In the aftermath of an accident, it can be hard to keep focused, so reading up now on the steps to take after an accident can help you in the event the worst ever does happen. Most important to keep in mind is to always call your Houston, TX personal injury case lawyers as soon as possible: the earlier we get started, the better the chance of a highly successful outcome for you.
What Should I Do Immediately Following an Accident That May Lead to a Personal Injury Case?
Seek Medical Help
Go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center and tell the doctor that you were in an accident. Be sure to tell the doctor about all of your injuries, even if they seem minor, and do not refuse any treatment that the doctor recommends. Get a copy of your medical records and be sure to keep track of all of your medical expenses.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if you do not think you are injured. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and adrenaline can mask pain for quite a while. The last thing you want is for the other party to claim that you weren’t really hurt because you didn’t seek care right away. Most importantly, you don’t want to delay getting started on treatment that can help you get a full recovery.
It should go without saying that all the following steps should only be taken if you are well enough. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you should never delay calling for help or heading to the hospital for any reason. Additionally, if anyone else is seriously injured – even if that person is the at-fault driver – never hesitate to call 911 before doing anything else, and provide aid if you safely can.
Call the Police
Call 911 if there are any injuries, and if it’s not an emergency situation, call the local police station’s regular line. Be sure to give the police your name, address, and contact information as well as the names, addresses, and contact information of anyone else involved. Give the police a description of the accident, including the time, date, location, and cause, and be sure to cooperate fully with the police investigation.
The police will create a report of the accident. The police report will include information about the accident, such as the time, date, location, and cause. This information can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or if you decide to sue the other driver. In addition, the police can help to gather evidence, such as witness statements and photographs, which may be useful for your lawyer’s investigation.
Exchange Information With the Other Party
This includes getting names, addresses, insurance information, and contact information. You should do this after a car accident, of course, but you should also do this after a premises accident, dog bite, or other personal injury.
The only exception is if you are seriously injured, in which case you should directly to the hospital without any delays, especially if you were injured on the premises of a well-known business. You, the police, and your lawyer can usually easily find out the names of responsible managers or which employees were working at the time of your accident if the injury took place at a business. You may still wish to get the names of any witnesses, if you’re well enough to do so.
Take Photos and Videos
This will help to document the damage and injuries, but be sure to take photos only if it is safe to do so. If you are badly injured, do not delay treatment to take a picture. If someone else is badly injured, do not fail to call 911 in order to take pictures. If the accident scene is unsafe, as, for example, if it’s in the middle of an interstate highway, do not put yourself or others in danger to get photos.
Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you believe that you were at fault for the accident, it is important to avoid admitting fault to the other driver or to the police. Once you admit fault, it can be difficult to change your story later, and admitting fault can make it more difficult to file an insurance claim or to sue the other driver. Admitting fault can lower the amount of compensation you receive and even damage your reputation.
Remember that you may not be aware of all the factors involved in the injury and may admit fault when you don’t have it. For example, you may think a car accident happened because you weren’t paying close enough attention, when in reality, the main factor was the other driver checking cell phone messages.
It is best to let the police and insurance companies investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. If you have any questions about whether you should admit fault, you should speak with an attorney.
Contact an Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you to protect your rights, investigate an accident, negotiate with insurance companies, argue your case in court if necessary, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Get a Copy of All Official Reports
The police report will include information about the accident, such as the time, date, location, and cause. Ask your lawyer about any other reports that might be useful. For example, in the case of a dog bite, you might need the animal control officer’s report.
Additional Tips After an Accident
It is important to stay calm and collected after an accident. This will help you make good decisions, which ultimately helps to protect you. Take a deep breath: a few deep breaths can help to calm your body and mind. If possible, move away from the accident scene and find a quiet place to collect your thoughts.
In the longer term, be sure to talk to someone you trust. Talking to a therapist can help you to process your emotions and feel supported: just be sure not to discuss any details of your case with anyone but your lawyer. It is also important to get some rest after an accident, both physically and emotionally, and to avoid alcohol and drugs as you recover physically and emotionally.
Do not sign any documents or agreements after an accident, even if the other driver or their insurance company asks you to. You may not have all the facts, and you may be waiving your rights inadvertently. Some documents, such as insurance settlement agreements, may contain clauses that waive your right to sue the other driver or file a claim with your own insurance company. You may even be admitting fault and not know it. Always get legal advice before you sign anything.
Talk With a Houston, TX Personal Injury Case Lawyer Right Away
The most important thing to do in the aftermath of an accident is to call a lawyer. A lawyer can protect your rights; and help you understand what all your rights are. Most importantly, your attorney is on your side: the insurance companies and responsible parties are not. Contact Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC right away at 713-547-4903 to get help.