Vehicular crashes still kill countless people every day. The reasons as also as countless: drunk driving, sleepiness, human errors, bad weather conditions, malfunctioning vehicle systems, etc. Being involved in a car accident is traumatic, and many victims often panic or enter into a daze, failing to take proper steps to ensure they would get medical attention and the financial compensation they deserve. Felix Gonzalez Law Firm, P.C. summarizes three very important steps that every accident victim should not fail to take immediately after an accident occurs:
1). Pull over and call 911 for a police report
According to Texas law, if the accident happens within the state, the cars involved in the accident should be moved out of the traffic. If this is possible to do, there is no need to wait for the police to arrive before getting the cars out of the road to allow traffic to move on. It is imperative that hazard lights be turned out, even after the cars have been moved out of the traffic. This would ensure that other drivers would be able to see the cars involved in the accident and avoid them. Using flares is another acceptable way to alert other drivers and decrease the chance of further injury or damage. Once the cars involved in the accident have been moved out of traffic, call 911 and request a police officer to come to the scene of the accident, even if everybody seems to be uninjured. Texas law states that the police must be called if there is an injury, a driver looks drunk, a driver flees the scene, or a driver possesses no insurance coverage. Felix Gonzalez Law Firm advises to just call a police officer to come in any accident cases, to make sure that official statements are taken and a complete police report is filed. Having a police report would ensure that a neutral third party is present in order to make sure court proceedings would not descend into a “he said, she said” situation.
2). Get the other driver’s insurance information
If the other driver has insurance coverage, exchange insurance information so that both insurance providers can cooperate to judge who was at fault and who should be compensated for damages and injuries. Texas law requires that drivers need to carry a minimum of what is known as the 30/60/25 coverage. This boils down to $ 30,000 maximum coverage against bodily harm per person per accident, $ 60,000 maximum coverage for bodily harm per accident and $ 25,000 maximum coverage for property damage per accident. Failure to comply with this legal requirement would result in a fine.
3). Ensure you have a record of the accident
Take pictures of any property damage and/or personal injuries that might have occurred due to the accident. Additionally, record the street name or intersection where the accident happened and take pictures of the surrounding area. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, take their contact numbers as well as statements. Ask if they would be willing to appear in court later if needed, just in case. This could be useful if the other driver tries to change his/her story or challenge your claims in court later on. After this has been achieved, go to the hospital to ensure proper medical attention. Failure to seek medical attention after a few days of the accident opens you up to claims from the other side that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
Having adequate documentation would bolster your credibility and make it easier for you to receive financial compensation later.