While no one can know when a car accident is going to happen, there are certain things you can do to be prepared. It is natural for a person to be flustered and “not thinking straight” after an accident, but remembering a few important principles will not only help you stay safe, but they can make the difference between a successful and unfavorable auto accident claim.
Texas law requires all drivers to pull over and exchange information with the other driver(s) involved after an accident. Failure to do so could result in a hit-and-run (leaving the scene) charge, which is more severe if bodily injury or death resulted from the accident. Drivers may want to go into flight mode after an accident because they fear the consequences, but remember to remain at the scene, get out and exchange all the necessary information with the other driver(s).
What information should you exchange? Only the basics. This could include names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved. Some drivers try to obtain written or verbal admissions of guilt. Remember to never admit any fault to the other drivers, an insurance company or a law enforcement officer. By doing this, the value of your claim could be dramatically decreased and in the worst-case scenario, you could be held completely at fault for the accident.
All drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance. In the event of an accident, all drivers involved will file a claim with their insurance company. Here is where you need to be prepared. If at all possible, have all the following information ready when you file your claim or speak with an insurance adjuster:
- Any pictures you took of the accident
- Notes and written details you took down about the accident
- Information about the other drivers involved
- Medical bills (for any injuries you sustained)
- An estimate of the damages (auto body estimate)
If you were injured in the accident, you should immediately call or have someone call emergency medical services. Do not wait to seek medical attention, because this could potentially reduce the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters may not take medical bills into account when totaling the value of your claim if you delayed to get treatment.
Finally, it is important to review your auto insurance policy. Be sure that you understand what type of damage you are covered for and to what extent. Knowing your auto insurance policy will lessen the chances of your insurance company blatantly offering you less than you deserve. To learn more about what you should do after a car accident, call a Longview auto accident lawyer at the Sloan Firm today for a free case evaluation.
Don’t settle for this point in your life. Let our Longview car accident lawyers help you. At the Sloan Firm, we make our clients our #1 priority!