We don’t like to think about the possibility of a close friend or family member being in a serious traffic accident. But with so many traffic incidents reported in Southern California each day, there’s a chance your loved one may one day be involved in a crash. In that case, you might be left wondering how to find out if someone has been in a car accident.
An accident could send your loved one to the hospital and you may have no way of knowing until hours or days later. You could see a report on the news or online about a car accident that triggers your suspicion. You may simply be unable to reach a close relative for an extended time and become worried.
These are all scenarios where it would be nice to be able to reach out somehow and confirm that your friend or family member is okay or if they need your help. There are ways to verify if someone has been in a frightening accident and you can make a check without ever leaving your house.
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How to Find Out if Someone Has Been in a Car Accident
Calling the law enforcement agency you believe may have responded to a potential crash may provide you with information about accident victims. This route may lead to some delays because detailed information from recent accidents, including victim identities, may not be recorded on department computers until hours or days after the incident.
If the names of victims are available, someone manning a police desk or a Highway Patrol Call Center should be able to check on a specific name and location for you.
What’s more, if you are an emergency contact for the victim or a close relative like a spouse or child of the victim, accident investigators will usually call you if they can find your contact information.
Checking With Local Hospitals
Hospitals follow strict privacy laws and may not be able to reveal a lot of information about patients. However, they can usually confirm if someone has been admitted to their hospital or emergency room.
You can contact local hospitals in the region where you suspect your loved one was in an accident. If they can confirm a patient’s name and room number, you can attempt a call or perhaps visit in person.
Checking Personal Contacts
Your own network of family and friends may be the best way to confirm your fears or to dispel them. Calling everyone who has a connection to your missing person or people may help you find out if they’re okay. In some cases, social media may be your only link to the friends and family of a potential car accident victim. Try direct messaging everyone who might know more about what happened.
You could even call the person’s office or school to see if they made it there okay. Finding out they didn’t make it to class or to a work shift could be your first step towards tracking a car collision victim down.
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Making Sure You’re in the Loop in Emergencies
Our cellphones and other devices are using the latest technology to make sure friends and family members aren’t left to wonder after an accident.
Downloadable apps for IOS and Android phones constantly monitor your wellbeing on the road and alert anyone you choose when they detect an impact. Some apps even enable you to type in your own accident report on your phone before you forget important details about what happened.
Services like OnStar that come standard on some vehicles detect accidents, can notify authorities, and send your loved ones a notification if you’ve been in a crash. You might also receive a call from a loved one in the moments after an accident to see if you’re alright.
Some Dash Cams that record your every move and the moves of careless drivers also detect when you’ve been in an accident. Some Garmin Cams will notify your entire emergency contact list when you’ve been hit. Dash Cams also provide powerful video evidence to prove you weren’t to blame for a collision.
One simple, proactive step you can take is to have loved ones keep a small card with emergency contact information on it in their wallets, purses, or somewhere in the vehicle. Emergency crews often search wallets or glove compartments for these details.
What to Do if a Family Member Has Been in a Collision
Finding out that loved ones have suffered an accident may send you to the scene or perhaps to the hospital to check on them.
There are steps you can take to help them recover and prove the at-fault party’s liability so your loved one can secure the compensation needed to rebuild their lives:
- On The Scene: Make sure 911 has been contacted and see that victims are checked out by paramedics. Make sure they go to the hospital if necessary. Allow officers to create a traffic collision report. Get witness contact information. Use your phone to take video and photos of the damage on the scene and other relevant images.
- At the Hospital: Bring any insurance and medical information you have for victims to the hospital. Make sure the patient is informing doctors and nurses about every potential injury they may have. Make sure the patient follows the doctor’s orders. Help the patient keep track of all paperwork and invoices. Alert other family members about what happened.
- Report the Accident: In California, if an officer did not respond to the scene and the accident involved an injury or death, your loved one has 24 hours to report a crash to local authorities. You must also alert the DMV within 10 days if the accident involved injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage.
- Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer: The fault in an accident may seem clear-cut, but insurance companies often dispute injury claims in an attempt to save on paying out compensation. Getting in touch with your attorney safeguards your interests when insurance companies resort to unfair tactics to rob you of the support you and your family need. Your attorney handles all communications with insurance adjusters and works to earn you the maximum compensation available for what you’ve been through.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Serving Southern California
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer during the difficult period after a car accident is essential to your chances of earning fair support. Perhaps you are in the middle of a long and expensive medical recovery and in need of real help paying your bills while missing time at work. We hope that you’ll consider the proven legal benefits of trusting your case to the Law Offices of Steers & Associates.
Contact The Law Offices of Steers & Associates for a no-obligation case evaluation for you and your family to find out how they can help you. This consultation is free and, in fact, you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.