You may think that a car accident will never happen to you. But the reality is that you will likely be involved in a crash at some point in your life. If the crash results in serious injury and is the fault of another, you will need to work with an experienced Texas auto accident lawyer.
What To Do in an Accident
In fact, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 13,675 serious injury crashes reported in one recent year, with 17,152 people suffering injuries. In other words, traffic accidents resulted in:
- One death every 2 hours and 29 minutes
- One injury every 2 minutes and 13 seconds
- One reportable crash every 66 seconds.
You must be prepared in the event that an accident happens to you. If you are involved in a car accident, here is an overview of what to do after you get in a car accident:
1.Pull over and check to make sure everyone in the vehicle is OK.
Pull your vehicle over to a safe location of the road and check everyone in your car. If anyone is injured, you need to call 911 and be able to report the injuries in a calm manner. The operator will need to know your location. So, be prepared to provide a street name or other helpful information. The operator will likely ask you questions about the injury and may provide you with instructions.
2. Report the accident to the Texas police.
Failing to report an accident that results in injury or death is illegal. Under Texas law, an operator of motor vehicle who is involved in a car accident that results in injuries or death is required to immediately:
- Stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.
- Determine whether a person involved in the accident requires aid.
- Give notice of the accident to the local police department or sheriff’s office.
You must remain at the scene of the accident until the duty to give information and render aid is satisfied.
When the police arrive and you file a report, provide complete and accurate information. You can request a copy of the police report at a later date. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, you can obtain a copy of your car accident report by using the Crash Report Online Purchase system.
3. Gather information about the other driver and accident scene.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take the opportunity to gather information about the other driver. This includes the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance policy number, vehicle registration number, vehicle make and model and driver’s license number.
You should also gather as much data as you can about other details of the accident scene. Take pictures, talk to witnesses and get their contact information. You should also take notes about what happened. The more documentation you have regarding your crash, the better.
In many cases, it is not possible to gather evidence immediately after a car accident happens – especially when your injuries are severe and require you to seek medical care immediately. If this is the case for you, do not worry – your car accident attorney can visit the accident scene at a later date and gather evidence on your behalf.
Also, accident reconstruction experts may be called upon to shed light on how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
4. Seek medical care.
If you are seriously injured, skip the steps above and seek medical care immediately. A serious injury is one that prevents you from moving or is dangerous enough to result in permanent impairment or death if immediate treatment is not received.
If you are not seriously injured, still complete the steps above, if possible. As soon as you are able, seek medical care for your injuries.
Keep thorough documentation of your injuries and all of your doctor’s visits. At a later point, your attorney can help you to organize this documentation and use it as valuable evidence when proving damages that you have sustained.
5. Notify your insurance company.
Regardless of fault, you should notify your own insurance company about the car accident as soon as possible. If you were at fault for the accident and carry certain insurance types, like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, then you can recover compensation from your own insurance company. If you were not at fault for the accident, your policy may still require you to report the accident.
6. Hire an experienced Texas car accident lawyer.
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer after you have been in a crash is an important decision. Even if you think that you do not need an attorney, and your insurance company will be on your side, hiring an attorney is almost always within your best interest.
What To Do After a Car Accident is Your Fault
Insurance companies have a tendency to offer accident victims settlements that are way lower than they deserve or debate who is at fault.
To prevent this from happening to you, the car accident attorneys at the Tate Law Offices, P.C., are ready to advocate for you.
When you hire our team at Tate Law Offices, expect legal professionals who will work hard to seek the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
Get started. Receive your free case consultation by calling or reaching us online today.
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