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What to do when a crash occurs

When a motor vehicle accident takes place, those involved are likely to become confused and emotional. This makes it important to know what to do before a wreck happens. While no accident is exactly the same, motorists must first know that is unlawful to drive away from a wreck in California even when not at fault.

Drivers must trade information with each other when a car crash occurs, and one is expected to leave a note and notify the appropriate authorities if a property crash takes place and one cannot locate the property owner. A collision is likely to cause minor injuries if a pedestrian is hit, and the authorities must be alerted when an accident injures or kills anyone. Officers investigate the scene when responding to a call, but the driver must file a report with the local police or the California Highway Patrol if no officers respond.

California law says drivers must give reasonable assistance to anyone injured, which might involve calling for help, taking someone to a hospital or administering first aid. A driver who is able should call 911 or ask a passing motorist for help, and a 911 operator needs to know the exact location of a crash, what happened and whether a fire truck or ambulance is necessary. Only those with training should use first aid techniques, and any injured persons should only be moved if they are in danger where they are located.

Even responsible drivers cannot be prepared for everything, and someone may suffer injuries if another driver's negligent actions cause a wreck. If a preventable accident occurs because of reckless driving and results in injuries, a victim can seek compensation from the responsible party by filing a personal injury claim in civil court.

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