What to Do After a Car Accident
A serious car crash is a jarring and traumatic experience. It can be difficult to orient yourself after an accident, and trying to balance recovery, medical bills, missed work, filing insurance claims, and pursuing legal action can feel overwhelming. Below, we offer guidance on the first steps you should take after an accident to make sure you are set to protect your health, your finances, and yourself. For help after a traffic accident in Dallas, call a seasoned Texas car accident attorney at the Turley Law Firm for advice and representation.
Stop, Render Aid, Exchange Information
Texas law requires anyone involved in an accident that results in property damage or personal injury to stop at the scene. If possible, get yourself and your vehicle to the side of the road and/or another safe location. Regardless, make sure to stay at the scene at least until you perform certain actions.
Under Texas law, drivers are required to render aid where possible to injured parties, exchange driver’s license numbers and insurance information with other parties, and if the police have been called, wait for the police to arrive. If someone has been seriously hurt, you should call 911.
Report the Accident
Texas law requires you to report any accident involving injury, death, or property damage that makes it impossible to drive. You are supposed to contact authorities by way of the quickest means of communication. Especially if another driver is at fault, you should call the police immediately. The police will conduct an investigation, and their report may be a key piece of evidence for your eventual claims.
See a Doctor
If you are seriously hurt in a crash, call 911, or otherwise wait for emergency attention. Listen to the paramedics and accept the ride in the ambulance–it’s worth it to limit your injuries and save your life.
Even if you were not critically injured in the accident, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after your car crash. First and foremost, it’s important to get yourself checked for any injuries you might not have noticed. Latent injuries such as internal bleeding, organ damage, or a concussion can take hours or days to present symptoms, all the while becoming more dangerous and more harmful. Even strains and sprains might not be apparent right away without examination by a physician.
Secondly, the sooner you see a doctor, the stronger your claims will be with insurance companies or against the at-fault driver. If you wait days or weeks to see a doctor, defense lawyers and insurance providers might try to argue that your injuries arose in some other incident after the accident. They will also try to undermine the severity of your injuries. If you are checked out and diagnosed immediately after an accident, it minimizes arguments that could be used to weaken your claims or lessen your damages.
Keep Copies of Everything
You’ll generate a mountain of paperwork after an accident. Insurance communications, police reports, medical bills and reports, communications with your employer about modified duty or time off, etc. Keep copies of absolutely everything. The more evidence you have already collected, the easier it will be for your lawyer to quickly build a strong case for comprehensive recovery, either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Call a Lawyer
You could try to handle all of the negotiations with insurance companies and at-fault driver defense lawyers on your own, as well as any legal claims you may file, but you don’t have to. Statistics show that car accident victims recover substantially more on average when they are represented by competent lawyers than accident victims who try to pursue claims on their own. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can field the legal work for you, maximizing your potential compensation while allowing you to focus on your recovery and getting your life back in order.
If you or a family member has been injured in a Texas car accident, please contact the Turley Law Firm online or call 214-691-4025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your free consultation. Our dedicated Dallas attorneys serve clients throughout Texas and multiple Southern and Southwestern states.