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What Do I Do If I Am In A Car Accident?

If you are in a car accident in Texas, it’s essential to take several immediate steps to ensure your safety and follow the law, it’s also important to take action quickly. Car accidents can be very traumatic and it’s often hard to know what to do when facing a stressful situation such as a vehicle accident but here are five things you should do as quickly as possible in order to deal with the situation in a timely manner: 

  1. Ensure Safety: The first and most crucial step is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, and if it’s safe to do so, check on the well-being of others involved. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately to request medical assistance. Once medical professionals are present, they can help treat any injuries including minor scrapes or scratches.
  1. Move to a Safe Location: If the vehicles are drivable and it’s safe to do so, move them to the side of the road to prevent further accidents and traffic disruptions. If moving the vehicles isn’t possible, turn on hazard lights and use warning triangles or flares to alert oncoming traffic. It’s important to make sure that nobody else gets hurt while you sort everything out. 
  2. Contact the Police: In Texas, it’s essential to report the accident to law enforcement, especially if there are injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage. Call 911 or the local police non-emergency number to report the accident. A police report will be crucial for insurance claims and legal purposes. Once you’ve made this police report it can be accessed by your insurance company or law firm depending on if you decide to take further legal action. 
  3. Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. You should collect names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance policy information, and license plate numbers. Be polite and cooperative but avoid discussing fault or blame with the other party in order to avoid any disagreements that may escalate or possibly cause the other party to close themself off from giving out information. 
  4. Document the Accident: Take photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant details. The documentation of the damage can help with your insurance claim and any legal counsel you may decide to hire later on. Write down the names and badge numbers of responding police officers. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information in case their statements are needed later. 

It’s important to note that Texas law requires drivers to have liability insurance, so you must always carry proof of insurance in your vehicle. Also, be aware that Texas follows a modified comparative fault system, meaning your compensation may be reduced if you’re found partially at fault for the accident. Consulting with a car accident lawyer, like our friends at Brandy Austin Law Firm, and notifying your insurance company as soon as possible is advisable to protect your rights and ensure a smooth claims process.