Any car accident, even a minor one, can be traumatic. It may be hard to remain calm and focus on what you should do after a collision occurs.
If you experience significant injuries because of a car accident, you may miss time at work and have extensive medical bills to deal with. This makes the situation even more difficult to deal with.
For situations where another person’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident, you may be able to file a compensation claim. Contact our legal team at The Burkett Law Firm to know for sure. We can answer any questions you have and help you pursue a personal injury claim.
It is important to note that the steps you take after an accident matter. Here you can learn more about what to do after a car accident to help ensure you do not make mistakes that may cost you when you file a car accident claim for compensation.
Call for Help
After an accident, you need to check on your well-being and the well-being of others.
See if You Are Injured
The first step after an accident is to check yourself to see if you are injured, the extent of your injuries, and if you need an ambulance. If you do, be sure to ask someone to call for you if you cannot do this yourself.
Check on the Other People in Your Vehicle
You are required to provide reasonable help to other people who are injured in an accident. This includes calling for help if needed. Be sure to check on the other people in your vehicle and determine if someone needs to go to the hospital.
Get Yourself and Your Passengers to Safety
If someone was injured in the accident or if someone died, be sure to stay at the scene. However, you should get somewhere safe that is away from traffic. If your accident only involves damage to your vehicle, move it off the road (if possible).
Report Your Accident to the Authorities
After a Texas car accident, you must notify the authorities if any of the following occurs:
- The accident causes an injury or fatality
- You believe the other driver was intoxicated
- The vehicles involved in the collision cannot be moved from the road or out of traffic
If any of the above occur, Texas law states that a driver must do the following:
- Determine if the other driver involved in the accident needs medical attention and call for help if they do
- Contact the police even in cases of minor accidents to have an accident report. This will provide details of what happened and be beneficial if you file an insurance claim.
- Wait for the police to arrive at the scene. Never leave the scene before the police arrive. If you do, you may be charged with failure to stop, which carries serious penalties.
Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Be sure to take time to gather evidence at the scene of the accident while you are waiting for the authorities to arrive. You can use your phone to take pictures of how the vehicles are positioned before anyone moves them. You should also take pictures of any vehicle damage and injuries you sustained. Try to take pictures of the vehicle damage and your physical injuries immediately since any evidence may be lost after the accident scene is cleared.
Be sure to note any traffic or security cameras that may have recorded the incident. Video evidence can be helpful when filing a claim; however, you can only use it if you gather it.
Get names and contact information for witnesses who saw the accident, too, and ask the witnesses if you can record a video of them describing what they saw. If you cannot do any of this yourself, you can ask someone to do it for you.
Don’t Apologize Even if You Think You Are at Fault
While you may believe you were at fault for an accident, there are several factors that could have contributed to it. There is no way to know the true cause right after it happened.
Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, including your vehicle registration and insurance information. However, you should not discuss anything else related to the accident. This will only cause issues if you try to file a claim.
You may be upset after an accident; however, you must stay calm and control your emotions. If you get angry, and this shows, it can worsen the situation. You should avoid accusing the other driver of causing the accident too, and never accept blame for what happened. This is important, even if you believe the accident was your fault.
Avoid apologizing to anyone who is at the scene or minimize your injuries. You may not know how serious they are right after an accident occurs. The adrenaline surge that occurs in an accident can mask your injuries. Even if the comments are well intended, they can be used against you to reduce or deny your claim down the road.
Remember, the police will investigate what happened, so you should never assume or jump to conclusions.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company and let them know about the accident. Be sure you provide the other driver’s information during this call.
Be honest when you answer questions; however, do not engage in any speculation. Also, do not attempt to mislead the insurer about what happened since this may weaken your claim. In some situations, you will have to file a claim against your insurance company if the other driver is uninsured or if your injuries and damages exceed their coverage. You will also need your insurance provider to defend you if the driver files a claim against you.
While you must be honest with your insurance provider, you should not discuss the accident with the other driver’s insurance company. If you have any injuries caused by another driver, be sure to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s policy. Be sure to get help from an attorney who can communicate with the insurance company. If you try to deal with the insurance company alone, you will be disadvantaged.
Types of Compensation You Can Recover After a Car Accident
There are several types of compensation you can receive after a car accident. These include the following:
You can receive compensation for all medical costs, including your payments for your time in the hospital, physical therapy, pain medication, and more related to the car accident. If your personal injuries require ongoing care, you can also request compensation for future medical costs. You can also recover compensation for any modifications you need for your vehicle or home after the accident.
This compensation includes payment for the time you could not work while you healed. It will also compensate for any lost wages you sustained.
Pain and Suffering
You may wonder, can you claim emotional distress after a car accident? This is a good question, and the answer is yes. After an accident, you can recover damages for any emotional or physical trauma you sustain in the accident.
These damages are rare in car accidents. They are awarded if the at-fault driver’s actions were extremely irresponsible. An example would be someone who was drunk and caused an accident that resulted in serious damages or injuries.
Get Help with Your Texas Car Accident Claim
After a car accident, you may have several questions, such as “can you move your car after an accident in Texas,” or “What do I do after a car accident?” While these are normal, when you know what to do, you can remain calm and take the right steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation.
You should also contact The Burkett Law Firm after an accident as soon as possible. Our legal team will help ensure you get a fair amount of compensation for your claim. We are your advocate in these situations and will help you recover the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.