If you have never been involved in a car accident in the past, you may experience a variety of emotions when you suddenly end up at the end of an accident, especially if you have been injured. When the emotions are high and your adrenaline pumping, it’s easy to forget about the steps to take, the information to get, or just wondering whether or not to call the police. Most people don’t realize that a police report can help prove what happened in an accident. It’s not just a mere record for the police department – it’s solid evidence to the insurance carrier of who is to blame, making liability nearly impossible to question.
7 steps after a car accident in San Antonio, Texas
By following these steps, you can ensure that you don’t forget to collect important information that can protect your claim against the culprit:
- Report Your Accident – Call and report your accident to 911 if there has been injury or death, if one of the vehicles cannot be moved, if you suspect the driver is drunk, or if the accident was a hit. Quickly determine if someone needs emergency care.
- Wait on the spot – if you leave the scene, the police can charge you with hit and run. If possible, move your vehicle out of the way to a safer location and make sure everyone has their hazards turned on to alert others on the road. When the police arrive, try to remain calm so that you think clearly and give the reporter precise details and facts about what happened. Do not blame yourself or others, or make an official statement to the police or insurance carriers without speaking to an experienced lawyer.
- Take photos – Record anything you can think of (like the damage to all vehicles) or what may have contributed to the accident (like the condition of the road). Take pictures of your injuries if you can. Take photos of damage to the road, blocked traffic signs, or if there has been construction in the area. Document any debris such as broken glass or skid marks on the road. Having too many pictures of the damage and the surrounding scene is far better than not having none.
- Exchange information with the other driver – Gather their name, phone number (s) and additional contact information, driver’s license number, insurance company and information, vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number. If someone refuses to provide this information, wait for the police to arrive. You can get this information from them instead. If there were any witnesses, be sure to collect their names and contact information as well.
- Once you have been taken to the hospital, make sure you fully assess what injuries you are sustaining so that the doctors and nurses mapping you have a record of it. If your injuries are not severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, you should see a doctor who specializes in car crash treatment as soon as possible. Complete records show the culpable carrier the extent of your injuries by medical professionals. Make a note of changes between your appointments. If you don’t know where to go, give our lawyers a call so we can help and find trusted doctors in your area.
- Contact your auto insurer to report your accident. Don’t give them an explanation, just let them know that you are giving the facts of your accident. It is best to report the accident within 24 hours. Be careful with who you talk to about your accident and injuries. Our lawyers can provide further help with the dos and don’ts after an accident.
- Contact a dedicated auto accident attorney – our attorneys are personal injury only and are very experienced with auto accidents.
Still have questions about your car accident in San Antonio? We have answers
Do I have to file a police report in San Antonio?
Under Texas law, a police report must be filed if someone is injured or died, or if at least one vehicle has been damaged in excess of $ 1,000. Failure to file a report in these circumstances will result in a fine of up to $ 5,000, jail time, or both.
How do I report an accident to the DMV in San Antonio?
If the police were not called about your accident and you are required to file a report, you have 10 days to complete the CR-2 form, commonly known as the “Blue Form”, and present it to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Are auto accident reports public in San Antonio?
Car accident reports are not available online to the general public but can be purchased for a small fee if you have the specific information needed to identify the accident.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Despite the number of safety measures we can take in our daily life, there will always be car accidents – they are just an unfortunate part of life. Treating yourself too hard only leads to unnecessary stress in an already very stressful situation. Let our skilled attorneys and staff handle the insurance carriers and do all of the legwork while you focus on the important part – finding treatment so you can be cured of your injuries.
We go far beyond our customers. Call our Patterson Law Group team at 817-784-2000 today for a free initial consultation on your case.