You are required to pull over to the accident scene, even if you think the damage is minimal. Both Texas and Illinois have laws mandating your duties in a collision’s aftermath. You must stop your vehicle, render medical aid, and call 911.
The following is a specific overview of what you should do if you get into a car accident.
You Should do These Things at the Accident’s Scene
Aside from pulling over, you should also:
Exit Your Vehicle
Make sure your vehicle is safely on the shoulder of the road away from traffic, shift gears into park, and turn off the engine. Take a moment to catch your breath. Before exiting the vehicle, check your surroundings.
Check on the Other Involved Parties
Once you have exited your vehicle, check on everybody who was involved in the accident. This includes drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who were at the scene. Even if nobody has visible injuries, call 911.
Cooperative with Law Enforcement
Only provide police with the necessary information, including your contact information, license plate number, and registration. Avoid taking blame for the accident. The police will objectively judge the events and determine who is at fault.
Gather Information at the Accident Scene
At the accident scene, document the:
- Driver and passengers’ names
- Involved parties’ insurance information
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved in the accident
- Contact information of any eyewitnesses
- Location of the accident
- Responding police officers’ badge numbers
- Cars’ license plate numbers
You Should do These Things After Leaving the Accident Scene
After you leave the accident scene, you should seek medical attention. This could be from an urgent care center, emergency room, or primary care physician. While receiving care, keep records of your appointment dates, medications, and imaging scans.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Following your treatment plan doesn’t just protect your health; it protects your potential personal injury case. Even if you feel “okay,” by failing to follow your doctor’s orders, you give the other party reason to contest your condition. Furthermore, you risk exacerbating your condition, which can lead to further medical expenses down the road.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Even if you didn’t cause the accident, your insurance company still wants to hear about it. Some insurance companies let you report accidents through mobile apps. Others want to hear about it over the phone.
Either way, document the report. Do this either through screenshots or by writing down the representative’s name. You should report the accident to your job if your accident involved a company vehicle.
Document Your Losses
Expenses can pile up quickly in a collision’s aftermath. Keep records of your:
- Healthcare expenses
- Missed time from work
- Daily pain levels
- Treatment regimen
- Property damage expenses
- Therapy costs
By understanding the value of your damages, you can request a fair settlement from the liable insurer.
Consider Legal Representation
Recovering compensation following a collision isn’t easy. The liable insurer may deny your claim, or the other party might blame you for the incident. With our lawyers on your side, you don’t have to worry about the claims process. All you have to worry about is getting better.
You could pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit for accident-related damages. Healthcare.gov states that injuries could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Do not let another person’s negligence affect your life for years to come.
What Should I Avoid If I Get into a Car Accident?
Here are some things you should avoid after a car accident:
Posting About the Accident Online
Social media is not your friend in the aftermath of a collision. Anything you say, post, or comment can be used against you by the claims adjuster. Even posting an old picture of yourself could give the insurer grounds to question your claim.
You are more than welcome to passively use social media during your recovery period. However, uploading photos, accepting friend requests from “friends of friends,” and making statues could work against you.
Giving a Recorded Statement
When an insurance company asks for a recorded statement, it does so for one reason: to dispute certain aspects of your claim. The representative may ask you purposefully unclear questions or lead you into admitting fault.
Once you provide the insurance company with the necessary information, you are under no obligation to give a recorded statement. If you hire our lawyers, you can direct the insurer to us.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
Sometimes, an insurance representative will “test the waters” by offering lower than you deserve. They hope that by not understanding the value of your losses, you’ll accept the first offer that comes your way.
Once you accept an offer, that’s it; your case is over. By partnering with our team, we can evaluate the cost of your damages and pursue a settlement that meets your needs.
Talk to your doctor first before discontinuing any medications, therapy sessions, or other regimens. As noted, you risk having the insurer contest your claim when you stop your treatment plan.
Connect with Our Team of Injury Lawyers Today
When you connect with our firm, we can provide more insight into what you should do after a car accident. We offer free case reviews where you can explore your options. Call Hilliard Martinez Gonzales at (361) 882-1612.