What to Do After a Car Accident in Texas: Things to Know
After an auto accident, there are lots of things to consider. You might feel like you're in shock, confused, anxious, afraid, angry, embarrassed, depressed, frustrated, hurt, etc. But, you don't want to panic. And, you definitely don't want to try to handle everything yourself. So, how do you know what to do next? Here are some tips to help you recover from a car accident in Texas:1. Don't Panic
You've been injured, and you're probably feeling scared, upset, confused, and maybe even angry. But, you shouldn't let those feelings overwhelm you. Instead, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you're safe. Your injuries aren't life-threatening, and you won't die if you don't act immediately.2. Get Help From Someone Who Knows What They Are Doing
If you're involved in an accident, call 911. If you're not sure whether someone else needs medical attention, ask them. Then, wait for emergency personnel to arrive.3. Take Care of Yourself
Take care of your physical health. Make sure you eat well, drink plenty of water, and sleep enough. Also, see a doctor if you think you need one.4. Call 911 And/Or The Police
In the United States, the National Safety Council reports that approximately 2 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes each year. In addition, about 40,000 die in auto accidents. More than half of those killed in car accidents are pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers.
The vast majority of fatal car crashes occur during daylight hours and involve alcohol use. A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol is three times more likely to cause a crash than someone sober.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, nearly 3 out of every 10 deaths among young adults aged 20–24 involved alcohol use.
When a person calls 911, the operator will ask questions such as "What happened?" "Who was driving?" "Where did the crash happen?" "Was anyone hurt?" "Did anything go wrong?" "Is there a problem?"
For example, let's say you're driving home late at night and you see another car swerving into your lane. You pull over to help and find that the other driver had been drinking. If you don't stop, you could be charged with DUI.
So, what do you do? Do you call 911? Or do you wait until morning, when the police arrive?
If you call 911, the dispatcher will send an officer to investigate the scene. This includes writing down information about the crash, interviewing witnesses, taking photos, and collecting evidence.5. Remain at the Scene
Leaving the scene of a car crash is considered a crime in most jurisdictions. In fact, it is one of the most serious offenses because it can lead to criminal charges such as vehicular manslaughter or felony hit-and-run. This is why it is important to remain at the scene of the incident until law enforcement arrives.
The first thing to remember is that even though people often think they're fine, they might actually be hurt. Make sure you check for signs of life, bleeding, broken bones, etc. You could also call 9-1-1 if someone seems unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
If the situation does not look too dire, you can take photos of the vehicle and surroundings to help determine what happened. Take note of the direction the driver went and whether he or she stopped at the scene. Also, try to find out how fast the vehicle was traveling when it crashed into something.
In some cases, police officers may ask you to wait while they investigate the scene. However, if you feel like you cannot safely wait, you can always leave. Just make sure to turn off your headlights and lock your doors.6. Take Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words. If someone gets hurt in a crash, it’s important to document what happened. Taking pictures of the scene of the accident and documenting any injuries sustained are good ways to help ensure that insurance companies pay out fair compensation.
In addition, having photographs taken during an accident helps reduce the risk of civil litigation down the road. As we know, lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming. Having evidence of the accident collected prior to filing suit can make things go much smoother.7. Exchange Information
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to gather as many facts as you can. You never know what might come in handy later down the road. For example, if there are injuries, you might want to contact the hospital where the injured party received treatment. Or if the police are called, you might want to give them a statement.
The same goes for the other driver. They might be able to provide you with some useful information. Maybe they saw something suspicious. Perhaps they witnessed the crash. Whatever the case might be, exchanging information is key.8. Take Safety Precautions
If it seems like there’s always someone else involved in an accident, chances are there is. When you see an accident ahead, slow down and take safety precautions.
Move the vehicles out of the way if possible. Do not stop unless absolutely necessary. Keep your distance from the vehicles involved in the collision. Be alert to the possibility of additional collisions.
Be careful when approaching the scene of an accident. Look around you and pay attention to what’s happening. Avoid distractions such as cell phones, pets, children, and passengers.
Do not assume that everyone is OK. Check for injuries and make sure no one needs help.Contact Your Car Accident Attorney in Texas
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.