When You Are in an Auto Accident

By Paul Cannon  Sep. 22, 2020 8:20a

An automobile accident takes place every 15 minutes in Harris County. If you have never been in an accident, it can be upsetting and overwhelming, especially when you suffer personal injury as a result. Being prepared before the accident happens can make the process much smoother.

Assess Injuries in Your Car

The first thing you need to do before anything else is assess the injures of everyone in your vehicle and call 911 if anyone needs immediate medical assistance for any personal injuries suffered in the wreck. If everyone is okay, your next thought should be how to make sure you stay that way.

Check that You Are Out of Harm's Way Before Exiting the Vehicle

When you assess the scene, ask yourself some questions. Can you Exit the vehicle safely? Are you in traffic? Do you need to turn on emergency flashers? You will want to make your highly visible as possible and make sure you are aware of all approaching traffic before exiting the vehicle. All too often, an accident that could have been minor becomes major because someone exits a vehicle when it is unsafe to do so and gets hit as a pedestrian by an unsuspecting driver.

Assist Anyone Injured in Other Vehicles

If the other vehicle is still on your line of view you may be able to see damages and injuries. While it is important that you assess injuries of other vehicles involved, do not attempt to exit your vehicle and check on others unless you are sure it is safe to do so.

Move to a Safe Area

If the vehicles can be moved they should be relocated to a shoulder, parking lot, side road, or other safe area then you should do so. The law in the State of Texas dictates that if the vehicles can be safely moved to prevent a traffic back up, then they need to be moved. If they cannot be moved, call the police or other emergency services, and move to a safe distance from the crash site until help arrives to assist in removing the wrecked vehicles.

Call the Police

No matter the amount damage, the police should always be notified so they can complete an accident report for the insurance company. Presenting fake or expired insurance cards happens way too often in Houston. Additionally, it is common for people to change their story when they talk to your insurance company later. Getting an accident report will help your insurance company identify the person and get an accurate story.

Taking Pictures

Use your smartphone to take pictures of everything that has to do with the accident including:

  • The damage to vehicles involved in the accident.
  • The other driver(s) driver's license and insurance card.
  • Take pictures of the intersection or the scene of the accident itself. These pictures will be of use when piecing together the chain of events that led to the collision.
  • Take pictures of the license plates of all vehicles that were involved in the collision and any license plates for vehicles of potential witnesses to the accident.
  • Take pictures of the tow truck drivers card and company information.
  • Once the police officer's card and/or badge number.
  • Take pictures of any witnesses and make sure to get their contact information.

Do not wander around in traffic trying to take photos. Make sure when taking pictures, you are in a safe zone.

Get a Medical Checkup

Sometimes the true effects of injury to our muscles from whiplash do not show up for days after an auto accident. If you are experiencing any discomfort or pain, you should get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Injuries like whiplash and mild concussions can seem like soreness and headaches in the beginning.

Should You Consult Personal Injury Attorney?

If you suffered personal injury in an auto accident that was not your fault, a free consultation with a Houston personal injury lawyer to determine whether you need someone who understands the insurance company games looking out for your interests. Property damage claims can often be sorted out without the need to hire an attorney.

Accidents Will Happen

The more time you spend on Texas roadways, the more likely it is that you will eventually be involved in an auto accident. Stay calm. Be prepared. Put safety first.

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