What To Do After A Car Accident?
After a car accident, it is natural to be frightened and uncertain about what you should do next.
Your actions immediately after the accident can affect your ability to recover fair compensation for you and your family members.
Many questions may be going through your mind regarding what actions to take and how to respond in the event of an accident.
Below are the answers to questions that you may have:
Should I Call for Medical Help After Car Accident?
Getting medical help is always a top priority. If anyone was hurt, call 911. Avoid moving people injured. You don’t worsen injuries the collision may have caused. Have a thorough medical examination after an accident when you suspect you were hurt. There are serious medical conditions – including internal organ damage, internal bleeding and traumatic brain injury (TBI) – that may not cause outward symptoms right away. If you do not get treatment and have these injuries properly diagnosed, they could be life-threatening. Injuries such as whiplash and TBI can also become worse and develop more serious symptoms. You want a record that the damage resulted from the motor vehicle collision, so you can be compensated for all costs related to your injuries.
Should I Call the Police After a Car Crash?
Contact the police so they can come to the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, review evidence and make an accident report. This accident report can be evidence in a car accident claim if a disagreement regards how the accident occurred. Texas Transportation Code 550.061 requires officers to write a police report when they investigate a crash and there appears to be greater than $1,000.00 in property damage, or injury or death.
Remember, though, that the police do not decide with civil liability for a car crash. That is a job for the courts, trial lawyers and accident reconstructionists.
Should I Get Witness Statements After A Motor Vehicle Accident?
Witness statements may be evidence when making a car accident claim. If a dispute occurs about at fault for a collision, you may need to provide evidence that the other driver did something wrong to obtain compensation for your injuries. The statements of witnesses who back up your version of events can convince an insurer to pay or convincing a jury to side with you.
Should I Take Accident Scene Pictures Of The Traffic Accident?
Accident debris, skid marks, the damages to the vehicles and the scene of the accident may provide important information about the cause of an accident. Taking pictures at the accident scene allows you to preserve this evidence and may provide further proof of the cause of the collision if a dispute occurs.
Can I Take Pictures of The People Involved?
Yes! With the prevalence of cell phones, most people remember to take photos of the scene. However, few people take pictures of the individuals involved in the car wreck. Photos of the persons involved will help you remember important facts months and years after the accident. Often, the photos will help you document the attitude of the people. Were they nice and polite? Or, were they angry and aggressive? Take photos of the other drivers. Take photos of all the passengers. Take photos of any witnesses. Take photos of bystanders. Remember, a picture is worth 10,000 words!
Should I Notify My Insurer About the Accident?
Call your insurance company to report an accident. You may need to rely on your insurance policy to cover your losses. Some drivers who cause collisions are uninsured or don’t have enough insurance to cover the injuries they cause. If this happens, you may turn to your own coverage to provide compensation through any uninsured or underinsured (UM / UIM) coverage you may have.
If you don’t notify your insurer about the accident within a reasonable amount of time, your claim could be denied. You could be left without a means of paying medical bills and covering accident losses.
While you should tell your insurance company that you were involved in a crash, you should not make a recorded or written statement about the accident without the advice of a personal injury law firm. Also, sign nothing an insurance company gives you without letting a lawyer review it first.
Should I Replace Infant Car Seats After a Crash?
Can child safety seat systems be used again after they have been involved in a crash? Texas law requires all child safety seat systems to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, most manufacturers require that the product be destroyed and replaced when it has been in a moderate to severe crash. The National Highway Safety Administration suggests that car seats do not automatically have to be replaced following minor crashes. However, it further instructs that car seats are to be replaced after moderate or severe crashes. A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
- The vehicle was driven away from the crash site.
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
- If the vehicle has airbags, the airbags did not deploy during the crash; and
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
The safest course is to replace child safety seats after all car crashes to ensure a high level of crash protection for children. Better safe than sorry.
Should I Contact a Car Accident Injury Attorney?
You can’t count on insurance companies to do the right thing and pay as promised. Your own insurer and the insurer of the other driver are both concerned primarily about their profits rather than your health.
You could be pressured by an insurance company to accept compensation less than you deserve, or you could face tricks from the insurer to get you to admit fault, so you get no compensation. You must be careful what you say to any insurance company representative.
If you have been involved in an accident, an easy way to discover if the insurance company will treat you fairly is to ask what the maximum limits are for the insurance policy for the other person. If it refuses to tell you, they will not treat you fairly. It’s best to have an personal injury lawyer deal with the insurers on your behalf.
If no settlement agreement can be reached with the insurer responsible for the car accident damages, then you may need to seek compensation through a personal injury attorney. There are many court rules to follow and many deadlines and procedural requirements associated with an injury claim. Your attorney will help you with every aspect of building a case and working to convince a judge or a jury to award you compensation.
Need Help with The Car Accident Claim Process?
The injury lawyers at Underwood Law Office are ready to help you recover the maximum compensation available for your injury case.
In Dallas Fort Worth, our McKinney attorneys serves all of DFW, including Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney, Texas. In West Virginia, our Huntington, West Virginia attorney office represents clients across the entire state.
Call our toll-free number 844.UNDERWOOD (844.863.3796) for a free consultation about a fair settlement. You pay no fee unless we win.