WHAT DO I DO IF I’M IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
The one thing you should always, always do is stay at the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of a car accident immediately opens you up to serious criminal charges. Call an ambulance if someone in the accident has been injured or hurt. Then make sure, your vehicle is not a hazardous position to passerby motorists. Move it away from oncoming traffic, if possible. Next, you should call the police, file an accident report, and collect as much information as you can from other drivers. Even if you believe you are responsible for the accident, never admit fault- liability will be determined legally at a later date. You should also be sure to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. Lastly, you should be sure to take photographs of the crash scene, and then call a car accident lawyer.
WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVE AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT, IS IT OK FOR ME TO TALK TO THEM?
Yes, but be careful. Only discuss the facts of the case to help police file an official accident report. You should never take blame for the accident or throw around any accusations.
HOW SOON AFTER THE ACCIDENT SHOULD I GET A LAWYER?
As soon as possible. Only an attorney can best provide the guidance to preserve your ability to prove your case in a court of law. Too often, evidence disappears, witnesses leave, and memories grow dim. Additionally, if you are treated by a physician after an accident, an attorney can tell you how to handle unpaid pails and getting needed treatment and rehabilitation. Legal counsel can also tell you the value of your case, your insurance company’s terms, or if your insurance provider is being truthful or not. Contact Roxell Richards and Associates for a free consultation and legal advice.
SHOULD I NOTIFY THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE ACCIDENT?
Absolutely. You are most likely required to cooperate with your insurance company. Most insurance policies require clients to report every auto accident so that they can gather basic information. Withholding this information gives you no benefit. Failure to cooperate with them may actually lose you your coverage for the accident. This being said, you should still avoid admitting fault and only give them the facts of the accident. Consult a personal injury or car accident attorney before giving any additional information.
WHAT IF THE OTHER DRIVER ISN’T INSURED?
An estimated 1 in 5 Texas drivers are uninsured. But if you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you still can collect compensation for damages, auto repair, and medical bills. You can seek compensation from your insurance company if you have under insured or uninsured motorist coverage policy. If you do not have it, you must sue the driver. Additionally, if you do not already had uninsured and under insured insurance coverage, you should strongly consider using it to protect yourself from uninsured drivers.
WHY DO I NEED A POLICE REPORT (UNIFORM CRASH REPORT)?
You should secure a copy of the police report (aka Uniform Crash Report) for several reasons. From the police report, your attorney can get information about the driver’s insurance company, see what the police have recorded about how the accident occurred, and to get information about the other driver involved in the accident. If the police report is inaccurate, an attorney can quickly contact authorities to fix it immediately. This is important in avoiding any questions of liability against you.
HOW CAN I GET MY CAR REPAIRED?
The answer here varies. Usually if you have enough coverage, you may be simply contact your insurance company about repairing your car and they will pay for repairs to your vehicle. Your insurance company may try to get repayment from the other driver’s insurance company. In other cases, a personal injury lawyer will be needed to seek full compensation for damages to your vehicle.
HOW SOON MUST I FILE A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT BEFORE I LOSE THE RIGHT TO DO SO (STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS EXPIRES)?
In Texas, the personal injury and car accident statute of limitations is two years. Generally, if you do not file your claim in two years you will be unable to but this rule is often flexible. In any case, if you are considering taking legal action, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Roxell Richards and Associates offer free consultations to determine the viability and value of your case.