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Do’s and Don’ts Immediately After a Car Crash

A car accident can be a traumatic event, and many individuals may feel panicked afterward, finding it difficult to think clearly. If you are in an accident, here are some do’s and don’ts to follow, which can also help when seeking compensation for damages or injuries suffered.

Do’s:

  • Call 911 — You should call 911 to report auto accidents that have resulted in injuries or caused a vehicle to become disabled.
  • Seek medical attention — It’s best to seek medical attention after an automobile accident, even if you don’t think you were injured. Getting immediate care will allow for early intervention and avoid additional injuries that can occur when existing injuries go untreated. Have the treating physician document any injuries and treatment received.
  • Document the accident scene — Take pictures of the scene, any damage and note nearby traffic or surveillance cameras. In addition, be sure to collect the other driver’s information and the contact information of any witnesses. Ask witnesses to provide you with a quick text of what they heard or saw so that you can gather this information while it is still fresh in their minds.
  • Request and obtain a copy of the police officer’s crash report — In most cases, an individual can get a copy of the crash report on the Texas Department of Transportation website for under $10.
  • Hire an experienced personal injury attorney — It is always best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer early on to help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t apologize or admit fault — After an accident, many individuals are shaken, confused and emotional. You may feel compelled to say “sorry” even if you were not at fault. However, be aware that these reflexive statements can later affect your recovery even if you were not actually at fault.
  • Don’t speak with the other driver’s representatives — Refrain from speaking with the other party’s insurance or legal representatives until you have retained an attorney. Let your attorney handle all communications and guide you through the resolution process.
  • Don’t make car repairs without preserving your black box — Be sure to preserve the information on your car’s event data recorder (EDR), more commonly known as the “black box.” The EDR captures valuable data documenting approximately five seconds of information before a collision.
  • Don’t accept payments or sign anything — The other driver’s insurance or legal representatives may provide you with payment or documents to sign, resulting in a release of claims or even full or partial admission of guilt. These initial payment offers are often much lower than the total amount of compensation you could pursue in court. Speak to an attorney before signing documents or accepting any payments.

Leland Reinhard Law Firm assists clients throughout Johnson, Hill, Somervell, and Hood counties who have been injured in auto accidents. Call 817-645-5400 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at my Cleburne office.