Not everyone is as good of a driver as they might think. Otherwise, there would not be any car accidents. Nor does anyone plan on being involved in an auto accident—that is why they are called accidents. If you are involved in a car accident in Houston or elsewhere, there are several do’s and don’ts you should follow to protect your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement.
Do Move to Safety
If possible, pull the vehicles to the side of the road or into a parking lot or another area where they will avoid further damage or and avoid causing other accidents.
Do Check on Everyone Involved
After verifying you are not seriously injured, check on your passengers, as well as the other driver, their passengers, and any pedestrians.
Do Call 911
It is important to call the police and request medical care for any type of injury, however minor. Even a slight headache or body ache can turn more serious, so getting checked out by an EMT is always a good idea. Plus, you will need a police report to file with your insurance company.
Do Collect Information
Take pictures on your smartphone to document the accident. Pictures are often more valuable than your word against the other party’s word. You should also write down the make, model, and license plate of the other vehicle. Other information you will want to collect includes:
- Other driver’s name and contact information.
- Other driver’s insurance company and policy number.
- Any witnesses’ names and contact information.
- The police officer’s name and badge number.
- The location of the accident, time of day, and weather conditions.
Do Contact Your Insurance Company
You will want to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible to start the claims process.
Do Contact a Car Accident Lawyer near You
If you sustained personal injuries as a result of the car accident and required medical treatment and care, you will want to speak to a personal injury and auto accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible.
Don’t Admit Fault
Even if you know you were responsible—fully or partially—for the accident, you should never openly admit it. Let the police make their own conclusions based on the facts of the accident.
Don’t Sign Insurance Releases
The other party’s insurance company may contact you and ask you to sign a release. By signing the release, you prevent filing any future claims for personal injuries.
Don’t Provide Statements to Insurance Companies
Aside from providing a statement of events based on the facts to the police, you should avoid giving statements to insurance companies, yours included, when both parties have the same insurance providers. As long as you have a different insurance company, you can give them a statement, but remember to stick to the facts.
By following these dos and don’ts, you will help protect your rights and avoid hurting your claim. If you have been involved in a car accident in the Houston area and were injured, please feel free to contact Johnson Garcia LLP at (832) 844-6700 to schedule a free consultation appointment today!