Are You a Car Accident Victim?
Car accidents happen everyday and can turn your life upside down in an instant. This is why you should be prepared with the knowledge of what to do after a car accident before you ever get into one. Learning what to do once an accident has occurred is too late. This article will help inform you about what to do if you are a car accident victim.
1) Remain at the Accident Scene
If you are a car accident victim it is important to not leave the accident scene. Remaining at the accident scene can help preserve evidence, not aggravate any injuries caused by the accident, maintain contact with witnesses, gather insurance information, allow medical services to better treat you, and prevents any liability associated with a hit and run.
2) Assess Your Injuries
A car accident victim can suffer severe and even life threatening injuries. Your health and your passengers’ health is of the utmost importance. Remain in your car when you initially assess your injuries. Exiting the vehicle prior to appropriately assessing your injuries could unnecessarily aggravate your injuries.
3) Contact Emergency Services if Necessary
Contact emergency services if you have suffered injuries from the accident. Even if you are unsure about whether or not you have suffered any injuries it may best to contact emergency services. Often, injuries suffered in a car accident do not present themselves until after you have left the accident scene hours later. You may have aggravated these injuries by the time they are discovered. This aggravation could have easily been avoided by receiving a through medical evaluation from emergency services at the accident scene.
Contact emergency services if you believe there is damage to your vehicle. Your vehicle could be leaking dangerous fluids, be unsafe to drive, or be inoperable. Additionally, just because your vehicle appears to be safe to drive, it may not be. Damage to your vehicle may not be immediately apparent, and only presents itself once you eventually leave the accident scene. This damage could make your vehicle unsafe to drive and could endanger your life or other motorists’ lives.
Contact emergency services if you believe the other driver is intoxicated or does not have insurance. In Texas you are required to have basic automobile liability coverage.
4) Move Your Vehicle When Appropriate
You should move your vehicle if you do not have any injuries, your car can be moved, and your car is safe to move. Moving your car can prevent traffic jams and future accidents, and makes it easier for emergency services to reach the accident scene.
5) Exchange Information
One of the most important things you can do as a car accident victim is to exchange personal and insurance information. The information you should collect is:
- The name of the driver involved in the accident
- The driver’s contact information and driver’s license number
- Take pictures of the driver’s license to maintain accurate records
- Car insurance information (company name and policy number)
- Take pictures of the car insurance information to maintain accurate records
6) Obtain Witness Contact Information
Witnesses can be extremely valuable for your personal injury claim. Witnesses can help bolster your claim by providing testimony in support of your account. The information you should gather is:
- Witness names
- Witness contact information
- Responding police officers’ names and badge numbers
- Names of other emergency responders
7) Gather Evidence
You should gather evidence if you are physically able to. The evidence you should gather includes:
- A description of the vehicle involved in the accident (make, model, year, color, license plat number)
- Pictures of damage to your car
- Pictures of the surrounding area
- Street signs
- Traffic signs
- Traffic lights
- Skid marks
- The accident scene’s conditions (wet, icy, foggy, etc.)
- Look for traffic cameras or security cameras and record their location
- Obtain a copy of the police report or information on how to obtain the police report if one is made
8) Contact Your Insurance Company
Your car insurance company requires you to contact them if you are involved in a car accident. If you fail to contact your insurance company in a timely manner then your insurance company may affect your coverage. You should cooperate with your insurance company’s questions and requests for information or pictures.
9) Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Stolmeier Law has served car accident victims in San Antonio and South Texas for over 35 years. Our team is dedicated to helping you receive as much compensation as possible. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a car accident Call Stolmeier Law today.