Last year, there were over 13,500 serious injury crashes in Texas. Any car accident involving serious injury is often traumatizing, and remembering what to do afterwards can be very difficult. However, recording the correct information will help with any insurance claims or litigation. Having a set checklist of what needs to be done can be a useful tool to prevent you from any headache down the road.
After the Accident
If you have been in a collision, note your surroundings to make sure you are safe. If you can, move your car to a secure location, such as the shoulder, and call 911. Never leave the scene.
Quickly note the license plate numbers of those involved immediately after the accident. If they leave the scene, you can let the authorities know. If you feel you have an injury and moving may make it worse, stay in your car and wait for someone to come and help you. In this case, do not move until paramedics arrive and determine it is okay to do so.
See if anyone else involved has suffered injuries, and encourage people to stay still if moving is painful. When police arrive, follow any instructions they give you.
Gather Information; Car Accident Checklist
It is important to gather as much information as possible from the accident. You can never over-document. Do not discuss the fault of the accident, but try to remain polite. Take the names and insurance information from any drivers involved, and ask for contact information if insurance is not provided. Get names and info from any witnesses. When the police arrive, document their names, too.
Note the time and date the accident occurred and any weather conditions. Write down a description of the event along with injuries and damages. Also document any police involvement.
It is okay if others involved ask for your information, but only give what is necessary. Your name, the name of your insurance company, your agent’s name and phone number, and the policy number can be given freely. However, do not allow your license, registration, or proof of insurance to be photographed.
Document the Scene
Luckily, many of us have cameras on our phones, which make documenting an accident easy. Take quality pictures of the following:
- License plates of all involved vehicles
- Damage to your vehicle
- Damage to other vehicles
- Damage to any property
- Evidence at the scene, such as accident debris or skid marks
- Landmarks or road signs to identify the location
- Contributing factors to the accident (wet roads, poorly lit signs)
Call Your Agent
Once you have gathered as much information as you can, call your insurance agent and follow any instructions he or she gives. Request a tow through your insurance company to a safe location. At this point, you should reserve a rental vehicle and call around for repair estimates. Talk to your insurance agent about what is covered in your policy. Get a copy of the accident report filed by both the police and other drivers involved.
To stay prepared by downloading an accident report form for Texas and keeping it inside your vehicle along with this checklist. Correctly recording an incident can lead to the correct compensation. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and suffered damages in the Austin area, contact Austin Car Accident Lawyer Joe Lopez, to learn about your options.