As one of the nation’s largest states, Texas spans hundreds of thousands of miles of roadway. Ultimately, this sheer volume of roadway results in high numbers of potentially risky situations for drivers throughout the state, regardless of where they live. In fact, according to data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 car accidents throughout the state of Texas resulted in
- 1 death every 2 hours and 26 minutes
- 1 injury every 2 minutes and 3 seconds
- 1 reportable crash every 56 seconds
Car accidents can cause a variety of life-threatening and life-altering injuries, even death, all of which can result in lifelong consequences such as disability and chronic conditions that incur long-term medical expenses.
In order to get the best possible compensation for a car accident, it’s important to follow certain steps beginning immediately after the accident. Unfortunately, many insurance companies aim to lowball victims or pay nothing at all. This means that how you handle the aftermath of a car accident can affect your long-term emotional, financial, and physical well-being. With the right steps and potentially legal representation, you can ensure that the accident will not define your and your family’s lives in the future.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident in Texas
There are basic steps that all drivers should take immediately following a car accident in Texas or other state.
1. Pull Over and Check for Injuries
If possible, pull the vehicles involved in the crash to the side of the road, where they will not pose a danger to other drivers. If it’s not possible to do so, turn on the vehicles’ hazard lights and ensure that all people involved stay on the side of the vehicle away from the oncoming traffic. Check for injuries to passengers, drivers, and any nearby pedestrians.
2. Get Emergency Medical Care If Necessary
If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and calmly explain to the operator your location so that those who need it can receive emergency medical care as soon as possible. Getting medical assistance is the first and primary goal if there is an injured person at the scene. All of the following steps can be taken care of after the injured person has been attended to.
3. Report the Accident to Texas Authorities
It is illegal in the state of Texas to not report to local authorities an accident that has resulted in injury or death. Even if the accident did not result in injury, it’s important to still notify police so that a report can be made. Police reports can help if a lawsuit is later filed in relation to the accident.
4. Swap and Gather Information
While awaiting Texas authorities to arrive at the scene, swap contact, insurance, vehicle registration, and driver’s license information with other involved drivers. In addition, gather as much information about the accident and the involved parties as possible. This can include taking photos of damage, getting witness contact information, taking notes on the events as you remember them, and documenting any other information that may help your case in the event that a lawsuit is filed.
If injury or death has occurred, gathering this information and evidence may not be possible. If that’s the case, a car accident lawyer can help you navigate the evidentiary process after the fact.
5. Get Non-emergency Medical Care
With the adrenaline and urgency of a car accident, many victims do not realize that they’ve been injured until after things have calmed down. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may take days to surface. For anyone involved in a car accident, even those who do not show immediate symptoms, visiting a primary care doctor as soon as possible is extremely important. In the event that a lawsuit is filed, victims will need proof of medical attention following the accident.
6. Notify Insurance Companies
Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. As Texas is an at-fault state, the amount of money that one’s insurance company pays out for an accident is based on the percentage of responsibility they have in the accident. Your insurance company will discuss with the other party’s insurance company to determine who is at fault and how much damages are due.
7. Find a Reliable Local Car Accident Attorney
Often, victims of car accidents will find that insurance company payouts are substandard at best. Sometimes insurance companies will claim that the at-fault party is innocent of any wrongdoing. Whether your settlement amount is subpar or the responsible party is not held accountable for the accident, a reliable and local car accident attorney in Texas can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Texas Statute of Limitations
In Texas, it’s important to keep in mind that victims have only two years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in accordance with the state’s statute of limitations. Although two years may seem like a long time, you should aim to file as soon as possible if you feel you have a case. A swift decision can help ensure that evidence, witness testimony, and other important information relevant to your case is accurate.
The Lopez Law Group’s Car Injury Lawyers Can Help
With decades of combined experience, our car accident attorneys know just how devastating the effects of a car accident can be. That’s why we’re committed to helping Texans and their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially from accidents throughout the state.
The Lopez Law Group proudly serves McAllen, Weslaco, Tyler, Spring, Mission, McAllen, Laredo, Houston, Edinburg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, and other areas throughout Texas.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, contact us online or give us a call at (956) 968-7800 today for a free case evaluation. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.