In 2020, there were over 14,000 auto accidents every day. That averages out to an auto accident every six minutes in the United States. Americans have a 1 in 63 chance of getting into a crash, so knowing what to do after a car accident is essential knowledge.
Even a minor accident can cause physical injury and extensive property damage. Knowing the proper steps to take after a car accident can protect your rights and prevent insurance companies from paying the absolute minimum on your claim. The motor vehicle accident attorneys at Reich & Binstock can support you during this overwhelming time and ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Read on below to find out the proper steps to take after a car accident. For more information about our legal services, call us today at (713) 622-7271.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Crash
It’s important to stay calm after any type of accident. This is easier said than done. The minutes immediately after an accident can be incredibly stressful as you try to evaluate the scene and figure out the best steps to take. Immediately after an accident, turn on your hazard lights and try to move the vehicles out of the road. Moving the vehicles can help you and your passengers stay out of harm’s way and allow emergency services to reach you. If your vehicles are causing a traffic jam, there’s a high probability that police officers and EMTs will be stuck in the same traffic jam.
Moving your vehicle out of the road is fine, but leaving the accident scene can result in criminal charges. Make sure you get the go-ahead from police officers before leaving the scene.
Call the Police
After getting yourself and your passengers to safety, call 911. 911 dispatchers can send the appropriate medical services your way and alert the police. Police officers can help you gather information and file a police report. A police report will document the details of the accident, including the location, time, and circumstances that lead to the accident. This accident report will help with insurance claims and any personal injury claims later on.
Gather as much information from the scene as possible. Get the other driver’s full name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. Document the other driver’s license plate number, type of vehicles involved, and take pictures if possible. Avoid discussing fault with the other driver–that’s a job for the insurance companies.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injuries are extensive, you’ll likely leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance. Many motor vehicles on the road today have safety features to protect you in the event of an accident, but these safety features can only help so much. 43% of car accidents result in injuries. Even if you don’t notice an injury immediately, it’s important to get a clean bill of health from your physician. Shock and adrenaline from the accident can mask injuries. Your doctor may suggest keeping a journal of your symptoms in case injuries manifest days or weeks after the accident.
File a Claim With Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the accident, no matter who was at fault. Failing to report the accident in a timely manner can result in your insurance company terminating your policy. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you the exact documents needed to file a car insurance claim after an accident occurred. In most cases, your insurance company will file an auto insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance on your behalf. Car insurance claims can provide compensation after an accident causes physical injury or property damage. If the other driver’s insurance company tries to contact you, direct them to speak to your insurance company or your attorney. The other driver’s insurance company may try to deny your claim or try to push the blame onto you.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims, delaying settlement payments, and offering the lowest possible settlement for your injuries. At Reich & Binstock, our car accident attorneys are ready to take on the car insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve. The other driver’s coverage may not be enough to cover the damage they caused. No matter the case, we can help you file a personal injury claim to get the compensation you need to recover after a devastating accident. Texas comparative fault laws can result in your compensation award being reduced, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury team.
Is Texas a No-Fault State?
No. Texas is an at-fault state, which means that at-fault drivers are financially liable for the accidents they cause. What’s more, Texas is a comparative at-fault state, which means that drivers can be held only partially liable for an accident. If the jury determines that the at-fault driver was only 75% responsible for the accident, they only have to pay out 75% of the damages.
File a Personal Injury Claim
The insurance claims process can seem overly complicated to someone unfamiliar with the policy. In some cases, the at-fault driver may not have enough coverage to cover all of your injuries. The insurance company will likely offer a less-than-ideal settlement that doesn’t even begin to cover your losses. This is when you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and his or her car insurance company.
Car accident injuries can be extensive–and expensive. Catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and burns can cause a permanent change in your life. Serious injuries often take time to heal, time in which you can’t work or continue your normal activities.
If someone else’s negligence caused your accident, they are financially liable for any damage the accident caused. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can ensure you get the chance to fight for compensation for:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Funeral and burial expenses, in the event of a wrongful death
How the Car Accident Attorneys at Reich & Binstock Can Help
At Reich & Binstock, our personal injury attorneys are ready to help you recover the compensation you need to heal. With more than 30 years of legal experience, you can trust our team to guide you through this overwhelming process. Recovering from an injury takes time and rest. Our attorneys can handle all the heavy lifting in your case while you focus on resting and healing. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call the skilled car accident attorneys at Reich & Binstock today at (713) 622-7271.