Do You Know What To Do After A Car Accident?
Being involved in a crash is scary and confusing. The scene might be chaotic, especially if there are injuries or if traffic is busy. Knowing how to respond ahead of time is the best way to ensure that you’ll stay safe immediately after an accident and keep your legal options open. Perez Collazo Law Firm can help you figure out what to do after a car crash.
Safety Always Comes First
Is anyone injured: Right after the crash, check to make sure that you and your passengers are not critically hurt. Check carefully, because adrenaline might be masking some pain and making you feel fine even if you are hurt. Next, cautiously exit your vehicle (if you can) and check on the occupants of the other car.
Get out of harm’s way: As soon as you can, please try to get everyone over to the side of the road or otherwise out of the way of oncoming traffic. This is especially critical at night when other drivers have a hard time seeing you.
Call the police: You need to contact the police after a car accident, even if no one was hurt. This creates an official record that will be needed later for insurance and for other legal reasons. It also helps the situation from escalating (such as getting into a dispute with the other driver on the scene). Cooperate with the police and try to recall as much detail as you can.
Gather Your Own Evidence
Before leaving the scene of the accident, you should:
- Take pictures of vehicle damage, the other driver’s license plate, and anything else from the scene (such as tire marks on the road)
- Exchange names and insurance information with the other driver
- Talk to any witnesses, gather their names and contact information
Once you leave the scene, seek medical attention if you know or even suspect that you need it. Not only is this the right thing to do for your health; it also creates a medical record which may be important later on.
Contact Your Insurance Company And A Lawyer
You are required (by your auto insurance policy) to contact your insurer and report the accident fairly soon after it occurs. But when you talk to your insurance company, do not give any more detail than necessary until you’ve had a chance to talk to an attorney. Report that the accident occurred and what the outcomes were. Avoid giving a statement about who may have been at fault or what your role in the crash was. Remember: Your insurance company doesn’t want to pay a penny more than it has to in order to cover a claim. Saying too much now could limit your recovery options later on.
Finally, contact our firm to learn about your legal rights and options by speaking to one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys. We’ll help you through the next steps in the process and ensure that you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit, if you so choose.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Perez Collazo Law Firm is based in Texas. Our practice serves clients in Arlington and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We are pleased to offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients, and we can even travel to meet you, upon request. To schedule your consultation, call us at 817-366-2380 or send us an email.