Even though no one expects to be in a car accident when they get into their car each day, it is necessary to know what to do just in case the worst happens. When you are in a car accident, your body and mind will respond in different ways that may make it difficult to process everything going on around you. If you read the steps listed below that we recommend you take immediately after a car accident, you will have a better understanding of what to do if you are in this situation. The likelihood of being injured in a car accident in Texas is pretty high, as 205,498 people were injured and 4,000 killed in car crashes in 2020 alone. Being prepared will help you in the long run after being hurt in a car accident in Texas.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident
1. Do Not Leave the Scene.
Never leave the scene of a car accident. If you can move your vehicle to a safe area off the main road, do so, but do not leave the scene of the accident before a police officer has arrived to write a report.
2. Check Yourself and Others for Serious Injuries.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries. After a car accident occurs, check yourself for any major injuries. You may have broken bones, lacerations, head injuries, or worse. If you do not immediately see any serious injuries, check on the other drivers and passengers involved to see if they have any serious injuries. If anyone is seriously injured or is unconscious, call an ambulance to transport them to a hospital. Do not try to move if you are seriously injured or try to move another injured person, as this can make injuries worse.
3. Call the Police.
A car accident must be reported and a police report generated to ensure that the incident has been documented for future legal ramifications. If you can, call the police right after the accident occurs to report what happened. Tell them the exact sequence of events. Include only facts and do not speculate regarding who is at fault or admit to any fault yourself. Some motor vehicle collisions may be considered minor and the police will not respond to the scene. In these cases, it is still important to file a police report afterward to make sure everything is officially documented for insurance and legal purposes. It is especially critical to call the police if you suspect the other driver or drivers involved are intoxicated or if they left the scene of the accident.
4. Exchange Information with All Parties Involved.
Exchange identification and insurance information with everyone involved in the car accident. This information may be included on the police report but it is also important to take a quick photo of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license. Be sure to ask witnesses in the area who may have seen the crash for their contact information. They are not required to give this information, however, if they saw what happened and are willing to help, ask for their name, phone number, address, and e-mail address. Their account of the auto accident can help determine who was at fault.
5. Take Pictures and Video of the Scene of the Accident.
If you are physically able, take photos and/or videos of the scene of the accident with your mobile phone or other devices. Take pictures and videos of all vehicles involved, your injuries, any property inside the vehicle that was damaged, and the intersection or area of the road where the accident occurred. If you can, while you take a video of the scene, say out loud what you can remember happening during the wreck. Memories can get foggy over time and knowing exactly what happened from the day will be helpful.
6. Seek Medical Evaluation and Treatment.
Even if you think you have not been seriously injured in a car accident, it is always a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible for a full medical evaluation. Many car wreck injuries do not appear for hours to days after a collision. A medical professional will be able to check you over for all common injuries seen after car accidents. If you are not transported via ambulance to a hospital, immediately go to a doctor. No matter how minor the symptoms may appear, even a small headache, report everything you are feeling post-accident to the doctor because injuries often appear and/or worse after the first day or two post-accident. The pictures you took from the accident will also help your medical professionals understand what injuries you may have suffered.
7. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer.
While calling your insurance company or the insurance company of the person who caused the accident may be the next step for many car accident victims, it is helpful to hire legal counsel before speaking to them. Insurance agents, even your own, will do everything in their power to avoid paying for damages sustained in a car accident. Often, something small you say when speaking to an insurance agent about a car accident will be used against you in the future to reduce the amount you are paid in compensation for your injuries and property damage. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side who communicates with the insurance company for you can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Houston Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Houston car accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Contact the auto accident lawyers at Dax F. Garza, P.C. to learn more about how we can help you recover medically, emotionally, and financially after a motor vehicle collision.