What Is the First Thing I Should Do After a Texas Car Accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that someone is injured in a car accident in the United States every 10 seconds, and an estimated 30% of crash survivors experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
As if dealing with the aftermath of an accident wasn’t already stressful enough, you might also be wondering, “what is the first thing I should do after a Texas car accident?” After all, the steps you take immediately after a crash can have a significant influence on the outcome of a personal injury or insurance claim.
The team at Haines Law provides the recommended steps and the first things to do after a car accident in Texas.
The First Things to Do After a Texas Car Accident
Your heart is pumping, and that unnatural sound of metal on metal is something that you may likely never forget. With so much adrenaline pumping through your veins, it can be helpful to have a handy checklist available to walk you through the best practices after a crash.
1. Make Sure Everyone is Safe
Take immediate stock of the situation to see if there are any apparent injuries. Dial 911 or request that someone else on the scene make the call if you are unable. If possible, remove vehicles and debris from the roadway. This measure can prevent further collisions, but avoid putting yourself or anyone in oncoming traffic.
2. Contact the Police
Texas law requires that parties to an accident contact law enforcement in the following situations:
- There is an injury
- Someone has died
- A driver is intoxicated
- It is not possible to remove wreckage from the roadway
Even in the absence of an obvious injury, it’s still prudent to contact the police to obtain an accident report and evidence for the insurance companies.
3. Gather Information and Evidence
The police will likely do a lot of the heavy lifting, but you can also collect your own evidence to support your case. Take pictures of the scene, damaged vehicles, road conditions, or relevant signage. Inquire whether any witnesses saw what happened and can share their testimony.
This is also an appropriate time to exchange information with the other driver and witnesses.
4. Get Medical Attention and Document Treatment
Once you’ve been cleared to leave the scene, consult with a doctor as soon as possible. If you have injuries that need to be treated, delaying care can hurt both your health and your claim.
In some cases, you might not feel like you have sustained an injury, but it’s possible for an injury to manifest days, weeks, or months later. If you do not document an injury and seek treatment in a timely manner, you might not be able to recover financially from the other party’s insurance company.
5. Do Not Admit Fault
Avoid the temptation to apologize or share any blame for the accident. You might be convinced that you are fully or partially at fault, but anything you say at the scene can be used against you.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s important to keep your insurance company in the loop. Provide them with the other driver’s contact information and your (truthful) version of events. You do not need to speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
7. Consult an Attorney
The team at Haines Law is dedicated to helping residents of Kingwood and the surrounding cities navigate the often complicated world of insurance claims.
We understand that there could be financial uncertainty regarding medical bills, lost wages, and other unforeseen circumstances that can wreak havoc on your life. At Haines Law, we stand up for clients and fight for fair compensation. Call us for a complimentary consultation.