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Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Texas

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to know what to do next. This includes contacting emergency personnel, filing a police report, and taking care of yourself. You want to make sure you don't forget anything during this process. Here are the things you should keep in mind.

Make Sure Everyone Is OK

Make sure everyone is safe and unharmed. If someone needs medical attention, call 911 immediately. Check on each person to see if he/she is injured. Ask if anyone else is hurt. Take note of where the accident occurred, including the street name, cross streets, and location. Also, ask about the weather conditions at the scene, such as whether there was snow, rain, sleet, hail, fog, etc.

Get Information About the Accident

Ask the driver of the vehicle how fast he was traveling prior to the crash. Was there another vehicle involved? Did the driver admit fault? What happened? Be careful here because some drivers may try to blame others for the accident.

File a Police Report

You must file a police report within 24 hours of the accident. Even though you may think you don't need to, you still need to file one. The police report contains information about the accident, including the date, time, place, cause, injuries sustained, and witnesses' names.

Start the Claims Process

Regardless of who's at fault in an accident, it's important to let your auto insurance company know what happened. If you don't tell your insurer about the crash, you could end up paying out of pocket for repairs and/or medical bills.

Keep in mind that it's up to you whether to file a claim with your insurer or with the other driver's insurer; however, filing a claim with both insurers can sometimes lead to lower rates.

You'll want to take photos of the damaged vehicle and provide those images to your insurer. Your insurer will assign a claims representative to work with you throughout the claims process.

The claims representative will ask questions like "What happened?" and "How much did the repair cost?" Once you've answered those questions, he or she will send you a form to complete.

If you're filing a claim over the phone, you'll need to answer the same questions over the phone.

What Should I Do After a Minor Car Accident or Fender Bender?

If you are involved in a minor car crash without injury or property damage, it might make sense to simply walk away. You don't want to give the impression that you're trying to avoid responsibility, and filing a claim could lead to additional costs down the road. But if there is damage to one vehicle, both parties should exchange contact info. This way, if someone decides to file a claim, you'll already have their contact information handy.

You should also let your insurance provider know about the incident. They may offer discounts or lower rates based on how many claims you've filed.

Will My Rates Go up After I'm Involved in an Accident?

If it's determined that you are at fault for the accident and your vehicle sustained damage, your rates will likely rise when your policy renews, according to InsuranceQuotes.com. But there is one way to avoid this rate hike: accident forgiveness. This type of coverage allows insurers to lower your premiums if your claim is settled without court action.

Not all insurance providers offer this benefit, however. In fact, many don't even allow you to apply for accident forgiveness online. You'll need to speak with a representative to see whether your insurer does offer this feature.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced accident lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your accident case. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

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