If you’ve had a car accident on one of our busy roads, there’s a good chance that you wanted nothing more than to get on your way again. That is what the police advise most of the time in order to keep traffic moving. But that doesn’t mean that the event is over.
There are some steps you need to take immediately after any accident. Some of them are required by law and some are to make sure you aren’t held liable for something that isn’t your fault. But if you have been injured you need to be sure that you have the resources you need to make a full recovery.
At the accident scene
If you’ve already had an accident, hopefully you took care of all of these steps. They are worth remembering for any future accident that both parties can drive away from. Small crashes like that usually don’t involve the police, but it’s best to take these steps no matter what:
- Exchange information with the other driver including name, insurance, license number, and license plates
- Photograph all damage that you can on both cars
- Any statements from witnesses, especially their names
If the damage was over $1,000 or the accident resulted in an injury, you are required to fill out Crash Report Form CR-2 and file it with the local police within ten days. It’s very easy to hit that limit quickly with today’s cars. This is important if you are filing an insurance claim.
Feel sore the next day?
Many injuries from minor car accidents are not known for days after the accident. If you are experiencing soreness in your neck or shoulders, or have a tingling in your arms, you should see a doctor right away. Let them know you were in an accident, no matter how small it may have seemed at the time.
This is important to take care of right away, and not just so that it makes it onto the crash report. It is important to document any injuries which may have resulted as soon as possible.
Call from insurance? Talk to an attorney
If you receive a call from your either the other party’s insurance company or your own, you should talk to an attorney right away. They have their tricks for getting you to admit fault, so it’s important that you say nothing.
Texas is an “at fault” state, meaning that insurance doesn’t pay out to drivers who are to blame for an accident. They will try to get you to admit it was your fault in order to get out of paying.
This is especially true if you find that you have indeed been injured. Soft tissue damage and related injuries still take time to heal, and they can cost you if your health insurance deductable is high or you lose work.
You have a right to a full recovery after an accident. A few simple steps right after the accident can make all the difference for getting you the compensation you deserve for an accident that was not your fault.