By the time you finish reading this post, several people will have suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents across the country, perhaps even here in Texas. In fact, over 6 million traffic accidents occur every year, resulting in millions of injuries and thousands of deaths. Even a simple fender bender can bring frustration, inconvenience and unexpected expense to your life. If you are injured, all those factors will seem to multiply.
There are some steps you can take if you are involved in an accident that may reduce the frustration and assist you in reclaiming some of the expense. Whether you intend to file a claim with your insurance company or seek damages through a personal injury claim, you can help your cause from the moment the dust settles.
Making your case
Your first steps should be to contact emergency services to send police and medical responders to the scene. A medical examination is critical since, in all the excitement, you may not be able to recognize if you are injured. It is wise to allow medical technicians to examine you, and it is best not to refuse if they suggest you go to the hospital for a more thorough exam. If they do not suggest this, make an appointment with your own doctor as soon as possible.
An accident with injuries can be frightening and confusing, and it is important that you try to think as clearly as possible so you don’t miss the opportunity to gather as much information as possible. Fortunately, most people have technology at their fingertips. If you are able, you can begin right away to collect what you need by taking as many photos as you can, for example:
- The damage done to your vehicle
- Any damage the other driver’s vehicle sustained
- A variety of angles of the positions of the vehicles
- Any marks on the pavement
- The surrounding area including traffic lights, hazards or obstructions to a driver’s view
- The occupants of the other vehicle
- Your own injuries
Other details you will need are the name and contact information of the other driver, any passengers in the other vehicle, and any witnesses or bystanders. You will also want to remember the name of the police officer who responds to the scene. This information will be important if your case should go to court.
While you gather this information, it is essential that you do not talk too much. You do not want to accidentally say something the other driver may interpret as accepting blame for the accident. It is best to say as little as possible until you have a chance to talk to your attorney.