Car accidents and other types of motor vehicle collisions are among the leading causes of catastrophic injury and death in Houston and across the United States.
In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2012 there were 27,010 Houstonians injured and 193 killed in traffic crashes throughout the city.
Unfortunately, car accidents have become all too common especially with people being distracted while driving. Most people know what to do in an accident, but when they are actually involved in a motor vehicle crash emotions and adrenaline run high. We often make mistakes or do not remember what steps to take to ensure that we have a sound case especially if we are injured.
What steps should you take if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident?
The first step is to pull over to a safe place so that further damage is not done to you or your vehicle. Once you are in a safe place, you can start the exchange of information with the other driver. If you are severely injured, and you need to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, the exchange of information can be done at a later time. Why is this exchange of information so important? The exchange of information is critical so that the insurance company has all the correct information to handle your claim.
What type of information should be obtained?
Regardless of the scenario; however, the information exchanged must include basic information in the form of: The individual’s address, name, contact information, insurance information, driver’s license number and license plate number.
In addition to the exchange of information, you should take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any visible injuries that you have sustained such as bleeding or bruising.
A police officer should be called to the scene, so that the officer can write up a police report, obtain statements from all parties involved, and speak to any witnesses to the crash.
Once you are able, you should start documenting any details about the accident that you remember. You should document any injuries sustained during the accident or caused by the accident by keeping a journal of your ongoing medical treatment and pain. Also, keep track of any activities that you are unable to do because of the injuries. Activities include hobbies, household chores, and work. Begin keeping track of all expenses incurred from the damage. These include, property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages if you missed any work.
Once all the information has been obtained, the next step is to contact your Houston personal injury attorney to increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement. Insurance companies benefit from under compensating injured persons. Therefore, it is best to contact your attorney BEFORE filing a claim with the insurance company.
If the other driver caused your accident, such as by aggressive driving, texting or talking on a cell phone, or drinking and driving, you are most likely entitled to pursue compensation by filing a claim against his or her liability insurance policy.
I can help you by gathering evidence to prove fault in the case, preparing your claim and representing you with the insurance company. If they refuse to pay you the amount that you deserve, I may even take the case to trial in pursuit of a jury verdict in your favor.