Houston Car Accident Attorney
Motor vehicle accidents can be emotional and often result in a sudden release of adrenaline. It is perfectly natural and human to feel stress and anxiety about the extent of your injuries, who is or could be at fault, medical bills, such as hospital and doctor bills, car repair bills, and in many cases, how to make up for earnings lost by your having to take time from work to recover. Personal injury lawyer.
Hiring an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer is an excellent way to help alleviate much of the stress and anxiety.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney–like those at Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC–can help advise you regarding many of the decisions and choices that must be made along the way. A personal injury lawyer who focuses on car accidents can guide you through bills and–just as importantly–can help to minimize and even alleviate any financial burden that may be associated with your injury.
However, there are some critical steps to take when you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. We will attempt to highlight those steps below.
12 Steps to Take After You’ve Been Involved in a Car or Motor Vehicle Accident in Houston, Texas
Step 1 –
Make sure that you are safe and that there is no further threat to your safety. Assess for any injuries to yourself and others in your vehicle. Turn on the hazard lights of your car.
Step 2 –
Considering the surroundings and the extent of any injuries, decide if it is safer to stay in the vehicle or exit the car. Sometimes, those first few adrenaline moments are the only way a person can get out of a vehicle and into a prone position on the back to prepare for responders to assess them. Further, there have been many situations where a driver was in a crash and exited their vehicle – and was struck and killed by other cars. Here is a recent story that shows how real it can be: click here
Step 3 –
Unless you are transported by ambulance or responders, please do NOT leave the scene until it is appropriate or unless you are in imminent danger by remaining on-site. And if you do leave, it is always a good idea to proceed directly to Step 4 (do not pass Go! And do not collect $200!).
Step 4 –
Call local law enforcement. Request that they prepare an accident report. Ensure that the other drivers involved in the incident have their information recorded.
Step 5 –
DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT! And one more time, for good measure – DOCUMENT! Document everything. Take pictures of the scene with your phone. And of your vehicle inside and out and from multiple angles. Take photos of the road conditions, traffic conditions, and weather conditions. Note if there are any contributing factors to the accident, such as a pothole.
Take pictures of skid marks and note any injuries complained of. Use good judgment when recording devices but take a video of intersection information if possible. Whether any businesses close by, have security cameras that could have captured the incident.
Note whether the other vehicle or vehicles have any custom modifications, such as lift kits or low-rider client once took a picture with brake calipers of the other vehicle’s brakes to show that they were essentially gone, severely increasing the braking distance. Note who the responding officers are and their badge numbers. Make sure you get an incident number from them.
Step 6 –
Witnesses. Find out if there are any. Is there a crowd of people gathered outside the restaurant? Are there people waiting at a bus stop? Are there people gathered around? If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask permission to contact them later if necessary.
Step 7 –
Be polite. But don’t be a social butterfly. Many individuals negatively impact their potential claims by making comments immediately following an accident. Following a wreck is not the time to talk about hitting the gym the following morning or how you should have taken your car to the repair shop because of your non-functioning brake lights.
Step 8 –
See a doctor. Tell them that you were in a motor vehicle accident. Any and every symptom you may have as a result of the accident and any known injuries you have sustained. Tell them if you hit your head or experienced any whiplash. There are many forms of trauma, some of which only get noticed by the time they are critical, such as swelling of the brain. Other injuries may take more time to be uncovered, such as herniated discs in the neck or back. Even internal injuries, like a bundle branch block in the heart, can go unnoticed for months or even years. It is essential to get checked out thoroughly.
Step 9 –
Call your insurance company. Report the accident. It is a good idea to notify your insurance company even if you are not at fault. Many drivers carry personal injury protection under their policies and, if injured, can claim these funds under their policies. However – your insurance agent is not the person to be a “Chatty Cathy” with either (no offense to the Cathies out there!). If you have visible and known injuries, it is okay to let your insurance company know; the insurance companies will generally keep log notes of conversations necessary to obtain later.
Step 10 –
Get a copy of the accident report. In many more urban areas in Texas, the local police department, county sheriff, or constable precinct may have a way to obtain the information online. Make an appointment to do a walk-in if your responding agency requires you. But do this when you are well enough to do so. It is not a rush.
Step 11 –
Keep all documentation for expenditures. This may be receipts, cashed check copies, credit card statements, bank account statements, etc. The spending may be for transportation (uber, rental car, bus, etc.),r hospital/doctors, and treatment expenses, including prescriptions, vehicle repair, and out-of-pocket costs. Also, if you missed any time from work due to the accident – ask your employer to write you a letter detailing the lost wages (PTO usage = lost wages) that you incurred. Personal injury lawyer.
Step 12 –
Contact an experienced and qualified Houston personal injury attorney like the lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC. This should be one of the first steps. Still, it is essential not to miss this step to help you fully minimize or alleviate any financial burdens and to ensure that you are compensated fully for the damages sustained due to the accident. Personal injury lawyer.
Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC
At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our firm focuses the entirety of our time and expertise on representing those who have suffered a personal injury and helping our clients through the entire recovery process–physical, emotional, and financial recovery–from their injuries. We allow our clients to tip the balance of justice in their favor through our years of experience and our devotion to our clients. Our care and preparation are core principles and keys to our success. The lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions that you may have. If you would like to speak to someone about your particular situation or for a free and confidential consultation, call our office at (713) 366-HURT (4878) today or visit us online at www.houinjurylawyers.com.