Car Accident Checklist
Whether you’re on the highway or driving along your neighborhood street, being in a car accident is a frightening and potentially deadly event. It can also be very disorienting. Accident victims often have trouble thinking clearly about what they need to do to in the aftermath of a crash.
What you do in the moments following an auto accident can be very important to protect your legal rights.
To help guide you, the knowledgeable Houston car accident attorneys at The Seerden Law Firm have put together the following car accident checklist. Keep a copy in your glove compartment. While we hope you never need it, the checklist will be a useful tool if the time comes when you need to file a car accident injury claim.
Prepare For An Accident Before It Happens
While accidents often happen when we least expect them, there are some basic things you can do to prepare and protect yourself if a crash occurs:
- Make sure you have a copy of your car insurance card in your vehicle.
- Keep a first-aid kit in your car with basic medical supplies and safety items, such as a reflective vest, flashlight, blanket, vehicle escape tool, fire extinguisher and flares.
Things to Do At The Scene
- Remain on the scne if you’ve been in a car accident. Hit-and-run accidents are against the law and can lead to expensive fines and/or jail time.
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Then check on the occupants in other cars to see if they are OK. If the crash caused any property damage or serious injuries, call 911 for help.
- Make sure that you and the other motorists are as safe as possible. People are often injured or killed in secondary crashes after they stop in the middle of the road because of a wreck. If your accident was minor, move the vehicles off the highway or at least to the side of the road. If you must stay in the road, turn on your hazard lights. This will help other cars see your car and reduce the likelihood that they’ll hit you.
- Take photos. Get pictures of the damage to your car, damage to the other cars involved, road conditions, skid marks or other markings, such as loose gravel, construction, traffic lights or signs.
- Get the other driver’s contact information. That should include the name of the driver, his/her driver’s license number and insurance information. Do this for all drivers involved in the crash.
- Collect eyewitness contact information. This can include bystanders, other motorists and passengers in the involved vehicles.
- Do not admit responsibility for any part in the crash to the police or anyone else, even if you think you might be at fault. Multiple people or conditions could have contributed to the crash, and insurance companies will be quick to use anything you say against you.
After An Auto Accident Occurs
Safeguarding yourself after a car accident involves taking several important steps. They will help protect you if the other driver tries to blame you for the accident and files a claim against you. They can also strengthen your case if you file a claim for injuries or damages.
- Get medical attention to evaluate your injuries. If you did not seek medical attention when the crash occurred, have a doctor evaluate you as soon as possible. Even if you think you might not be injured, it’s critical to see a doctor. Injuries from car accidents aren’t always obvious and can get worse over time. Getting prompt medical treatment helps ensure that your injuries can heal properly. Visiting a doctor can also help you secure vital pieces of evidence that you’ll need for your case. If you decide to seek any type of compensation for your injuries, insurance companies will require medical records to show proof of your injuries.
- Tell your insurance company about the crash as soon as possible. Most insurance policies require that you contact them quickly in order to get benefits.
- Don’t discuss the case with the other driver, his/her insurance company or any other legal representatives. Although you may be asked to make a recorded statement, this is a bad idea until you’ve talked to a lawyer on your own.
- Make sure to keep good records and get copies of official documents, such as:
- The official accident report from the police
- Notes about your injuries and medical visits
- Times/dates of any conversations with insurance companies, mechanics and the names of those you talked to
- Any property damage estimates/ valuations
- Contact our experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. At The Seerden Law Firm, our attorneys can help protect your rights, build a strong case for compensation and negotiate aggressively on your behalf.
You Must Know What To Do After A Car Accident
No matter how cautious you might be behind the wheel, collisions happen to unsuspecting motorists all the time. These accidents can be life-threatening and are often costly. That’s why it’s so important for you to do everything that you can to protect your interests after a wreck.
For example, a lack of sufficient evidence may make it difficult to prove the crash wasn’t your fault. In Texas, you can still recover partial compensation in an accident as long as the other party is more at fault than you. Taking photos at the accident scene or getting that one key witness’s name could change the outcome of your claim.
How Can The Seerden Law Firm Help Me?
The experienced car accident lawyers at The Seerden Law Firm will pursue justice and fair compensation if you’ve been injured in a car accident. We care about your case and your future, and we will provide you with the personal service you deserve and the legal muscle you need to win your case.
Let us use our decades of experience to fight for you. Call us today at (713) 597-3241 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation.