You’re heading to work, driving your kids to school, or going to a dinner party at a friend’s house when—BAM! —suddenly everything stops in an instant. A car has slammed into yours and everything is chaos all around you. People are stopping and getting out of their cars, your kids are crying in the back seat, and you feel disoriented, with pain shooting through your body.
No wonder that few people know exactly what to do in this overwhelming situation!
So, what you do—and don’t do—in the minutes following an accident, can damage your physical and financial recovery in the coming weeks and months afterward. In some situations, you are helpless after a crash because of severe injuries. Many people, however, are aware enough to have the ability to protect their interests—and they need to do just that!
No matter what happens in the wake of an accident, you should still always learn about your legal rights as a victim. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in the Houston area, or anywhere in Texas, call our attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, as soon as possible. Our legal team has helped thousands of car accident victims financially recover from their injuries and losses. We have decades of experience, and our consultations are FREE, so call us right now at 1-800-898-4877 or to discuss your case today.
While the aftermath of every car accident is different, try to take the following basic steps whenever possible to protect your health and your legal rights!
STEP 1 – Call 911
After some crashes, it’s obvious that people may need immediate help, and multiple people may call 911 at the same time. In other situations, no one’s life may seem in danger, and most everyone can get out of their vehicles and walk around. You may wonder: “Should I still call 911?”
Calling the authorities is always a good idea after someone else collides with your car. First of all, you may be in shock and might not realize that you’ve sustained a serious injury, and the paramedics can advise you as to whether you should go to the emergency room in an ambulance.
STEP 2 – Give Police YOUR Side of the Story
Even if you don’t need an ambulance, calling 911 will still send law enforcement officers to the scene. It’s important that you tell police YOUR version of what happened, since there is always the chance the other driver will tell a biased story. In addition, police can determine whether the other driver broke the law. For example, an officer who thinks the other driver seems intoxicated can perform breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, which can provide evidence of the driver’s blood-alcohol level. The driver may face arrest and drunk driving charges, which can help your case in the future. In any event, you want your version of events in the police report.
STEP 3 – Take Notes and Photos
While you may expect police to fully investigate and document the cause of a crash, they don’t always do so. Unless someone is intoxicated, or is liable for a ticket, police often just write a report based on what the drivers said. You can help your case by gathering your own information when possible. This can include taking down names and numbers of witnesses, taking notes about the details of the accident so you don’t forget anything, and taking pictures with your phone of the accident scene.
STEP 4 – Get Medical Attention
Just because you don’t have to ride in the ambulance doesn’t mean you don’t need to see a doctor. Many injuries are not serious enough for emergency transportation but are still in need of a diagnosis and treatment ASAP. This can be true for injuries like sprains, strains, and swelling between the joints of your spine which may seem minor but can actually cause extreme pain and many issues in your life if left untreated. Obtaining a diagnosis after an accident is critical to make sure that the proper doctors address and monitor your injuries to prevent present and future complications. A timely diagnosis also ensures that your medical records connect your injuries to the accident.
STEP 5 – Call a Lawyer!
Once doctors diagnose your injuries and you’ve started treatment, the financial stress can start to build. Medical bills, missed paychecks, and more can get you to quickly wonder about your next step.
Make your next step to discuss the best course of action with a recognized personal injury law firm.
Many people think they will save time and money by handling a car insurance claim against the negligent driver on their own. In reality, this can COST you more time and money. The insurance company’s adjusters want you to believe you don’t need a lawyer—but you should NEVER believe them. They don’t have your best interests in mind—they actually want to limit YOUR payout so the company can keep more money, AND the adjuster gets a bigger bonus!
The right lawyer can help you in many ways after a car accident:
- Identify when you should file a claim with another driver’s insurance company
- Determine the amount of damages you are entitled to recover
- Prepare and file the claim for you
- Communicate with claims adjusters to ensure all of their questions are answered in your favor
- Review settlement offers, and advise you as to whether they are insufficient
- Negotiate for a higher offer when needed
- Consult with you and initiate filing for litigation by trail, if needed
Having a top rated personal injury lawyer handle your claim can save you time and stress while you focus on recovering from your injuries—it often results in more compensation for your losses, and regularly will put money in your pocket.
Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
The attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law are nationally recognized car accident lawyers who have stood up for the rights of Houston car accident victims for decades. We can begin helping our clients soon after a crash and will leave no stone unturned to obtain your case’s best possible outcome. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case! To schedule your free consultation, call us today at (800) 898-4877 or .