What Steps Should you take After a Car Accident?
What to do after a car accident may not be so clear-cut. The aftermath of a car accident can be a traumatic experience. It can cause physical, emotional, and financial distress. Even worse, the insurance companies are giving you the run-around. People that are hurt in a car accident sometimes do not get the money they deserve because of what they say and do after the accident. In Houston, Texas, a lot of people have car accidents. In Texas alone, based on reportable crashes in 2019:
- 1 person was killed every 2 hours, 25 minutes,
- 1 person was injured every 2 minutes
3 seconds, and
- 1 reportable crash occurred every
People who are hurt in a car accident sometimes do not get the money they deserve because they do not know what to do after a car accident. So what do you do after a car accident? In this blog we are going to explore what to do after a car accident, and how you can help yourself or your loved ones cope with what to do after a car accident.
For a detailed explanation of how to evaluate fault and responsibility in a personal injury accident click here :
Tips on What To Do After a Car Accident:
1. Call 911 Right Away for Help
Injuries from car accidents can be serious and can even lead to death. It is important to check for injuries after an accident. This is a crucial step because if you don’t check for injuries, there might be some serious injuries that can go unnoticed and untreated. You should also ask the other people that were in the accident if they are injured and if they need any help or assistance.
Sometimes, witnesses to an accident will call 911. However, if you are in an accident and you are able to, you should call 911 yourself. In Houston, Harris County Texas, all 911 calls are recorded and kept on file for a certain period of time. When people contact us about an accident, Molina Law Firm usually requests copies of all 911 recordings. If you do call 911, you should give as much information as possible so that you and others can get the help you need. It could be that you don’t initially hurt at all. Some injuries that happen in a car accident can take hours or even days to show up. It doesn’t matter how small the crash is, you should call 911 to report it and ask for police and medical help.
2. Take Photos and Make Sure the Place is Safe
Remove cars from the road if it is safe for other drivers. Make sure to get some pictures of the scene, the involved vehicles, and debris before you move cars. Keep in mind that your safety is very important.
You should take pictures of your wounds. Even though we know it might be physically and psychologically difficult or even impossible, we still want to do it. Make sure to take pictures of your injuries if you can do so without hurting yourself. If you can’t, ask someone else to do this for you. These photos could help you with your personal injury claim, and doctors who treat you might even find them useful, as well.
Taking scene photos is an imporatnt step to do after a car accident because these phtos will help you with your claim and with a court case. Car accident scene photos help prove your case in the event the claim reaches a jury. Molina LAw Firm has fought many cases in court where scene photos have help prove who is responsible for an accident. More importantly, accident scene photos help with proving damages when we are fighting the case in court.
3. Exchange Information with the Other Drivers
Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other drivers. If the police show up, then the police will secure this information. However, in Houston, Texas, the police do not show up to every vehicle accident. If the police do not show up, the people involved in the accident should still exchange information. You should get the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, and the make and model of his or her car.
4. Take Down Information About the Accident Scene
As time passes, you may forget some details about your accident. If you are able, take a lot of pictures and write down everything that happened at the accident scene. This information will also help you when you fight your case in court. As mentioned above, you should take pictures of all the cars that were in the crash. You should also see whether any witnesses are at the scene. Many witnesses do not wait at the accident scene for the police to show up. If you are able, try to take the name and phone numbers of any witnesses before they leave the accident scene. If the police show up to the accident scene then the police will obtain these witness statements. However, if the police do not show up then your lawyer may want to contact these witnesses.
5. Work with Law Enforcement
There will be a lot of information on the accident report that is written by the police officer who comes to your crash scene. While the officer may not be an eyewitness to the accident, the report is still useful. But keep in mind that it isn’t always the most important thing in a car accident injury case because sometimes the officers do not go to the accident scene. This is why it’s important to write down the facts.
6. Go to The Doctor
If you get medical help, be sure to get the treatment you need. There are many bodily injuries that could result from a car accident. For example, a person in an accident could suffer from back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal injuries, and even death. Also, many times, injuries can manifest themselves days after the accident. Some injuries, like a concussion, whiplash, or internal bleeding, aren’t always visible right away, so it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible to make sure they can be treated.
7. Contact Insurance Companies After An Accident
In deciding what to do after a car accident, this step is the least favorite for many people. Contacting the opposing insurnace company is usually not pleasant, but it is necessary. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, either at the scene or when you get home. You don’t have to wait until you get home to call. If you do contact the insurnace compnay, then you lawyer will ask for information about the case and any documents you have. You can also have your lawyer contact the insurance company for you.
At the Molina Law Firm, we usually contact all the appropriate insurance companies as soon as possible.
8. Talk to An Experienced Lawyer About Your Accident
There are a lot of things you need to know about your rights after a car accident, and you should talk to a lawyer right away. If you want us to look into your case for free, we’ll do that too.
You should keep in mind that insurance companies have teams of people in place that begin accident investigations immediately after an accident. The opposing insurance companies immediately investigate the accident scene, obtain photos, obtain witness statements, and assess liability immediately after an accident. The opposing insurance company is not on your side. You should talk to a lawyer that will work for your best interest.
9. Keep All Records About the Accident
Records of your accident could include your police report, photos and notes you took, conversations you had with the insurance company, medical treatment and repair estimates. These documents will come in handy if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Many of these documents may be used in court. However, your lawyer will want to review these documents to make sure that you receive everything that you are entitled to.
For example, you may have missed a lot of work because of an accident. Your lawyer may want to see wage records to determine any calculations for your missed work-time.
10. Dealing With The Insurance Companies
Insurance companies handle many claims and will likely put your case in a pile of several other claims. You will likely feel that you are getting the classic run-around from the insurance company. While it may be time-consuming, be sure to call them and continually follow up with your claim. You can also have your lawyer do this for you as well.
Every day, we see it. People want to “wait and see” what the opposing insurance company will do before contacting a lawyer. Most of the time, these are people who trust insurance companies to do the right thing. Importantly, insurance companies make money by cutting back on how much they payout. Your best interest is not aligned with the insurance company. You should have an experienced lawyer work for your best interest.