If you are involved in a car wreck, you need to remain calm. The moments following an accident can seem unreal when your thoughts are crowded by a rush of adrenaline and emotions. These moments are critical to preventing further injuries and preserving evidence in your case. Even the most level-headed person can have a hard time remembering what to do following an accident.
Follow the steps below after your accident or contact a Houston accident attorney at (281) 975-0031.
What Happens After a Collision
In any accident involving personal injury, call for an ambulance and allow a paramedic to evaluate your condition. If necessary, you should allow them to transport you to an emergency room. It is also important to call the police to the scene of an accident.
Houston and other municipalities have laws that require you to move your vehicle to an accident investigation site or other safe location if your accident occurs on a main lane, ramp, shoulder, median, or area adjacent to a freeway. You should only move your vehicle if both vehicles involved in the wreck can be safely driven and both drivers are capable of driving a short distance.
Gather Important Information
If you are physically able, exchange information with the other driver. Be courteous, but be sure to get all the information you need.
Other important things to do after an accident:
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver and the license plate number - make a note if the insurance card is expired or if it does not list the driver in the accident
- If the driver's name is not on the insurance card, note the name on the card, and find out the driver's relationship to the policyholder
- Get the vehicle's license plate number, make, and model
- Take pictures of all vehicles -focus on documenting the extent and location of the damage to your vehicle. If it is safe to do so, try to take pictures before the vehicles are moved
- Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses
If you are not physically able, you can generally rely on the police to investigate these aspects of the accident and provide insight in their accident report.
What to Do After the Accident Scene Is Cleared
Seek medical attention. If you are treated in an emergency room, your treating doctor will probably recommend that you follow up for further evaluation a few days after the accident. Be sure to adhere to the doctor's instructions. If you do not have health insurance, contact a Houston car wreck lawyer who can refer you to medical facilities that will provide you with follow-up care.
It is extremely common for accident injuries to appear a day or two after the crash. If you felt fine after the accident, but became symptomatic a day or two later, it is not too late to have your injuries evaluated and treated. You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Consult with a car accident lawyer in Houston and a doctor prior to reporting the accident to your insurance company. Report an accident to your insurance company within a reasonable time, but avoid discussing your physical condition with anyone, including your own insurance company.
Insurance companies can and will use anything you say against you. You might initially feel like you are okay following an accident, but in as little as two days later you may realize that your neck and back soreness are not going away. If you allow the insurance company to record your statement and tell them that you are not injured, the insurance company will use your statement against you to avoid paying your claim.
Call (281) 975-0031 after an accident to get qualified legal counsel.