The choices that you make immediately after a car crash will affect your legal position and your right to compensation after the crash. Little mistakes and oversights can come back to haunt you weeks later by complicating your insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
You need to know what steps to take after a crash to protect yourself and the people you love, or you risk suffering major financial losses despite the rules in place that should protect you from the aftermath of a collision.
What steps are key to a positive outcome following a crash?
1. Reporting the collision
Texas state law mandates filing a police report after any crash that causes injury or substantial property damage. Frequently, people put themselves at a disadvantage by choosing to forego the police report.
They don’t notify the proper authorities that the crash occurred, and then they have a real challenge ahead of them if they need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Even if the other driver promises to pay your costs in cash, you still need to or the crash to the police, or you may have no way to hold them to their word.
2. Preserving the evidence
Taking a moment to record a video of the crash scene and capture numerous photographs can protect you from claims later that you were the one to blame for the collision. You may also need to talk to witnesses to get their names, phone numbers and email addresses. Finally, informing a police officer of your suspicions can be important if you want to preserve evidence for a later insurance claim.
3. Undergoing medical evaluation
Whether you have a noticeable injury or experienced a collision that caused severe damage to your vehicle, you may require the help of a medical professional to thoroughly check yourself for signs of injury. The sooner you secure a diagnosis from a doctor, the easier it will be for you to validate your claim that your medical injuries and lost wages are a direct result of the crash.
4. Consult with a legal professional
Even if you hope that car insurance will fully cover your costs, you may need help putting a price on your claim and negotiating with the insurance company. If you have to go to civil court, representing yourself could put you at a significant disadvantage. Those who have appropriate representation by a personal injury attorney will have an easier time filing an insurance claim or taking someone else to civil court after a crash.
Knowing what steps to take following a motor vehicle collision will help you better protect and assert your rights.