What Are The Top 5 Things I Should Do After A Car Accident In Texas?

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Carl R. Knickerbocker - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Carl R. Knickerbocker

Located in Georgetown, TXLaw Office of Carl Knickerbocker, PC

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If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, your first step should be to call 911 and get prompt medical treatment. But there are other important things you can do to help ensure that you receive the maximum available compensation for your injuries and your property damage.

1. Gather The Other Driver’s Information 

This includes the other driver’s name, license plate number, phone number, address and insurance information. You might also want to note anything the other driver says to indicate that the accident was their fault. 

2.  Document The Accident Scene And Your Injuries 

If you can, take pictures of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles and the area where the crash occurred. Also, take pictures of your injuries if they are visible. All of this can be used as evidence in your personal injury and property damage claims. 

Additionally, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. After the police file an accident report, request a copy of the report for your records. Again, this evidence will be useful as your attorney works to secure the maximum available compensation for your injuries. 

3. Seek Appropriate Medical Treatment 

When you call to report the accident, tell the dispatcher about your injury. Whether or not an emergency room visit is necessary will depend on how bad the injury is, but do not hesitate to get emergency treatment if you are seriously injured. It is also important to note that many primary care clinics and urgent care clinics do not treat injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, and these clinics are likely to refer you to the nearest emergency room. 

After the crash, be sure to self-monitor your condition. Sometimes injuries – particularly neck, back, head and other internal injuries – do not show obvious symptoms until days or even weeks after the collision. It is generally a good idea to see a doctor after a motor vehicle accident, regardless of whether you think your injuries are serious. A doctor can conduct a thorough exam to determine whether any injuries exist that are not obvious. 

Seeing a doctor also starts the medical record of your injury, and your medical record will serve as important evidence for your personal injury claim. Keep in mind, too, that if you wait to get the medical treatment you need, the insurance company may claim that your injury isn’t as bad as it is. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you with regard to doctors who can provide the appropriate medical treatment you need for your specific injury. 

4. Contact An Attorney, And Do Not Agree To Give The Insurance Company A Recorded Statement 

The insurance adjuster’s questions are designed to get you to say something that will reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Before giving a recorded statement to the insurance company and before agreeing to a settlement, talk to a personal injury lawyer. Once you do that, your attorney can represent you and ensure that all communications with the insurance company are handled properly and with your best interests in mind. An experienced lawyer can also work to build a strong case that maximizes your compensation while you focus on healing. 

5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders, And Do Not Stop Medical Treatment Prematurely 

Sometimes people with serious injuries get tired of going to the doctor, but if you prematurely stop going to medical appointments, your health could suffer in the long run, and the insurance company may claim that your injury is not as severe as it truly is. 

Keep in mind that a personal injury claim could lead to compensation for short-term and long-term medical costs, as well as compensation for lost wages and other damages.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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