What To Do After An Accident
The unexpected and disruptive nature of car accidents does not lend itself to thinking clearly immediately following an accident. The key is to remain calm and observant. There is a good chance you are in shock but don’t know it. Unless you are in immediate danger, taking a moment to assess the situation before acting is usually the best thing to do. Listed below is our advice on what to do next.
Call 911 And Check To See If Anyone Is Injured – Including Yourself
If you are able, call 911 to report your accident as soon as you can. With the operator on the phone, check to see if your passengers (If there are any) are injured and then check to see if you are injured. Remember that you may be in shock, so the fact that you don’t feel any pain does not necessarily mean that you are not injured.
Take Pictures At The Accident Scene
Assuming you are able, get out of the car and start taking pictures of the scene. Make sure to get shots of every vehicle involved in the accident as well as any cars that are nearby. If you can, include the license plates in your shots.
Get Names And Information From People At The Scene
It will take a little while for peace officers and/or ambulances to arrive. During this time, try to get the name and number of the other driver and any witnesses. When speaking to anyone at the accident scene, do not discuss the accident and do not apologize. The insurance company will almost certainly use anything you say that could possibly be used against you to deny a claim.
Get A Copy Of The Police Report
If you are able to speak with law officers on the scene, request a copy of the police report. By law, you are entitled to get a copy of the report if you request it. This document is critical in building a case. By requesting it right away, you can save a lot of time and money down the road.
Get Checked Out By A Doctor As Soon As You Can
Car accidents are notorious for causing injuries that don’t show symptoms for days and sometimes even months later. Doctors are often able to diagnose injuries before they are apparent to you. Getting an injury diagnosis quickly after the accident will also prevent the insurance company from making the claim that your injury happened between the time of the accident and date of your medical exam.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
As you would with any other accident, notify your insurance agent right away. Most policies require you to report accidents regardless of who is at fault or if you ultimately file a personal injury claim. Even if you win a large settlement from the other driver’s insurance, you will need your insurance coverage to deal with expenses until your case is settled.
What If I Am The Victim Of A Hit-And-Run?
If the other driver leaves the scene before law officers arrive, try to get the license plate numbers and the make and model of the car. Write this information down as soon as you can. If there are witnesses, ask them if they noticed the make and model of the car. You should also inquire about surveillance footage if the accident happened an area where cameras are present.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Texas is a felony, and the police will search for the other driver to bring charges against them. If the other driver is not found, you should still be able to file a claim using your own uninsured motorist insurance and collision coverage.