Car accidents can be scary and stressful. Within seconds, questions and thoughts about what happened, whether the passengers are okay, the damage, who is to blame, and more come to mind. Therefore, it is important to know what to do immediately after an accident to ensure that everyone involved is safe and that the proper steps are taken to make a claim for compensation.
Steps to take after a car accident
Step 1: Immediately stop the car and treat the injured
First check to see if anyone involved in the accident has injuries. Call 911 if someone needs urgent medical attention.
Step 2: Move the cars involved in the accident
If no one is injured, please move to a safe place and park cars off the road for safety. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. If it’s dark, find a flashlight to help you see.
Step 3: Exchange of data between those affected
You should collect information in case you need it later. Write down the date and time of the accident, and collect information from witnesses and the other driver:
- Name, address and phone number
- Insurance company name and policy number
- License number
- Description, make and model of the vehicle
Step 4: Is it necessary to call the police?
You should call the police and file an official report, even if there are no serious injuries or vehicle damage. You will need this report if you decide to file an insurance compensation claim. When you talk to the police, just state the facts without assuming details. Do not admit fault or blame the other parties involved as police reports are only used to capture facts.
Step 5: Contact your own insurer
Call your insurance company and tell the insurer that you have been involved in a car accident. Provide the insurance company with the other driver’s name and insurance information. Answer the insurance company’s questions honestly. Don’t try to mislead the insurer about what happened because it could weaken your claim. You will need your insurance company to defend you if the other driver makes a claim against your insurance.
What Kind of Damages Can I Claim for My Injuries?
Here are the different types of damages that can be recovered for car accidents:
Bodily Injury or Medical Expenses
Bodily injury and medical expenses are a vital component of economic damages from car accidents. These include any costs resulting from the accident and the estimated costs of future medical care and treatment, including:
- Ambulance costs
- Stays in health centers
- Home care needed
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medical appointments
Damage to Property
If the accident results in damage to your personal property, you may be able to claim replacement or repairs. Usually the most obvious of the different properties is the car itself. But other claims can include shoes, clothing, jewelry, and other items.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering experienced by the victim of a car accident is part of intangible non-economic damages. The law provides for recovery of pain and suffering due to the accident along with injuries.
Loss of Consortium
If the accident leaves someone with a disabling condition that prevents them from enjoying the normal affection of the relationship with their spouse, the couple would be eligible for a loss of consortium claim. However, they can only obtain compensation if the victim is successful in their personal injury claim, since the loss of the consortium is derivative.
Determine fault and responsibility for the crash
Because Texas is an at-fault state, fault for your accident must be determined before an insurance claim can be filed.
How is Fault Determined in Texas?
The person paying for damages in Texas is the one who caused the accident. This is due to Texas’s fault-based auto insurance system. With this system, the person at fault for causing the collision will be liable for subsequent damages.
Who is Responsible in a Crash?
The fault for a car accident generally rests with the driver who broke a rule or violated a duty of care to other drivers. Failure to follow the rules often causes preventable car accidents in Texas. Common examples include breaking the speed limit, texting and driving, drunk driving, making unsafe lane changes, making illegal turns, reckless running or driving, and falling asleep at the wheel. If a driver is guilty of any of these acts of negligence, they will be liable for a related car accident.
Claim and Recovery of Losses Suffered by the Accident in Texas
To resolve a Texas car accident claim, it is best to hire an attorney and pursue the matter legally. The person will need legal representation to provide the correct and most appropriate details to the insurance company, and for negotiations. The claim must begin before the mandatory two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas expires.
The car accident attorney will contact the other driver’s insurance company and work to obtain the highest possible compensation for their client.
At the Law Offices of Trujillo Sanchez car accident attorneys will help you with your claim. Call for a free consultation right away.
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