If you have been injured in a car accident, working with a personal injury lawyer can help to protect you and your best interest following the crash. Our law firm will work with you every step of the way to help you secure compensation for your vehicle accident. Accidents in Pasadena happen every day, ensure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself.
Check Yourself and Passengers for Injuries
In the moments following a collision, thoroughly check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you or any of them have neck or back pain, you need to stop the injured person from moving and wait for first responders to arrive. Paramedics know the proper ways to safely move patients with those injuries, without creating additional trauma.
Check Your Immediate Surroundings
Take a deep breath and assess what is going on around you. Are you safe? Do you smell smoke? Is there anything that you have to do immediately to keep yourself safe?
In case of an accident, the first priority is safety. Everything else is secondary.
Move Your Car to a Safe Place and Stop
If the accident was minor and you are not injured, it is best to move your vehicle to a safe spot out of the traffic flow. If there are severe injuries to anyone involved, however, you should leave your car in place for the accident investigation.
When you move your vehicle, do it slowly so that you don’t cause more damage or injuries. Calm down and remember to turn your hazard lights on, put the car in park with the parking brake on, and turn the vehicle off. If you have a chance, look at any other cars involved in the accident and jot down their license plate numbers – just in case they decide to drive away from the scene.
Whatever you do, you should not leave the scene of the accident. If you have to go because you are being threatened or it is otherwise unsafe for you to be there, you should be on the phone to 911, explaining why you left and where you are going. Returning to the scene once first responders have arrived is your best strategy in this case. Doing anything else risks a citation or arrest for hit-and-run.
Check the Occupants of Other Vehicles for Injuries
Next, watch for traffic and exit your vehicle. Check the occupants of any other cars and pedestrians who were involved for injuries and call 911 if there are any. Even seemingly minor injuries should be checked out so that they don’t lead to more significant problems down the road.
Don’t assume that someone has already called for help. You don’t want there to be any unnecessary delay in the response of paramedics and ambulances.
This is not the time to get into any prolonged conversations with others involved in the accident. You’re just trying to make sure everyone who needs help is getting it. There’s time to talk later.
Call the Police
Even with minor accidents, having a police report can help insurance companies and courts decipher the truth. While many police agencies won’t respond minor fender benders, if there is any chance that there is an injury or if the wrecked cars are a traffic hazard, they will.
If any other drivers involved in the accident don’t want you to call the cops, you should consider that a red flag that they might be an uninsured driver or under the influence of intoxicants and don’t want the police to know about it. In that case, it’s especially important that you call.
If the police do respond, only discuss the facts of the accident with them, without opinions of what you think might have happened. Provide them with your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Even if you think you are at fault for the collision, having an unbiased police report can identify other factors that could reduce the amount of responsibility you ultimately assume.
The police can also help you arrange for tow trucks to get your car to the shop, and they can put out cones and flares to prevent additional accidents.
Watch Those Emotions
If you have just been in an accident, your head is likely swirling with emotions. You might be angry, you might be contrite, and you’re almost certainly a little confused. Getting into an argument with another driver or saying that you are sorry for what has happened can cause you legal issues later.
The side of the road is not the place to assess responsibility for the accident. Avoid inadvertently claiming responsibility, saying I’m sorry, or offering to pay for damages. The negotiations about who is held responsible are best left to your car insurance company or their attorneys.
Exchange Information With Other Parties
Parties involved in collisions are required by law to exchange information with others involved. You should exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance company names, and car insurance policy numbers. You’ll also want the make, model, color, and license plate number of any cars involved.
Using your cell phone to take a photo of driver’s licenses, registrations, insurance documents, and license plates can give you a backup if you have any errors in your note-taking. If the name of the driver does not match the registration or proof of insurance document, try to determine the relationship of the driver to the car.
You should never share your social security number or the coverage limits on your insurance policy with any other person involved in the accident.
If there are any witnesses, quickly get their contact details before they get impatient and leave the scene. From the police on the scene, get a report number and the badge number or business card of the officer handling the report.
Ask the officers and witnesses if they have seen similar accidents in the same place. That can help establish whether it’s a particularly dangerous intersection, which could prompt the transportation department to fix the possible safety issue later.
Visit Your Doctor
If you have even the slightest indication that you might be injured, you should visit your doctor or an urgent care clinic. They will likely ask you for your auto insurance information, rather than your regular medical insurance. Injuries stemming from a car crash typically become part of your auto insurance claim.
Small pains often become big pains in the days following a car crash. By visiting a medical professional, you don’t only want to get the medical assistance, you want to get the documentation that the injury is connected to the crash.
Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.