It is more likely than not that everyone reading this will be involved in a vehicle accident in Texas at some point. Not only are we a very large state with a lot of highways and long distances between cities and towns, but according to at least one study, Texas has the third-worst drivers in the country. The odds are against you going your entire driving life without an accident of some kind, so you should know that what you do after an accident is very important, whether you’re involved in a relatively minor fender bender or a serious crash involving serious injury.
Everyone should act with the idea of protecting both their physical health and their legal rights, no matter what. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt badly at first, injuries may become apparent later on and even if there is no apparent damage to your vehicle at the accident scene, a problem may show up in the days after.
The steps you should always take after an accident, in order to protect yourself include:
- Stop immediately and call 911 — There are many reasons to stop everything you’re doing and call 911 after an accident occurs. For one thing, if you fail to stop when you’re involved in an accident, you may be subject to criminal penalties. Also, if you leave immediately, it allows others involved in the accident to create their own narrative for the police report.
- Gather evidence — Get information about all drivers and passengers, of course, as well as any witnesses. Include all possible contact information, such as names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as license and insurance information. Also, look around for physical evidence that you believe may have caused the accident, such as an object in the middle of the road that caused you or another driver to swerve, and either point it out to police or take it with you, if possible.
- Take lots of pictures — It’s always a good idea to have a camera with you in the car at all times, and with the advent of smartphone, many people do. Take pictures of everything you can, including all of the vehicles involved, from a number of angles, including all damage, as well as the surrounding area and any physical evidence you come across, such as tire marks and slick spots.
- Keep quiet to anyone but police — The only people you should talk to after your accident should be police and only to describe the accident. Never speak to any insurance adjuster, whether yours or the other party’s, without speaking to a lawyer first, because they will attempt to get you to say something that goes against your case, and you may not even realize it. Never talk to anyone else about the accident, and refrain from talking about it on social media in any way. And whatever you do, don’t admit fault in any way; even the most innocuous statement, like telling the other driver you’re sorry, could come back to you and hurt your case in the long run.
- Go to the hospital or get immediate medical care — You should always accept an offer to be transported to the hospital, for a number of reasons. For one thing, a car accident can cause serious injuries that aren’t immediately apparent; sometimes they’re internal injuries and don’t feature a lot of outside signs. Not only does an immediate medical examination protect your physical health, but it can also help your legal health, since your attorney will be required to prove that any injuries that manifest after the accident were because of the accident, so the longer you wait to get medical treatment, the harder it will be to prove.
Contact a Texas Auto Accident Lawyer
And of course, as soon as possible, you should realize you have the right to get the compensation you deserve, so you should contact one of the Alice Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm right away, to protect your rights. We can investigate every aspect of this case and get you the compensation you deserve.