According to the Texas Department of Transportation, each year 17,500 people are seriously injured in Texas car accidents. Human nature is such that most of us operate under the assumption that we will never be included in that statistic. However, the reality is that a car accident occurs in Texas every 59 seconds, and someone is injured in an accident nearly every two minutes.
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a serious car accident is essential knowledge that all drivers should possess. The moments after a car accident are incredibly stressful, and many motorists go into autopilot mode, relying on their instincts rather than thinking through the situation as they usually would. Thus, it is important that Texas motorists commit the following essential “to dos” to memory.
- Stop, even if it wasn’t your fault – Even in the event of a minor accident, stop to evaluate the damage. The body has a remarkable way of masking pain in the moments immediately following a traumatic event. Motorists who brush off a minor accident may wake up a few days later with significant pain or other related issues.
- Seek medical attention – if you, your passengers, or anyone else involved in the accident needs medical attention, be sure to call 911 or otherwise arrange for emergency medical transportation.
- Protect the scene of the accident – Use road flares to signal to other motorists that a vehicle is disabled. If the accident occurred at night, consider waiting outside the vehicle in a safe area along the side of the road.
- Exchange information with other drivers – Typically, police officers will take down the information of all parties involved. However, sometimes police are slow to respond. Be sure to get the driver’s license and insurance information for all other drivers involved in the accident. You can use your phone to snap a picture of an insurance card or driver’s license if the other motorist allows you to do so.
- Call the police – Even if the accident seemed like a minor one, an insurance company might require a police report to cover property damage.
- Create an accurate record of events – Once the police arrive on the scene, answer their questions to the best of your ability. Motorists should avoid speculating if they do not know certain facts. It is common not to know whether you have been injured or the extent of your injuries; don’t hesitate to tell a police officer you are unsure about your injuries.
- Use your phone to take pictures – Police may not take pictures of an accident scene. However, pictures can be crucial in determining what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
- Report the accident – If the police did not respond, be sure to file a police report once you get home. You should also report the accident to your insurance company.
- Obtain medical attention – You cannot know the severity of your injuries unless a doctor properly evaluates you. Unless you are positive you were not injured in the accident, do not decline a trip to the emergency room by ambulance.
- Maintain a file – Collect and keep all accident-related documents in a single file so you can easily provide to the documents to your attorney. Even documents that do not seem important may be crucial to the success of your case.
The aftermath of a Texas car accident is extremely hectic. But once you have a moment, consider consulting with an attorney about the accident because you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs you incurred as a result of the collision.
Consult with a Dedicated Texas Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Texas car accident, call the dedicated San Antonio personal injury lawyers at Carabin Shaw for assistance. At Carabin Shaw, we aggressively represent the interests of Texas accident victims in all types of personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents. To learn more, call 800-862-1260 to schedule a free consultation today.