Being in a car accident can be overwhelming and stressful. In the heat of the moment, it is difficult to remain calm and remember your next steps. Fortunately, though you may find yourself alone on an accident scene, there are measures one can take to preserve their legal rights. It is important to remember that staying calm during these difficult times gives you a better chance of having positive outcomes later.
Suppose you are involved in a motor vehicle crash in Houston; you must know the steps to ensure your safety, comply with state law, and start the insurance claim process. To protect yourself immediately after a car accident, it is best to prepare beforehand by familiarizing yourself with guidelines written by the state’s legal norms. This article shares some significant steps that can help you to make the right and helpful choice after a car accident.
In Texas, if your car is involved in an accident, you are legally obligated to stay at the scene. This applies when any person or property has been injured during the crash. “Hit and runs” are illegal and comprise severe criminal repercussions, so it is a good idea to wait until the police have arrived. Despite uncertainty over whether or not you have sustained injuries, paramedics should be called, as it may go unnoticed until a medical evaluation. To keep yourself and others safe and out of trouble with the law, remain at the accident site until further assistance arrives.
If your car is in an unsafe location, you need to get out of harm’s way as quickly and safely as possible. If feasible, move the vehicle to a nearby parking lot or the emergency lane. After securing your car in a safe spot, check on passengers, yourself included, and those of the other motorists involved. Pay close attention to any babies or small children present for signs of stress. Sometimes, you may be responsible for providing initial aid until emergency responders appear. Be sure to do so if needed and remain proactive until help arrives.
To ensure that the relevant insurance and vehicle details are noticed, requesting an exchange of information between the parties involved at the crash site is essential. This procedure is required by law in Texas. In cases where the investigating officer does not collect this data, take a picture of the other driver’s license and car insurance card if possible. Alternatively, you can ask for their vehicle registration information-including, including the make and model of the car, license plate number, etc.-to expedite the process. Be aware that Crash Reports may take up to 7-10 business days to be released, so it’s best to capture these details as soon as possible.
It’s essential to call 911 after an accident. Even if the other driver or passengers try to dissuade you from doing so by discussing insurance rates, driving history, and auto damage, there are numerous benefits of having a police officer on the scene. The responding officer will file a Crash Report detailing the contact information of involved drivers, their auto insurance policy number, and any citations issued for a traffic violation. This information is precious for legal professionals seeking compensation for any innocent individuals hurt in the wreck.
Taking notes or recording a voice memo is essential to remember the best evidence after an accident. If you have a cell phone with video recording capabilities, take advantage of that. Document the accident scene carefully, including any tire tread marks, broken glass, deployed airbags, or other pertinent evidence. A video can also be beneficial if someone involved in the incident seems impaired somehow – this could help officers arrive on the scene later.
It is essential to know the necessary steps to take afterwards. Immediately seeking medical care is critical, even if you don’t believe you’re injured. In addition, documenting as much evidence as possible and finding an experienced attorney can be beneficial. With the assistance of legal counsel, one can learn about their rights and options for protection.