Texas roadways are inherently dangerous, no matter where you go, whether it’s Dallas or Corpus Christi. According to recent statistics, more than 89,000 serious injuries occur due to vehicle accidents every year. A person is injured every two minutes 15 seconds in Texas and a person is killed about every other hour. In Corpus Christi alone, there are more than 6,800 accidents every year, with 900 of them causing serious injuries and 20 of them fatal.
Accidents are common in Texas and they can often be life-changing. When you’re involved in an accident, many questions naturally come to mind. Here are some of the most common questions people have after an auto accident:
What is the first thing I should do after an accident?
The most important thing is to stay where you are, because if you fail to stay at the scene of the accident and someone calls the police, you can be found guilty of a “hit and run,” even if the accident was someone else’s fault. While you’re at the crash site, the first thing to do is to try to determine the extent of the injuries to drivers and passengers involved in the accident. If the accident is extremely minor, no emergency medical care may be necessary and the property damage may tiny, but no matter what, never settle with the driver at the scene. It’s entirely possible you may have suffered injuries that won’t show up immediately.
What should I do if I’m hurt?
If you feel any injury at all in the wake of an accident, no matter how minor, call 911 and get medical and police assistance right away. By doing this, you’ll be providing proof of the accident and allow for an immediate investigation to begin. The police officers who show up will advise you as to whether you need to move the crashed vehicles from the traffic lanes and they will also take statements of the drivers and passengers involved in the accident, which can be helpful later on.
Should I begin my own investigation, or wait for the experts?
After you call for medical and police help and you have determined that everyone is out of immediate danger, gather all the information you can regarding names, contact information, insurance policy information, and vehicle registrations. Make notes about the exact location of the accident, including landmarks, signs, or any distinctive information you can. Make notes about the accident scene, including basic weather information, road conditions, and anything else you can think of that may have contributed to the accident. If you believe someone involved in the accident appears to be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, notify the police or emergency personnel when they arrive.
Should I take pictures of the accident scene?
In this era of cell phone cameras, it is always a good idea to take as many pictures as possible of the aftermath of the accident scene. Getting good pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident can protect you and they can also help with insurance companies when it comes to documenting the damage to your vehicle. Take many shots from a number of angles, and, if possible, draw a detailed diagram of the accident and how it happened.
Who should I talk to after an auto accident?
The best possible advice is to not speak to anyone about the accident to anyone until you’ve spoken to an attorney. It’s important to avoid accepting responsibility for the accident in any way. It may feel comforting to say it was your fault and you are sorry, but the fact of the matter is, until a thorough investigation has been done, you don’t know that it’s entirely your fault. Don’t admit anything and don’t talk about your actions or the accident with anyone.
This advice extends to insurance adjusters. Right after the accident, an insurance adjuster will call and ask you to make a statement. They will sound very friendly and very helpful, but they will be trying to get you to say anything to undermine your case. Keep one thing in mind; until you have an attorney, no one else is on your side; insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible, so anything they offer will be far less than they actually believe the accident is worth.
If you or a loved one have been in an auto accident and you have been seriously injured as a result, you need a lawyer on your side. The Accident Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm have the knowledge and the experience to make sure you are protected and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today, so that we can help you protect your rights.