Common Mistakes Made At A Car Accident Scene
Posted in Car Accident on November 20, 2023
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident in Texas can be overwhelming, especially when injuries are involved. Amidst the tensions and complex emotions, it’s easy to make certain mistakes that could affect your health and undermine any legal claims that you may want to pursue. Understanding the common pitfalls during this crucial time is key to protecting your legal rights and working toward a fair resolution.
#1: Admitting Fault to the Other Driver
One of the most critical mistakes to avoid is admitting fault at the accident scene. In the chaos and confusion that follows a collision, it’s natural to want to apologize or accept blame. However, doing so can significantly impact your ability to claim compensation.
Fault is a complex legal determination that considers many factors, and you may not know the true cause of the accident until an investigation is conducted. Therefore, it’s important to limit your discussion with the other party to the exchange of necessary information like contact and insurance details.
#2: Not Reporting the Accident to the Police
Failing to report the accident to the police is another common error. A police report provides an official record of the incident, detailing the circumstances and often including initial assessments of fault and witness statements. This report is crucial evidence in any legal proceedings or insurance claims that follow. Without it, you might face challenges in proving the facts of the case.
Additionally, Texas law requires you to report accidents that result serious injuries, death, or property damage that exceeds $1,000. If you fail to report an accident that meets one of these criteria, you could face serious consequences—including a fine of up to $5,000.
#3: Making Statements About Your Injuries
After a car accident in Texas, you may feel compelled to make statements about your injuries or the lack thereof. It’s important to refrain from doing so. Adrenaline and shock can mask pain, and some injuries, like whiplash or internal trauma, may not be immediately apparent.
Prematurely declaring yourself uninjured could undermine a future claim for medical expenses if injuries manifest later. To protect yourself, do not say anything about your injuries to the other driver, and seek medical care as soon as possible.
#4: Not Documenting Evidence at the Scene
Documenting the scene is vital, provided your injuries don’t prevent you from doing so. This includes taking photographs of the vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs, and injuries, as well as gathering contact information from witnesses. This evidence can be invaluable in piecing together the events and establishing fault, so make sure to collect as much information as possible at the scene.
#5: Making an Under-the-Table Deal with the Other Driver
Sometimes, the other driver might propose handling the matter privately without involving insurance companies. While this may seem like a straightforward solution, it often leads to complications. Without official documentation and the expertise of insurance adjusters, you risk undervaluing your claim. Reject these offers and speak to an attorney in McAllen, Texas instead.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Today
The aftermath of a Texas car accident can be complex, but an attorney can provide the guidance and representation that you need. From dealing with insurance companies to representing your interests in court, an attorney will manage every aspect of your case, allowing you to focus on recovery. After addressing your immediate needs, contact a McAllen, Texas car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and plan your next steps.