What you can do from the start—preliminary actions to a case
The car accident case process begins at the scene of the accident. Here is where you lay the groundwork of gathering information. If you believe the other driver was at fault, you can take steps to help protect your rights immediately after the accident. Keep in mind though, if you are physically injured, getting medical attention is your number one priority. When in pain, do not hesitate to see a doctor or go to the hospital right away.
Word to the wise, some people do not realize until later that they suffered injury in a car crash. The shock of the accident can numb your sense of injuries.
If you are not severely injured and feel up to it, any information you can gather at the accident scene could help in pursuing a case. What type of information should you gather?
- Take pictures of the accident scene—your car and other cars involved in the collision
- Snap pictures of the road and debris along with weather conditions
- Write down names and phone numbers of witnesses
- Check for businesses with surveillance cameras that might have recorded the crash
Receive Medical Treatment for Car Accident Injuries
Treating your injuries is vital in an accident case. Be sure to tell your doctor about all your injuries and fully describe your symptoms. The sooner you receive necessary treatment, the more quickly you can recover. Find out whether you can return to work or whether the doctor is restricting your activities. Be sure to keep all your doctor’s appointments. When you miss appointments, insurance companies often try to claim your injury wasn’t serious or that your condition had improved. Yet, this may not be the case at all.
Report the Accident and Notify Your Insurance Company
If a police officer did not come to the scene of your accident, you may need to file a crash report, using Form CR-2.
The following conditions require a CR-2 when there is no police report:
- Property damage was greater than $1,000
- The crash resulted in injury or death
Texas is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that accident victims can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. By law, drivers should carry liability insurance to cover this type of insurance claim.
When you report the accident to your insurance company, your company will pursue the claim against the at-fault driver.
If the other driver’s insurance adjuster contacts you about the accident, do not provide a statement. The adjuster may even try to convince you to accept money and sign a release. It is safe to say this is not in your best interest. You should speak with a car accident attorney if this occurs.
Find Out More about the Car Accident Case Process
The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz has represented victims in serious car and truck accidents for more than two decades. Throughout Texas, from Arlington to Galveston or whatever your location in Texas, we can help. We offer a free consultation to discuss the prospects of pursuing a case.