What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Hidalgo County?
by PalmaLaw | May 11th, 2023 | Personal Injury
From minor fender benders to major collisions, every car accident is stressful. Knowing what to do in the aftermath of an accident can help protect you not only physically, but also legally.
Below, your Hidalgo County car crash attorneys from Palma Law explain what you should do if you’ve been involved in a car or truck accident in Texas. Don’t hesitate to contact us for answers to any questions you may have. We’d be proud to fight for any compensation you may be owed.
1. Stay In Your Vehicle, Unless It’s on Fire or Flooding
Believe it or not, your car is usually the safest place you can be after an auto accident. You might feel the urge to get out and get away from the vehicle, but doing so can put you in danger of being hit by debris or other vehicles. It’s not uncommon for minor accidents to turn deadly due to secondary collisions with victims on the roadway. Your vehicle offers the best protection against these sorts of incidents.
The only exceptions to this rule are vehicle fires and flooding: if your vehicle is on fire, exit from the vehicle as soon as you can safely do so, away from traffic if possible. If your vehicle entered a body of water as a result of the crash, exit through a window using a headrest to break through if needed.
2. Check for Injuries and Call 911
Following the collision, check both yourself and any passengers for injuries. If there are any major injuries, the injured person should not be moved. Call 911 as soon as possible. If you are too injured to call 911 on your own, ask someone else to make the call for you.
If you are injured, ask for help with the remaining steps in this guide.
3. Move Out of the Way of Traffic
If your vehicle is still functional and poses a hazard to oncoming traffic, move it out of the way. If your vehicle can’t be moved, remain inside until traffic is completely clear. If you are certain that it is safe to do so, you can exit your vehicle and move as far from the roadway as possible.
4. Wait for Emergency Assistance
Even once the dust has settled following an accident, that doesn’t always mean the scene is safe. During stressful events, tempers can run hot, sometimes triggering road rage incidents. Avoid communicating with other parties involved in the crash until emergency personnel have arrived on the scene.
Staying in your vehicle may help prevent conflicts following a crash.
5. Exchange Information
In order to make an insurance claim following a crash, you will need to exchange certain information with all parties involved in the crash:
- Full names
- Driver’s licenses
- Contact information
- Insurance provider and policy number
Once emergency personnel have arrived on the scene, they may offer to exchange this information on your behalf. Be prepared to provide your own information to all other parties.
6. Gather Evidence
In addition to the personal information exchanged with the other driver or drivers involved in the crash, you will also need to gather certain evidence. If you were injured in the crash, you will need to ask for help with this process.
- Pictures and videos of the scene and all damage
- License plate number, type, model, and color of all vehicles
- Contact information for witnesses, including passengers
- Record the identification numbers of the officers involved
- Request a copy of the police report
In order to successfully file a claim following a crash, you will need evidence to prove that the incident happened as you say it did. An Edinburg personal injury attorney can help you gather additional information, including expert testimony, to support your claim.
7. Contact an Attorney Before Insurance
If you were involved in a minor car accident, you may be able to handle the process of filing a claim and getting an insurance payout on your own. However, if there were injuries involved or the crash was more serious, you should consider speaking to an attorney before your insurance adjuster to ensure your rights are protected.
Your insurance adjuster’s job is to give you as little compensation as they can, and that makes your interactions with them very important to your case. An Edinburg personal injury lawyer, like those at Palma Law, can help ensure your claim is as strong as possible.