Nobody ever expects to be in a car accident. Sure, there are precautions that we take to drive safely and we remain on the lookout while driving to ensure we spot any potential dangers. However, predicting an accident is something that nobody does.
Just the thought of being involved in a car crash, suffering significant injury, and having your entire life change is enough to cause panic and anxiety.
It’s unfortunate, but this is the reality for tens of thousands of people each and every year. So many people are hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, yet they don’t know what they can do to help themselves moving forward.
Knowing what steps you should take following a car accident is one of the most important ways to remain cautious regarding ways to protect your rights after the crash and seek compensation for the damages you have sustained.
Here are some of the things you have to do in order to put yourself in the most favorable position possible. Keep in mind, not all of these steps may be possible if you suffer a serious injury, but someone else may be able to help you complete these actions.
Remove Your Vehicle from the Road
You’re already in pain from your crash and the last thing you need is another vehicle in the mix. Moving your car from the road can help this and make the scene safer for yourself and others around you. In some cases, you may be able to do this yourself by either driving or pushing it, depending on the damage.
In some cases, you won’t be able to do this on your own and others may need to help or a tow truck would need to be involved. In any case, you should definitely not stay on the road too long—even if your car has to stay where it is—to prevent further damage.
Know What You Need from the Responsible Party
When it comes to car accidents, claims are most likely to go through the responsible party’s insurance company, meaning there are specific documents and details that you must obtain. This means communicating with the other driver, no matter how angry you may be.
First, you want to ensure that you have the other driver’s license and insurance information. This is information that you’ll be providing to your own insurance company so they can work on handling the claim, or to your lawyer to work through the legal process.
You also want to have contact information from the other party and any other documents that may be relevant, such as if they work for a ridesharing company or if they’re driving a company vehicle. There may be other factors involved that need to be known before taking legal action.
The Importance of Witnesses
Odds are, if your accident occurs on one of the many busy streets in Austin, the incident is bound to be seen by one or multiple parties. If possible, you want to speak with these parties after the crash to see if they can provide contact information.
Insurance companies often contact these individuals to get a statement regarding what happened in the accident and their stories can help determine liability. You should get the name and phone number to help build your case.
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
In many situations, there’s very few things that help you tell your story like pictures. This is why—if you can—you should take as many pictures as you can of the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and any visible injuries you may have sustained.
These often tell a story that insurance adjusters, lawyers, and the courts can see based on what they see in the picture. For instance, a photo of the scene of the accident may show tire marks from the other vehicle, potentially showing they were distracted or speeding and needed to slam on their brakes.
Photos of your injuries will show that you did in fact suffer damage as a result of the crash. And in some cases, the cause of the crash and liability may be shown based on the location of the damage to the vehicle.
Accident and Medical Records
If the authorities are on the scene, they most likely take record of what the parties are reporting. They’ll speak with witnesses and keep a record of what was told and what happened. These records can help you during the legal action ahead.
Getting medical attention quickly can help you not only get the necessary treatment, but it also gets you a medical record that helps to prove you sustained a serious injury. These can be used by your lawyer when taking legal action against the negligent party.
Hiring an Austin Car Accident Lawyer
There are so many things that can occur and present obstacles for you to seek compensation, but it can help you to hire an Austin car accident attorney who can help explain your options and stand by your side to protect your rights.
The insurance company is focused on their bottom line—their profit. They want to ensure they’re paying out the lowest amount possible to injury victims by devaluing the claim or attempting to put fault on you for the accident.
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our team has decades of experience helping individuals who have been harmed by the negligent actions of another. We know how difficult this process can be and we know that other parties may try to take advantage of your rights.
We go the extra mile to help our clients seek the compensation they need following a car accident. You deserve to have strong legal advocacy and a commitment to your well-being. This is where we come in. We’re ready to help you.
Call us today for a free consultation and learn what legal options you may have.