Being involved in a car or truck accident, no matter how severe, is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting impacts. One of the most common questions I receive is, what should I do to protect myself and my case if I am in a car or truck accident?
If you are in a car or truck accident, the first thing you need to do is tend to anyone who has been injured in the accident. If someone is injured, call 911.
If you are involved in a serious accident or if someone is injured, call 911. Calling 911 will not only ensure your loved one, you, or the other drivers or passengers receive the medical assistance they need, it will also help document your accident. Generally, when an accident involves injuries, local law enforcement will come to the scene and complete a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3).
If the accident is minor in nature and there are no injuries from the accident, safely move your vehicle to a safe location if you can. Once everything is safe:
Assess possible injuries. Tend to people first—make sure everyone is okay. Call 911 if anyone is injured.
Alert the police or highway patrol. If you are involved in an accident, let law enforcement know, especially if your vehicle is badly damaged. Law enforcement may not respond to the accident. If law enforcement does respond to your accident, get the names and badge numbers of the officers on the scene. The officers will file a Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). Generally, the report is available within 10 days for purchase on the TxDOT Crash Report Online Purchase System.
If law enforcement does not respond to the accident (this is common in some areas). Gather the other driver's insurance information, driver's license information, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and contact information (address, phone number, email address).
Gather information at the scene of the accident. If you are able, take a video and pictures of the scene of the accident and the damages to all vehicles and property involved. Collect the contact information of any witnesses, passengers, and other drivers.
Assess the damages to your vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged, have it towed away from the accident scene. Do not attempt to drive your vehicle if it is not safe to do so. If you need help finding a tow truck or are worried about your safety until one arrives, you may call Texas Roadside Assistance at 1-800-525-5555 (this number is on the back of Texas driver's licenses).
As soon as possible after a car or accident, you need to:
Seek help for your injuries if you have not already done so. Be aware that many times you may not realize you are injured because your body may be in shock because of the collision. It is essential to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to determine the severity of your injuries.
Document the accident. Write down any information you can regarding the accident as soon as you are able. Make a detailed record of what happened before, during, and after the collision.
Consult an attorney. Contact the Morgan Legal Group for a free case evaluation, as part of the evaluation, I will give you my opinion of your case and provide a plan for how I will advocate for you.
Failing to consult with an attorney could substantially impact your case and your ultimate recovery for your injuries and damages. However, if you choose not to consult an attorney, generally, you should:
Notify your insurance provider. Notify your insurance provider of the accident within a reasonable time after the accident. Be prepared to provide details about the accident. Be careful in how you handle your claim and the details you provide so that you do not impact your ability to recover for your damages.
Get a copy of the accident report. If law enforcement responded to the accident, a copy of the report will be available on the TxDOT Crash Report Online Purchase System. If law enforcement did not respond to your accident, contact your local law enforcement office to obtain information on how to best file a report.
Be prepared to be contacted by the other party's insurance. Be mindful when speaking with the other party's insurance that they do not represent you. Their goal is to protect their insured and their bottom line. Anything you say to them may be used later to impact your claim.
Be sure you have accounted for all your damages before you accept any settlement offers. The insurance companies may offer you a settlement quickly. They know that they can save more money in the long run if you take a lowball settlement.
Being involved in a car or truck accident, no matter how severe, is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting impacts. If you would like to speak with me about your car or truck wreck case, you can schedule an appointment through the Morgan Legal Group online consultation scheduling tool or call 713-969-5026. I offer free no-obligation consultations via telephone, zoom, or in person.