You may have an idea about what to do after an auto accident. But it is also helpful to know what you should not do in the event of a car wreck, so that you can act in accordance with the law and in your own best interests. For any collision that involves any kind of injury or significant property damage, it is good idea to contact experienced San Antonio auto accident lawyers.
After an auto accident:
Do not leave the scene, even if it just looks like a small bump or graze. It is against Texas law to leave the scene of an accident, and you must check on the other driver and swap insurance information, even if you have no plan to go through insurance. No matter what your plans were, no matter where you were headed, whether you’re scared, busy or broke, you must remain at the crash site. It is important that you stay and exchange information with other drivers and take contact information of witnesses. It is a good idea to take pictures, too — of the vehicles, of the area the collision occurred and the weather conditions, if possible.
Do not speak without thinking first. If you admit fault in any way for the accident, even if you apologize, that can be entered into the police report as admitting fault, no matter what the conditions of the accident demonstrate. Texas law mitigates damages based on percentage of fault in causing the collision, and any statement that you make to the other driver, the police, the EMT or the insurance companies can be held against you in determining fault. Moreover, some people lose their tempers or get caught up in the unfairness of being the victim of a car accident and fly off the handle. Being disrespectful to the other drivers or to police or medical professionals not only reflects poorly on you, but it also increases the tension of an already traumatic event.
Do not assume someone else is calling the cops or an ambulance. And yes, you should call the cops and an ambulance — even if you think all parties are unharmed —to make sure everyone is safe and gets the treatment they deserve. According to USA Today, 15% of Texas drivers do not have valid insurance, and the information they hand over could be fake, or there could be warrants out for their arrest. Police take record of the accident, take statements and contact information from all parties, and determine who was at fault in the event a lawsuit is filed.
Do not talk to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company without a lawyer. It is possible that your car insurance company is looking out for you, but let’s be clear: the other driver’s insurance company is looking for ways to pick apart your statement and to pin fault on you so they can pay as little as possible on your claim. Either insurance company can pressure you into a settlement that does not meet your needs, whether you realize it or not. The only way you can be sure you are fully protecting yourself is to consult with a San Antonio auto accident attorney.
Do not get involved in legal proceedings without an attorney. Some drivers have the confidence to file a lawsuit on their own or to respond to the other side’s car accident lawyers without their own representation. Though you may think you are saving money, you are treading dangerous water, and it may cost you more in the end than if you were to hire a San Antonio car wreck lawyer.
Do not forget to follow up after the crash. Get in touch with your insurance company to begin filing your claim. If any health issues present themselves, even minor issues, see a doctor immediately. If your medical bills stack up, you most likely need to consult an attorney about recovering damages. A lawyer can help you in a number of ways, and most injury attorneys cost nothing unless they are able to win you money. It costs nothing to call.
San Antonio car accident attorneys can help
Calling in attorneys soon after your collision can benefit you greatly. Although you have two years after the accident to file a claim in Texas, the earliest you can do it is best in securing evidence and starting the process swiftly. That time goes by quickly, especially if you have a lot of recovering to do. Call the Báez Law Firm at 210-979-9777 or contact us online for a free consultation.