You may feel overwhelmed and frightened about what to do when you get into a car accident. If someone negligently caused your injuries, Texas law permits you to pursue a claim for damages against that person.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can help you get your medical bills and car repairs paid. Additionally, emotional damages from the accident may be compensable.
A qualified personal injury attorney in your corner can assist you in pursuing fair compensation for your damages. Here’s some guidance on the right steps to take after a car accident.
Pull to Safety
If your car still operates, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic.
Texas law requires that you “immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.”
However, if you cannot move your vehicle without causing further damage, leave your vehicle where it is and call 911.
Reporting police or fire departments can assist in traffic control until a tow truck driver can tow your car.
Seek Medical Care
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you believe you escaped your accident injury-free, many injuries become evident only well after the accident.
A medical evaluation can help catch any injuries that may not be apparent.
Receiving an accurate medical diagnosis also helps your personal injury attorney get a more accurate picture of your potential damages.
Along these same lines, Texas law states that “the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident” must “provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.”
Report the Accident
Texas law requires drivers to call the police if an accident results in injury or death or if a vehicle is damaged and no longer operates.
A reporting police officer will complete a traffic accident report, providing an unbiased view of your accident. Some accident reports may even establish fault.
Your personal injury attorney uses accident reports to obtain important facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
If possible, gather information at the accident scene. If you can do so safely, collect the following information:
- Name and contact information of parties involved,
- License plate numbers,
- Insurance carrier and policy number of parties involved,
- Names and contact information of any witnesses.
Your insurance company may require this information in processing your claim. Additionally, your attorney uses this information to acquire more information about your case.
Photographs also help paint the picture of events immediately following the accident. Take photos of the following:
- Damage to your vehicle,
- Damage to other cars, and
- Accident location.
It may also be helpful to create a log of your own recollection surrounding the accident. Memories fade quickly, and writing down this information keeps those memories clear.
Under Texas law, you are also required to give your name, address, vehicle registration number, and the name of your liability insurance carrier to any person injured in a crash and to the operator of the other vehicle.
Hire an Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to the fault of another, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can positively affect the outcome of any personal injury lawsuit.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys know the financial and emotional toll created in the aftermath of a car accident.
With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our legal team focuses on providing compassionate support and zealous legal representation to all clients. We fight for you so you can focus on your recovery.
If you were injured in a car accident, contact The Zimmerman Law Firm today for a free case review.