After an Auto Accident, Make Sure You Preserve Your Claim

Texas roads can be dangerous. According to the state Department of Transportation, in 2016 one reportable crash took place every 57 seconds. Of these collisions, one person was injured every one minute 59 seconds. Although you never hope for such an eventuality, one day it could happen to you, and it is important to know how to protect your right to compensation. Do you know what to do?

After you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision, it can be difficult to think clearly, let alone preserve certain evidence for a future claim. If the accident was especially severe, you may not even be able to do anything except wait for medical assistance. But if you are able to safely get out of your car to inspect the damage, you should also take steps to collect as much evidence as possible.

Call an Ambulance

Calling an ambulance will both provide you with immediate medical assistance and create a record that can strengthen your claim (the ambulance attendants can also serve as witnesses to the accident scene later on). At the hospital, have a friend, family member, or another party photograph your injuries, so their initial severity can be preserved as evidence. By the time your claim reaches the negotiation stage, these cuts, bruises, and fractures will likely be partially healed, and their impact on your case will lessen.

Photograph the Accident Scene

If you are able, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Be sure to capture images of the damage to the vehicles, the license plate of the at-fault driver and, if they present it, their driver’s license and insurance information. If the accident was attributable to an obscured street sign or malfunctioning traffic light, take pictures of those too.

Call the Police

Notifying the police will provide another official record of the collision, which is why the at-fault driver might attempt to dissuade you from calling them. The police will investigate the accident by surveying the scene, talking to witnesses, and even taking photos of their own. Depending on the circumstances, they may even lay charges against the other driver. Any law enforcement documentation will lend additional weight to your claim.

Talk to Witnesses

If someone confirms that they witnessed the accident, get their name, address, and telephone number. If they have a business card, ask for one. Eyewitness statements are extremely important to your claim if the other driver’s insurance company tries to refute your version of events to avoid paying your claim.

Document All Losses

If your injuries cause you to miss work, document how much time that you were forced to remain away from your job as well as any corresponding loss in income. If you incurred additional financial loss due to out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. hiring someone to help with childcare or housekeeping), preserve receipts as additional evidence of the impact the accident has had on your life.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

If it does not outright refute your claim in the beginning, the insurance company for the at-fault party will attempt to minimize your compensation as much as possible. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you assume an equal legal footing with the insurance company and its legal counsel. Your attorney will advocate for you and use all evidence of the accident and your injuries to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Suffering an injury, making a claim, and navigating the legal system is a stressful and challenging process. At the Sharp Firm, we understand this, and are committed to helping you navigate the maze. We will provide you will the assistance and information you need to understand the progress of your claim and receive fair compensation for your injuries.