Next Steps After an Accident
According to statistics from the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts, there were 474,549 total crashes statewide in 2020. When a traffic crash occurs, victims are often confused about what to do next and how to seek compensation for their injuries. However, the next steps you take after the incident can significantly affect the outcome of your injury claim. Our experienced Texas personal injury attorneys can enlighten you about what you do after an accident and help you navigate crucial decisions.
At Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, our attorneys have the diligence, resources, and experience to help you hold those liable for your injuries accountable. We proudly serve clients across Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, and Brazoria County.
Steps to Take After an Accident
The moments following an accident can be unsettling and confusing to sort through. However, what you do – or do not do – can have a huge impact on your ability to recover damages and the amount of compensation you may receive. When involved in an accident, you should take the following steps where possible:
Remain Calm: It is normal to be terrified after an accident. However, you need to remain as calm as possible. Never let your emotions get the best of you.
Perform a Safety Check: Also, you should be concerned about your health, safety, and wellbeing. Exit your car – or the accident scene – carefully and get to safety. Help other accident victims get to safety if you can
Seek Immediate Medical Help: Call 911 to get immediate medical attention for your injuries and other victims. Getting adequate medical attention from a qualified doctor is crucial:
For your overall health and wellbeing
To ensure that you are safe
To determine the extent of your physical injuries
To detect any hidden injuries that are yet to fully manifest
For proper documentation when filing your injury claims
To comply with insurance requirements
To avoid potential issues with the insurance company.
Report to Police: Texas law requires any person involved in an accident that causes bodily injury, death, or property damage of over $1,000 to report the accident to the police.
Documentation: Obtain and record the following information and documentation:
Relevant information about the other driver, including the driver's names, address, phone number, license number, insurance policy, insurance information, and vehicle registration number.
Accident scene pictures
Witness statements and testimonies.
Medical records, including medical reports, medical expenses, and doctor's appointments
A personal account of the incident and how it affects your day-to-day activities.
Notify Insurance: Inform your insurer about the incident. Some insurance companies in Texas need policyholders involved in any accident to notify them within a couple of days after the incident.
Hire Our Attorneys: Hiring our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys to help file your injury claims, negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies involved, or take additional legal action where necessary. We can evaluate all of the surrounding facts of your unique situation and enlighten you about the possible pitfalls to avoid when pursuing your injury claims.
Potential Pitfalls to Avoid
Here are some potential pitfalls to avoid when seeking your injury claims:
Uninsured Driver: It is never advisable to file a lawsuit against an uninsured at-fault driver. A lawsuit or claim can only take money that the at-fault party has. Rather, you can file an uninsured driver's claim with your own insurance company.
Ensure Medical Expenses are Final: Ensure that you have attained the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before settling your injury claims. The MMI is the stage at which your health condition can't be improved any further. If you're yet to fully recover and still require ongoing medical treatments, you should wait until you reach MMI or full recovery.
Consider All Accident Related Costs: Also, consult with your lawyer before you accept the insurance company's settlement offer. Attorneys can evaluate all accident-related costs, including lost income, property damages, loss of enjoyment of life, and other potential damages.
Never Accept the First Settlement Offer: The insurance company may offer a ridiculously low first settlement offer to test your resolve. Do not be pressured into taking the offer. Your legal counsel can help you negotiate an improved offer or file a personal injury lawsuit when necessary.
Statute of Limitations: In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, such as motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death claims, is usually two (2) years from the date the injury or accident occurred. Do not miss the 2-year statute of limitation to file your injury claims.
Work With Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Getting injured in a negligent accident can be an emotional and unsettling experience. Unfortunately, such an incident can affect your physical, financial, and mental health. Taking the necessary steps after the accident is crucial to improve your chances of recovering fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can explore your options to recover damages and help file your injury claims.
At Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to assisting and representing accident victims in their injury claims. Our team can seek to determine the full extent of your injuries, estimate case value, and help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider. Having our team on your side can make a huge difference in your personal injury claims.
Contact Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, today to schedule a simple consultation with our skilled auto accident attorneys. Our trusted team can help protect your best interests and help pursue the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, damages, pain, suffering, or losses. We're proud to serve clients across Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, and Brazoria County.