One second you’re cruising down I-10 after work, on your way home to eat dinner and relax, and the next second – SMASH! You’ve just been T-boned by a car swerving into your lane while they were trying to weave in and out of traffic.
Unfortunately, this is an everyday occurrence in the greater Houston area. The city has grown so much in such a short period of time that the infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up, resulting in crowded highways full of reckless drivers. While you should never wish an accident to happen, the reality is that they do happen periodically.
The more time that you spend on the road, the higher your chances of being involved in a car wreck are. That being said, the best thing that you can do is prepare. In today’s post, we’re going to go over exactly what you need after you’re involved in an accident.
What To Do After Your Accident
After the officers respond to the scene, they’ll officially rule which driver was at-fault and which driver was not at fault. Providing that you’re found to be not at fault (meaning the accident was caused by the other driver), then you’ll be entitled to insurance compensation for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses related to the accident. The best way to ensure that you get all of the money that you’re owed is to get a Houston car accident lawyer like at Baumgartner Law Firm.
Lawyering up is the final step of the process, though. First, let’s take a step-by-step look at exactly what you need to do after being involved in a car accident.
Step One: Ensure Everybody Is Safe
The first step is to make sure that everybody is safe. First, perform a quick personal inventory and make sure that you don’t have any broken bones, a concussion, or significant injuries. Then, look at any passengers in your car and make sure everybody is okay.
If you wrecked on a major highway with a lot of traffic, then you’ll want to try to get your vehicle off to the side of the road to avoid being struck by another oncoming vehicle (if you are physically able). If you can’t move the vehicle, then you and your passengers should stand away from your vehicle on the side of the road.
Once you and your party are safe, check the other driver to make sure that they are okay. In an accident, grudges do nobody good. Save your anger frustration for afterward when everybody is safe and out of immediate danger.
Step Two: Contact First Responders
If they haven’t been contacted already, call 911 to report an emergency. Tell them your location and explain the situation. They should dispatch police officers and/or firefighters/EMS within a few minutes. The EMS will survey the situation to make sure that everybody is medically sound and the police officers will file the accident report.
Step Three: Take Footage Of The Situation
When it comes time to getting your money from the insurance company or dealing with your lawyers, it always helps to have footage of the incident. When you are able, take your phone out and take a video of the accident. Pay special attention to the damaged vehicle and get some close-up shots.
You may also want to quickly recount the events of the accident while they’re still fresh on your mind. Often, your adrenaline may be so high after the accident that you may forget the exact details later on. Your immediate footage can provide your lawyers, law enforcement officers, and the insurance company with the evidence they need to get you more money.
Step Four: Call A Tow Company You Trust
If you are unable to drive your vehicle, then you’ll want to call a tow company (or a friend with a tow truck) who you trust. Otherwise, the police will call their tow company to take your vehicle to the police impound lot. The only problem with this is that the city tow trucks tend to be extra-expensive. Additionally, the Houston Police impound lot will charge you a daily fee for every day that your vehicle sits in their lot.
This means that it’s almost always better to call a local tow company to bring your vehicle back home or to a mechanic shop that you trust. This can save you several hundred dollars that you would otherwise waste on city tow trucks and impound lot storage.
Step Five: Contact an Accident Lawyer
Finally, once you’re safe and sound, you should contact a Houston accident lawyer. They will be in contact with you when the other driver’s insurance company calls you. The lawyers will be able to guide you through exactly what to say to the insurance company to ensure that you get the most money out of the deal.