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What Should I Do If I Was In A Car Accident?

What Should I Do If I Was In A Car Accident

Car accidents are all too common. The National Safety Council reported that 4.8 million were seriously hurt in car accidents in 2021, and the estimated cost to society because of these accidents was $474 billion. If you were recently injured in a car accident, it’s important to take specific actions to take care of your health and learn about your legal options. 

Below are essential tips for knowing what to do in a car accident. Following these tips will not only help you prevent further injury and maximize your recovery, but they can also help you better position yourself should you choose to pursue legal action. 

Check Everyone for Injuries 

The first steps you should take immediately following a car accident relate to emergency and medical response. 

First, call 911 (especially if anyone is hurt, including you, passengers, and occupants of other vehicles). Texas and most other states’ laws require you to check others for injuries and render aid as needed after an accident. 

Get to Safety

Follow-up accidents involving vehicles and accident victims on the road are common and extremely hazardous. Follow-up or secondary accidents can be even more severe than the initial crash. 

Avoid this problem by getting you and others to safety. First, get away from the road and out of traffic. If your car is movable, take it off the road, too. However, the most important thing is your personal safety, so leave the car if there is too much traffic to do so safely. 

Report the Car Accident to Law Enforcement

In many states car accidents that involve injury, death, or damages over $1,000 must be reported to law enforcement immediately. The investigating police officer will write a report documenting the accident, injuries, and property damages. Therefore, it is critical to stay at the accident scene until the police arrive and write a report. If you leave before the police arrive, you expose yourself to someone claiming you hit them and fled the scene. 

 Be sure that you obtain a police report, which will detail what happened and perhaps who was at fault. Ensure that the police record the auto insurance information for every party involved. Also, write down the officer’s name and badge number. 

If you cannot get a copy of the police report at the crash scene, go to the nearest police station to obtain it. You also can check online if your area’s police department has digital accident reports available. 

Get Medical Attention 

It is essential to be checked by a doctor after a car accident. It is always best to get medical attention unless it is a small fender bender with no chance of injuries. 

Many people assume after an accident that they are uninjured. However, your body may surge with adrenaline after the crash. As a result, you may not feel the pain of your injuries for hours or more. It is common for crash victims to assume they are unhurt, but they wake up the next day in pain. 

That is why a medical professional should always check you out within a few hours of the accident. The doctor should document any injuries. A record of your injuries is vital for building an injury claim. 

Document Everything

Take out your cell phone and snap as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as possible. Your attorney will collect evidence later, but you are at the crash scene and can help with this process. 

Get pictures and video of all property damage and injuries. Also, take wide-angle photos to show where every vehicle is on the road. Were there any skid marks? Take close-up and wide-angle images. Also, take pictures of debris on the road that may have contributed to the accident. 

Exchange Information 

After checking everyone for injuries, get the contact and insurance details for the other driver. This is the information you should get from every driver in the crash: 

  • Full name and address
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • License plate and driver’s license number
  • Type, model, and color of vehicle
  • Where accident happened 

You should not discuss the accident or who was at fault when getting contact information. Even if you feel sure that you didn’t cause the accident, discussing this with others involved in the accident won’t help you make a successful claim. The insurance adjusters reviewing the accident will decide who was at fault by inspecting the vehicles and collecting other evidence.  

Call Your Auto Insurance Provider

Call your insurance company immediately after the accident. Most auto insurance policies require you to report crashes as soon as possible. So even if the other driver caused the accident and may cover your damages, you should still contact your insurance company. 

See if your insurance policy will cover your medical expenses. If you have coverage for medical payments, you must provide the insurance company with your medical bills. After your auto insurance benefits are exhausted, your medical insurance should take over. 

Protect Your Legal Rights

You should consult your personal injury attorney if you are involved in a car accident. Even if you think you’re unhurt, it can take days for severe injuries to manifest. 

Talking to a lawyer if you have any injuries can help you know more about your legal options. Nix Patterson is a contingency law firm, meaning we do not charge clients unless we win the case. In other words, you have nothing to lose by having the case reviewed by an attorney and much to gain.

Your Nix Patterson personal injury attorney will advise you on legal issues, create a plan to maximize settlement, and do everything possible to get you what you need to regain your normal life after the accident. 

Contact Nix Patterson Car Accident Attorneys for a Consultation

After a car accident, you will be upset and stressed. However, with the above tips, you now know what to keep in mind and some steps to start you in the right direction. While your immediate concern needs to be your health and wellbeing, you should contact a Nix Patterson lawyer soon after your accident to ensure your legal rights are protected as well. 

Contact our personal injury attorneys today for a complimentary consultation about your car accident case. 


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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