Car Accident Do's and Dont's in Texas
Many people wonder what to do after a car accident in Texas to ensure the best possible outcome for reimbursement of property damage, injuries, and other personal losses that can occur. This comprehensive guide of what to do, and what not to do, following a car accident in Texas.
The way you choose to respond after getting in an auto accident plays a pivotal role in how the situation will unfold. You should be prepared and proactive in these unfortunate scenarios to guarantee the best result for you or your family.
Do Get Help
The first step after any auto accident is to determine if you were injured. Call 911 to request medical assistance for all injured parties and get the accident properly reported. This should be a priority before approaching individuals in the alternate vehicle, as this may lead to interference. Many people get caught in the post-crash adrenaline and can neglect seeking further help even for minor accidents.
Do Not Assume The Crash Is Not Serious
Many people misjudge their level of injury and prolong a visit to the doctor. If you have been in an accident you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Due to your adrenaline level, you might not immediately realize that you suffered trauma in the crash. Tell the doctor how the auto accident occurred and where you feel any pain, discomfort, or sensations that you were not experiencing prior to the wreck. The doctor will be able to check for complications such as shoulder injuries, disfigurement, paralysis, head injuries , fractures, and more.
Do Document The Crash Scene
Once the vehicles are towed away, you lose the opportunity to collect valuable evidence. Take photos of all vehicles, interior, and exterior damages, and the surrounding area. You should include pictures of any skid marks, broken glass, traffic controls, and other physical damages that occurred from the accident. Be sure to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers. If there were witnesses, gather their information as well. This is the only time you will have complete access to primary information that could assist your case.
Do Not Assume That Your Are Liable
Make effort to be as objective as possible when discussing the car accident with police and emergency responders. There is no need to blame others or admit blame yourself. Focus on answering honestly, respectfully, and cooperating with all professionals on the scene. You only need to share exactly how the crash occurred. Car accidents cause your emotions to be on overdrive, but try your best to stay calm through the process.
Do Get A Copy Of The Traffic Crash Report
When a law enforcement officer arrives at the scene of the crash, the investigating officer will prepare a traffic accident report. Make sure to write down the police officer's name, badge number, and agency. You should also as ask for the Crash Identification Number associated with the accident. You, or your attorney, will later be able to go online and obtain a copy of the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) (regular or certified) through the Crash Report Online Purchase System.
Do Not Forget To Report The Crash
In cases where the police are not called to the crash scene, you can report the accident yourself. Reportable accidents include fatalities, physical injury, or structed damages of any kind to the vehicles. Texas law permits you to file a written report with the Texas Department of Transportation. It is a best practice to report the crash as soon as possible, and not to exceed ten business days. A law enforcement officer will provide you with a form or you can go online to the Texas Department of Transportation website.
Do Comply With Your Insurance Company
After a crash, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Your auto insurance policy might require a copy of the accident reports, although reports are not required by law. Remember to state the facts of the accident and keep all opinions to a minimum. Explain the situation without discussing fault if you are asked to provide a statement of how the motor vehicle accident happened. Sometimes insurance agencies will attempt to minimize severity in order to support a smaller settlement, so be honest, and intentional in your statement.
Do Not Help The Other Driver's Insurance Company
If you are contacted by the other driver's insurance company, do not provide them with any further information. Sometimes, a person incorrectly assumes that there is no harm in speaking with the at-fault driver's insurance company since they themselves were the innocent party, or a pedestrian, bicyclist, child, or the victim of a truck accident. This is not the case. Talking with an adjuster often provides them the information needed to re-apportion liability and deem you partially liable for the crash. Instead, you should promptly direct the insurance adjuster to your lawyer or own insurance company. Any written release or settlement offer them send for your signature should be reviewed by your lawyer before further any action is taken.
You may be entitled to compensation in the form of medical expenses, surgical costs, medical supplies, aid devices, pain and suffering, and much more. Whether the negligent motorist is insured by a larger insurance company like GEICO, Progressive, USAA, or a smaller like Root, each insurance handles and evaluates bodily injury claims similarly. You should always allow a legal progression to advocate for your injuries and damages.
Do Keep A Journal Or File Of Your Accident
Keep track of as much information as possible after your accident. Document in a journal your experiences, injuries, recollection of the accident, and how it has impacted your life. The more time that passes, the more memories begin to fade. Create an active journal you can add to in the following days and weeks. This should be accompanied by a file with medical reports, bills, accident reports, work records, and communication with your insurance company. You are helping your attorney and your case by maintaining and information log.
Do Not Discuss The Case With Non-Family Members
In order to keep your confidentiality completely protected, keep communication about the accident to a minimum. You can address matters with family members but don’t spread information online or with friends. If you do, it will not be protected by confidentiality privileges. This could cause further issues with your case that could have been avoided.
Do Contact A Texas Car Accident Lawyer Immediately
You have a short window of time to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit after a traffic accident in Texas. It should always be a top priority to contact a lawyer immediately to get the proper legal help you deserve.
At Sneed & Mitchell LLP, we offer a free introductory consultation that is completely confidential and free of obligations. Our goal is to ensure you can obtain legal help right away.
After a car wreck, a car accident lawyer is the only person that will work hard to protect your personal interests. An insurance agency is looking out for its bottom line in determining a settlement for your claim.
Your car accident attorney will investigate the case, file all necessary paperwork, and pursue proper compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, damages, and setbacks you’ve experienced as a result. Your pain and suffering should not go unrecognized and reparations should be handled by a legal professional.
For more information, call your trusted lawyers at Sneed & Mitchell today or contact us through our convenient online form. We’ll get back to you promptly with the next steps. We’re ready to give you the help you deserve.