injury claim. Since most of the time you will suffer some form of loss (be it income, physical, emotional, or other) you have a claim arising from injuries sustained as a result of the use or operation of motor vehicles, including claims against the at-fault motorist & uninsured motorist claims.
What should you do if you are in an accident?
You should obtain as much correct and complete information as possible at the accident scene (it will be much more difficult to get vital information later). We have compiled a list of items you should obtain at the accident scene:
- Driver's name, address, date of birth, telephone number, driver's license number, driver's license expiration date, and insurance company name and phone number.
- Vehicle's make, year, model, license plate number, reg. expiration date, and vehicle identification number.
- Names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance companies of the other vehicle's legal and registered owners (if the driver is not the owner).
- Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any passengers in the other vehicle.
- Names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses to the accident. Ask them to stay to talk to the CHP or police. If they cannot stay, ask them to explain to you what they saw and if possible write everything down.
- Identify people at the accident scene, even if they will not give you their contact info. If someone saw the accident and leaves the scene, you should make a note of his or her vehicle's license plate number. Law officials can trace the owner's name and address.
- Names and badge numbers of any law officer who came to the accident scene. Ask the officer where and when you can get a copy of the accident report. Make a simple diagram of the accident. Make a diagram of the accident scene on paper, make notes of traffic conditions, weather, time of day, and any objects such