What to Do After a Car Accident to Help Your Injury Claim
The moments after a car accident can feel overwhelming. You may have severe injuries, be concerned about the safety of your passengers, and worry about the state of your vehicle. You may also worry about how you will be able to pay for the losses you endured in the crash, such as treatment for injuries and recovery from lost wages.
Under Texas law, you file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the other driver if he or she is responsible for the crash. To preserve your right to compensation, take the following steps to preserve evidence and protect the value of your claim.
#1: Document the Accident Scene
Evidence is freshest immediately after a car accident. If you can move without putting yourself in danger or risking further injury, you can help your claim by documenting as much as you can at the crash site.
- Speak to witnesses and collect as much information as possible. Ask for their contact information so they can provide testimony in your future claim.
- Take as many photographs from as many angles as you can. Photograph the debris and damage to both vehicles, any injuries you have, and any signs or signals in the area.
- Call the police. Not only will this bring emergency medical services to the scene, but a responding officer will interview all parties and create a police report. This report will provide valuable information, including evidence of fault, that you could use in your claim.
#2: Seek Medical Attention
One of the most common and serious mistakes car accident victims make is not seeking medical attention after an accident. You should always go to the hospital after an accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. You could have injuries you are unaware of and if you do not receive treatment, these injuries can worsen and lead to long-term complications or life-threatening conditions.
In addition, your medical records will be valuable pieces of evidence for your claim. You can use your records to prove the nature of your injuries, the cost of your past and future treatment, and the long-term damage you may suffer from. An insurance company could also use a lack of medical evidence as proof that your injuries are not serious, and then deny or reduce your settlement.
#3: Contact a Texas Car Accident Attorney
Finally, it is important to contact a McAllen car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak to an insurance adjuster or the at-fault driver until you consult with an attorney. Your lawyer can provide valuable benefits to your case, including the following.
- Negotiation skills to handle discussions with insurance adjusters
- The ability to calculate the full value of your settlement and evaluate any offers you receive
- Access to expert witnesses who can validate your claim, such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists
- Knowledge of your local court system and experience handling car accident claims similar to yours
- The ability to handle all paperwork and communications related to your case, reducing your stress and allowing you to focus on recovery
After a car accident, the most important step is to seek medical attention. After receiving treatment, contact your attorney to discuss your legal options. At your consultation, your lawyer will evaluate your case, review preliminary evidence, and explain your optimal pathway to maximum compensation.