Seven Steps to Take After Your Car Accident
Texans have known for a long time that Texas is a great place to live. Apparently, word has gotten out, because many Texas cities, including San Antonio and Austin, are growing at a rapid pace. All this growth is great for the economy but it also means more cars on the road.
More cars lead to more accidents. In one year, one car accident was reported on Texas roads every minute, causing over 17,000 injuries and nearly 4,000 deaths. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve to have your medical expenses covered by the at-fault party. To help you get there, these are the steps you should take immediately after your car accident.
1. Call 911
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, call 911. When you call the police, they will examine the accident scene and create an objective report describing what they believe happened during the accident based on the available evidence. While the police report may not assign fault, it will provide your insurance company with clear and detailed information regarding the accident, which will help to show you did not cause the accident.
In addition to diagramming the accident, the police will speak with the other driver and any witnesses. These witness statements will help to show you were not at-fault in the accident.
2. Speak to Witnesses
It’s also important that you collect witness contact information. Not all witnesses will be able to stick around until the police arrive to give an official statement. You should get contact information from all witnesses so your insurance company can call and talk to them later.
Witnesses can be a valuable resource in helping to show you did not cause the accident. Witness statements help to demonstrate to the police and the insurance company who was at-fault by painting a picture of the moments leading up to your accident.
3. Take Pictures
The old cliché that pictures say a thousand words is true. While witness statements are important, getting photographs of the accident scene can help your case immensely.
It’s also important to document the damage to your vehicle and any other cars in addition to your injuries. These photographs will help create a clear picture of what happened.
4. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. A car accident is a frightening event, and your adrenaline is running high so you may feel very little pain or even none at all. This could be masking the symptoms of more severe injuries.
Besides getting medical treatment for your immediate injuries, being seen by a medical professional can help to ensure your injuries are properly documented. After your accident, you want to know what injuries the impact caused. The best way to do this is to make sure a medical professional documents your injuries. These medical records will help to show what caused your injuries and the impact they’ve had on your life.
5. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is another ongoing step you can take to document how the accident affected you. You should write down a description of your condition every day. Document how you’re feeling, what progress you’re making in your recovery, and if any new pain has entered the picture.
Keeping a regular journal of your injuries and your progress will help to ensure you are properly cared for after your car accident. Your journal may be an important component to your car accident claim so be sure to keep detailed records.
6. Get Help With Your Bills
Car accident crash deaths account for over $40 billion worth of expenses and lost work annually in the United States. While not all car accidents result in death, this statistic illustrates car accidents’ extreme cost. Car accident injury expenses total over $18 billion annually nationwide. This expense can quickly leave victims of car accident injuries in a worse financial situation through no fault of their own.
This is why it’s so important to get help with your medical expenses. The best way to make sure your injuries are covered is to seek the assistance of a trusted and skilled car accident injury lawyer in San Antonio. The right lawyer can make all the difference in the success of your claim.
The most common damages you may try to collect are:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Lost wages;
- Medical bills; and
- Rehabilitation costs.
Do not speak with your insurance company before you speak with a car accident lawyer. Your insurance company doesn’t always have your best interests in mind. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and if they pay out the full value of your claim, they generally won’t make money on your policy. This is why some shady insurance companies hurt their customers by offering low-ball settlement offers.
The insurance company knows you need money, so they offer you a quick settlement hoping you’ll take the quick cash to pay your medical bills. The problem is that this low-ball offer likely won’t cover your future medical costs. Working with an experienced car crash attorney can help you accurately estimate your future medical bills so you don’t end up paying for any of your expenses out-of-pocket.
Besides that, the initial low-ball offer will also include language prohibiting you from bringing a future claim against the insurance company for this accident. By signing the settlement offer, you’ll waive your right to collect additional money later when you realize the settlement didn’t cover all of your expenses. This is a tragic situation made even worse.
7. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Answer Additional Questions
You will want a trusted, experienced car accident team to help you recover the full value of your claim and to take the legal stress off your plate so you can focus on your recovery. The first step, however, is to get in touch with a Texas car accident attorney who can evaluate your claim and make sure you understand the process of seeking compensation.