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What to Do After A Car Accident in Texas

Car Accident In Texas

Car accidents can be traumatic and overwhelming experiences. However, understanding the proper steps to take immediately after an accident can greatly impact the outcome of your case. With that in mind, we have compiled a comprehensive checklist to help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident in Texas.

This checklist is a guide composed by our legal experts. The following steps will help you make the important decisions after being in a car wreck, whether you are the innocent driver, or the motorist liable in causing the collision.

What to Do After A Car Accident in Texas

1. Remain at the Scene – Never leave the scene of a wreck before the police arrive. Texas law requires you to stay at the scene of the crash if there is damage to the vehicles, or if the accident caused a person involved to suffer injuries. While that may sound obvious, hit and runs are illegal and carry hefty criminal implications in our state. Stay safe and err on the side of caution by remaining at the accident until the police arrive. You could be injured and not even realize it, so it is a best practice to obtain medical care from paramedics while at the scene even if you feel only mild sensations or discomfort.

2. Get out of harm’s way – If possible, clear the roadway immediately by moving to the side of the road, a shoulder lane, or a nearby parking lot. If your vehicle is not drivable, engage your emergency lights to help traffic see and avoid colliding into your vehicle. 

3. Exchange information – Texas law actually requires that motorists engage in this exchange while at the crash site. Do not rely on the police to obtain these details later, because sometimes they won’t, so expedite the process. Even in cases where the investigating officer secures the contact information of each driver, you still may have to wait until the Crash Report releases to receive these details (which sometimes take between 7-10 business days). So, take the initiative of capturing a picture of the other driver’s license and insurance card if you can. If auto insurance information is not readily available for any of the drivers, you can ask for their vehicle registration information instead. Also, write down the make and model of the car, license plate number, and any other identifying details about their vehicles.

4. Call 911 – Dial 911 to report the wreck. Don’t rely on the other driver to report it. The officer may tell you that the damages are minor, and they will not file a report. Insist that a report be made and let the officer know that you are injured. 

5. Request medical care -If you feel any pain or new sensations after being involved in an automobile accident – even something as small as lightheadedness or a headache – request an ambulance to the hospital from the scene. After being involved in a car accident in Texas, it is critically important that you receive prompt medical treatment and observation from an emergency room. Additionally, certain life-threatening complications, such as internal bleeding, bone fractures, and concussions, might not manifest until later, but can be detected during the initial trauma assessment. Additionally, the medical records associated with your claim help establish your right to compensation by describing the mechanism of injury and evidencing your grievances. After being discharged by a hospital or emergency room, keep a hold of this documentation as your attorney will want to review it.   

Car Accident Report in Texas

6.  Contact an attorney – You will likely have to give the police a statement about what happened in the wreck at the scene. Do not admit fault, apologize for the accident or make any kind of admission about the incident before you speak to an experienced car accident attorney. Once you do share your side of the story with a lawyer, they can help you determine whether any actions or statements made were or were not appropriate while speaking with law enforcement. Choosing the right legal team can make a huge difference in your outcome after an accident!

7. Preserve evidence – Take pictures of everything at the scene of the wreck. Take pictures of the other driver, their driver’s license, their insurance card, their vehicle damage and license plate, your vehicle and all the damages. Feel free to also take a video recording of the post-accident scene. Try to capture the position of the vehicles, along with evidence such as tire tread marks, broken glass, deployed airbags, or similar. Video footage has little room for interpretation later. If someone involved in the accident is intoxicated or appears to be impaired in by drugs, a video of their present state at the scene could help the officer that will arrive later. Take pictures of your visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, and swelling. 

8. Contact your insurance company (not theirs) – As soon as you can, notify your insurance company of the car accident. Make sure to tell the claims handler or adjuster whether you were injured in the accident, even if your pain level is mild at the time. If your insurance policy includes automobile collision benefits, then you have the option of having your car inspected and repaired when you report the claim, or you can wait until the insurance company of the other driver accepts fault.  Do not speak to the other party’s insurance without legal representation. Even if you believe that only the actions of the driver caused the collision, insurance company’s train their adjusters to analyze the facts independently and they often attempt to re-apportion fault after taking your recorded statement. Your attorney will most likely not allow the insurance to take your statement and instead speak entirely on your behalf.

9. Keep a copy of your records – Save every document, photograph, video or written notes you have related to your car wreck. Give everything you get to your attorney. If you went to the ER, you may start receiving letters and bills in the mail. Send those bills to your lawyer immediately. You may receive letters or emails from insurance companies as well, forward these to your lawyer. Note any missed time from work and save all of your paystubs. If you purchase over the counter medication or special devices to help you with pain, save the receipts.  

At Rodney Jones Law Group, we have extensive experience in handling car accident cases in Texas. Our dedicated team of attorneys is here to guide you through the legal process, providing compassionate support and aggressive representation.