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Tips to Follow After a Motor Vehicle Collision
Most of us will be involved in an auto accident at some time in our lives. And contrary to popular belief, most accidents are due to unforeseen events, not due to a driver’s recklessness.
According to The Texas State Department of Transportation, in 2014 there was a traffic fatality in Texas every two and a half hours. That’s over 10 fatal accident victims a day! And every two minutes and 13 seconds, a person was injured. A car crash was reported every 66 seconds. The same report stated that distracted driving caused 483 deaths that year. This is a 4% increase from the previous year.
Unfortunately, auto accidents are a fact of life. Many people may find that the sheer number of collisions, coupled with the rising fatality rate to be alarming. It’s understandable that you may be worried that you or someone you love could be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
While some accidents may be unavoidable, some are caused by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of others. When this happens, there are steps you can take to mitigate your damages and ensure you are taking appropriate steps to protect your potential personal injury claim. In the event of a collision, here are some helpful tips and steps to follow:
- If the accident is relatively minor and you are not badly hurt, the first thing you need to do is to move your vehicle to the side of the road. You don’t want to be in the middle of oncoming traffic. This will also help to ensure your safety while waiting for help. In case of a bigger and more serious accident, try to get out of the vehicle as quickly as you can if safe to do so. Also, maintain a safe distance from your vehicle as a fire or explosion are real possibilities.
- The next step is to report the accident to the police as soon as you are out of harm’s way. It is imperative that you call the police even if it’s just a “fender bender.” They will aid by filing a report relating to the incident. They may also issue a ticket if it’s obvious a traffic law was broken. A traffic ticket can be very helpful in determining fault. If you are unable to move your car, they can assist with that as well.
- If there’s another driver involved in the wreck, make sure you obtain pertinent information from them, such as their name, the names of any passengers that were riding in their car, contact numbers, and car insurance details.
- If possible, take pictures of the site and the vehicles involved in the collision. You know the saying, “Pictures speak a thousand words.” Photographs will help support your potential claim with the insurance company. If you have health insurance, they may be entitled to reimbursement, so if you obtain treatment, they need to be put on notice.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident, obtain their names and contact information. A witness can be very helpful in determining what actually happened and in proving who was at fault.
- It is crucial that you seek medical assistance right after the accident. Even if you feel “fine,” it is still important that you see a physician and have yourself checked because you may be injured and not even realize it.
- Lastly, make sure you contact a qualified attorney to evaluate your potential claim, investigate the incident, assist you in sorting out the details of the collision, and help you seek compensation for any damages you may have suffered.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, you probably have many more questions than we can answer in a short blog. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Houston M. Smith, P.C., to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.