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What Should You Do Straight After a Car Crash?

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 1:02 am    

Texas has the dubious distinction of leading the nation when it comes to the number of serious injuries and fatalities from car accidents. The unfortunate reality about serious car crashes is that if you have been immobilized and are incapable of doing anything other than hang on waiting for an ambulance to take you to an emergency room at a hospital, there is very little that you can do following a car crash. If you have been badly hurt in a car crash, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after receiving necessary treatment.

There are plenty of things that you can do, however, if you haven’t been so seriously injured, yet are facing probable expensive medical and car repair bills. The following guidelines may help the nearly quarter of a million Texans who are injured somewhere in the state every year.

  1. Make sure you and anyone else in your car move to a safe place, especially if the accident happened in the middle of a busy highway.
  2. Call 911 as soon as you can. Make a request for medical assistance and police. Be precise as possible about the location of the accident and what assistance will be required. Police officers who attend the scene will ask questions, examine the vehicles involved and complete a crash report. A copy of this report will become the primary evidence you will need if you later decide to file a claim against another driver. If you need immediate medical assistance, talk to EMTs who attend about your injuries and pain so they can make an assessment of your immediate needs.
  3. If you are capable of acting without getting angry or upset, exchange insurance details and license numbers with the other driver, or other drivers, if more than one other was involved in the accident. If you don’t feel able to talk to the other driver, wait until police officers arrive and ask one of them to obtain this information for you.
  4. Don’t discuss the accident or get angry with the other driver(s). It is easy to say something that might be used against you later on if you decide to file a claim against the other driver’s insurer.
  5. Take photos if you can, of any damage done to your vehicle and the position of the vehicles after the accident. Your cell phone will probably have camera app on it.
  6. Take photos of any injuries that are visually obvious on yourself and anyone else in your vehicle. If you have cuts, bruises, or other obvious injuries, take photos of them on a regular basis after the accident until they have healed.
  7. Ask any eye witnesses who were not related to any other driver involved in the accident if they would provide contact details. Eye witness statements can be very valuable when attempting to prove that you were not at fault.
  8. Make sure that you get yourself checked out by a doctor or go to an emergency room depending on your injuries. Do this even if you think that your injuries were minor. Some injuries are not easy to diagnose and may only show up later on, several hours or days after an accident has occurred.
  9. Let your own insurance company know about the accident and the damage to your vehicle and injuries. If you have a copy of the police report, send a copy of this report. Do not consent to an interview at this stage.
  10. Do not discuss the accident with the other driver’s insurer, even if asked politely to answer questions. In particular, be very wary of a potential recorded interview. It is easy, especially in the emotionally charged period after an accident, to say things which could be interpreted by an insurance adjuster as admitting liability or partial liability. In some states, any hint of being partially at fault could mean the loss of any chance of compensation. In many states you need to be at least less than 50% to blame for an accident. You should not admit any fault at all to any person representing the other driver.

If you have been injured in any kind of car accident in or around McAllen and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.