Car accidents are more common than we often believe. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one reportable crash occurred every 56 seconds in 2019. During the same year, 15,843 people suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle collision. If you are the victim of a Texas car crash, you may be eligible for financial compensationâ€”but you will need to prove that the other driver is responsible for the accident. Follow these steps to stay safe, preserve evidence, and seek help after your collision.
Step 1: Prioritize Your Safety
After any motor vehicle accident, your safety is top priority. If you are able, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe location. Park in a safe location, turn on your hazard lights, and turn off the vehicle. If you are able, place cones or warning triangles around your car to warn other drivers of your location. Be careful not to step onto the road or into traffic.
Step 2: Contact Law Enforcement
After you ensure your safety, call 911. This will bring a police officer and emergency medical services to your location. If anyone suffered serious injuries in the crash, he or she can go to the hospital via ambulance and receive treatment at this stage.
If you are able to, speak to the police officer and report the accident. Texas law requires drivers to report any accident that results in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage; speaking to the officer will help you fulfill this requirement. In addition, the police report will provide valuable information that you can use to establish your right to compensation.
Step 3: Collect Evidence at the Scene
If you can move around the accident scene safely and without further injury, collect evidence for your future claim. Take as many photographs of the accident site, the damaged vehicles, and any debris, traffic signs, or signals in the area from as many angles as possible. You should also photograph any visible injuries you may have.
You should also collect contact information and insurance details from the other driver involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses in the area, ask for their contact information as well. They could provide testimony in your future case.
Step 4: Seek Medical Attention
As soon as possible following the accident, seek medical attention. Your medical records will form the foundation of your car accident claim; the insurance company will need a record of your injuries to determine if you are eligible for compensation and how much you should receive. In addition, your medical records will help validate the cause of your injuries, which you can use to build your case.
You should always seek medical attention after an accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. You may have injuries you are unaware of, and failure to go to the hospital can harm your ability to collect compensation for the accident. When you do seek treatment, save all documents related to your treatment and injuries.
Step 5: Contact a Lawyer
After you receive treatment, speak to a Houston car accident attorney as soon as possible. Do not speak to an insurance representative or the at-fault driver until after you speak to your lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your case and explain your legal options. After your initial consultation, he or she will launch an investigation and take the first steps toward filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Contact your lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your car accident claim.