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Featured Image Car Accidents

When you’re involved in a car accident, knowing the proper steps to take immediately can be crucial for your safety and the outcome of any legal claims. Understandably, you might wonder what to do after a car accident that is not your fault.

Because Texas is an at-fault state, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and property damage from the responsible party. You should prioritize your safety, seek medical treatment, report the accident, and contact a lawyer. 

At The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., we understand the stress and confusion that often follow car accidents. That’s why hiring a Texas car accident lawyer is recommended if you’re in a not-at-fault car accident. Read on to learn more about what to do after a car accident that is not your fault. 

Immediate Steps to Take at the Scene

What you do immediately after an accident can impact your future personal injury claim. Keep the following thing in mind in case you’re in an accident. 

  • Safety first. Your priority should be to ensure the safety of everyone involved, move to a safe location away from traffic, and check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Avoid moving anyone severely injured unless there is a direct danger, as this could worsen their condition.
  • Contact authorities. Even if the accident seems minor, it’s crucial to have a police report. Contact the police so they can come to the scene and file a report. Official documentation is essential, especially in proving fault and for insurance claims.
  • Document the scene. Use your smartphone to take pictures of the vehicles from various angles, showing the damage sustained and the overall scene, including any skid marks, road conditions, and street signs. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information. Also, exchange insurance and contact details with the other driver. 
  • Watch what you say. Be cautious about what you say at the scene so you don’t inadvertently put the blame on yourself. Even saying “I’m sorry” could be misconstrued as accepting partial liability. 

These immediate actions are important for ensuring everyone’s safety. They are also the first steps in protecting your rights and setting the stage for any necessary legal actions. By following these steps, you can help your legal team at The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., better prepare for a successful representation of your case.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel hurt immediately following the accident, seeking medical attention is essential. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not show visible symptoms. Other injuries, such as whiplash, might appear in a day or two.

Visiting a healthcare professional will ensure that hidden injuries are identified and treated promptly. Furthermore, a medical record initiated immediately after the accident provides invaluable documentation that can directly link your injuries to the incident. 

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

After addressing your immediate health concerns, contacting a car accident lawyer should be your next step. Legal advocacy is crucial in navigating the complexities of car accident claims, especially when you are not at fault.

Early consultation with an attorney from The Zimmerman Firm can prevent common pitfalls, such as inadvertently accepting a low settlement from insurance companies or missing critical filing deadlines. Our legal team works diligently to evaluate all aspects of your case, advocate on your behalf, and aim to secure the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses. 

Understanding How Fault Is Determined in Texas

In Texas, determining who is at fault in a car accident typically revolves around the concept of negligence. Texas follows a “comparative fault” system, where each party’s degree of fault is considered, and compensation is adjusted accordingly.

For instance, if you are found to be 10% at fault in an accident, your compensation would be reduced by 10%. Because of comparative negligence, insurance companies will argue to place at least a percentage of fault on you, even if you are not negligent whatsoever. That’s why hiring a lawyer is so important in cases where you aren’t at fault. 

How Compensation Is Calculated in a Texas Car Accident 

Compensation in car accident cases is typically classified into economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Noneconomic damages refer to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, which are subjective and vary significantly from case to case.

Several factors influence the calculation of compensation:

  • Injury type and severity. The more severe and long-lasting your injuries, the higher the likely compensation; 
  • Liability. As noted, Texas’s comparative fault rules will affect compensation based on your percentage of fault; 
  • Total damages incurred. Damages include current and future medical bills, total lost wages, the cost of any long-term care needed, pain and suffering, and more; and 
  • Insurance coverage. The amount of available insurance coverage can also limit the compensation received. 

At The Zimmerman Firm, we meticulously document all aspects of your case to ensure every potential area of your damages is addressed in the demand to the at-fault party. This comprehensive approach helps us negotiate with insurance companies or, if necessary, argue your case in court to achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm 

If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, do not hesitate to protect your rights and compensation. Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation. 

Our team of car accident lawyers has over 85 years of combined experience—including as insurance defense attorneys. We know how insurance companies think and are ready to review your case and provide the guidance you need to navigate this challenging time. We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for our clients and will fight tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Don’t attempt to navigate the car accident claims process alone. Let The Zimmerman Firm advocate for you while you focus on your recovery. Reach out to us by phone, email, or through our website. Taking immediate action following a not-at-fault car accident is critical to strengthening your case and achieving a successful resolution.

Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C. today, and let us help you confidently move forward.

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Author Photo

Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.