Being in a car accident can be a terrifying experience. However, remaining calm and taking the proper steps following a collision is important. Your actions immediately after an accident can significantly impact any insurance claims or potential lawsuits down the road. Here are some of the most important things you should do following a car accident:
Assess the Situation
First, check to make sure you and your passengers are okay. If anyone complains of pain or injuries, call 911 immediately. Please call the police or other help even if you think no one is hurt so they can send emergency medical assistance if necessary. Once everyone’s security has been guaranteed, transfer your car, if you can, to a secure spot away from traffic. To warn other drivers, turn on your danger lights and position caution triangles.
With the other driver(s) involved in the collision, trade contact, and insurance details. Get their name, contact information, address, information on their license plate and registration, insurance information, and the make and model of their vehicle. Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Take pictures and videos of the vehicles, license plate numbers, and the accident location. Images are particularly helpful for legal and insurance claims.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance provider immediately. Provide the details of what happened and the information you gathered from the other driver(s) and any witnesses. Ask your insurance company what coverage you may have for vehicle repairs, medical bills, or other expenses. Follow up on this initial contact by sending your insurance company the information and documentation they request regarding the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if there are no immediate symptoms of injury after an accident, internal injuries may subsequently become apparent. As soon as you can, schedule a checkup with your physician. In order for them to fully inspect you for any difficulties, explain that you were involved in an automobile accident. Follow through with any treatment or tests your doctor recommends. Keep records of all medical visits related to the accident, including receipts for any prescribed medications or medical devices.
Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer
Speaking with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer can help safeguard your rights if the accident was not your fault. They can review the details of what happened, determine who is liable, and advise you on the steps to take. They could also negotiate with insurance providers on your behalf and represent you in court if you need to launch a lawsuit. Find a local lawyer with expertise in managing matters involving auto accidents and personal injuries.
Keep records of everything related to the accident, including repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, medical bills, lost wages from time off work, and other expenses. Save all communications with the insurance companies, police, witnesses, doctors, and lawyers about the accident. Organize this paperwork, including the photos from the scene and accident details exchanged with the other driver(s). Thorough documentation will support your insurance claim and be critical for legal action.
Stay Calm and Patient
Try to remain as calm and patient as possible while dealing with the accident’s aftermath. Do not make rash decisions or determinations of fault. The legal process for resolving a car accident claim can take time. Becoming frustrated or impatient may only complicate the situation. Honest communication is the best approach after an accident. Be truthful with your insurance company, doctors, and a lawyer regarding what happened. Do not change details or place blame without cause. Dishonesty will only create more issues and difficulty in obtaining a fair resolution.
Be honest with yourself about the state of your vehicle and any injuries you have suffered. Stay up-to-date on the status of insurance claims and any legal action regarding your accident. Ask questions of your providers and lawyer. Understand your rights and options fully before agreeing to any settlements. Review documents carefully before signing. Staying actively involved and informed in the process will lead to the most favorable outcome.
In summary, remain calm, get medical help, contact the authorities and insurance companies, document everything, consult a lawyer regarding your rights, avoid social media, be honest and patient, and stay up-to-date on your claim. By following these steps, you have the best opportunity to recover from your accident reasonably. With time and proper handling of the situation, this traumatic experience will pass, and you can move on from this difficult time.