Getting in a car wreck is disorienting, and serious crashes can leave you with lifelong injuries. But what if, additionally, the accident was not your fault?
In this blog, our experienced team of Austin, Texas car accident lawyers at The Stewart Law Firm will walk you through the steps you need to take to ensure your safety and get properly compensated for your damages.
What to do at the scene of your car accident in Texas
First, here are the steps you should take immediately after your car wreck, to make sure that you are safe and have gathered all the initial documentation you need.
1. Stay out of the way of traffic
If it is safe for you to do so, move your car to the side of the road or out of the way of oncoming traffic. Especially if the wreck was not your fault and you are hoping to seek compensation, you must remain at the scene and wait for medical help and/or law enforcement to arrive.
2. Check if urgent medical attention is needed
Make sure that you and your passengers are safe and not in need of immediate medical attention.
If anybody is seriously injured, call 911, or have somebody else call 911 if you are not capable. Stay still, as attempting to move from the car may make your injuries worse.
You should check everybody, including yourself, for injuries whether or not the accident was your fault.
3. Take pictures of the accident
If everyone is safe, or if emergency medical help is already on the way, then your next step is to take pictures of the accident. If you are not able to do so, you can ask someone nearby to take this step for you.
Be sure to document:
- Any injuries you or your passengers sustained
- Pictures of the accident from different angles
- Your car
- The other car(s)
- Where the accident occurred
Once you’ve taken all the pictures you need, you can move your car off the road to avoid incoming traffic. Of course, if it is not safe or possible to move the car, leave it where it is.
4. Report the case to the local authorities
Next, call the local police to alert them of the accident.
When they get to the scene, the police will file an accident report that includes:
- The circumstances of the incident
- The immediate damages
- The injuries sustained
This report will be essential for you to file your claim later on. In the event that it is inaccurate, it is possible to dispute the police report.
5. Exchange information with those present at the accident
From the other driver(s), you should collect:
- Phone numbers
- License information
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
From witnesses, you will need just their names and phone numbers, so that your attorney will be able to contact them later to get more information about the wreck.
After these first steps, there are a few more things that you will need to take care of once you’ve left the scene of the accident.
What to do after a wreck that wasn’t your fault in Austin, Texas
If the accident was not your fault, then you can fight to be adequately compensated for your damages at the fault of the other driver. Here’s how to get started.
1. Seek medical attention
Whether or not you feel as though your injuries were severe, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident.
In many cases, injuries are not immediately visible and can develop into serious conditions over time. You may have a concussion and not be aware of it, or another injury that wasn’t evident in the shock and adrenaline of the incident.
When you do see a doctor, keep thorough records of all medical visits, bills, and other expenses you’ve incurred as a result of this accident.
2. Consult a car accident attorney
If you wish to be compensated for a wreck that was not your fault (or even if you were partially at fault), your next step is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim.
While you do have the right to seek compensation independently, this is an incredibly stressful and difficult process to pursue when you’re managing an injury and are not familiar with the legal intricacies of Texas law.
An attorney can help you:
- Build and preserve evidence to help prove you were not at fault
- Negotiate compensation from insurance companies
- Handle the entire legal process
- Achieve a fair settlement
Contact an Austin Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been in a wreck in Austin, Texas that wasn’t your fault, reach out to our car accident attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm.
We can help you receive the compensation you deserve, such as medical expenses, future loss of income, pain and suffering, physical therapy, and more. Contact us to discuss your case.