Taking the appropriate actions after an accident in Dallas, Texas can go a long way. It can help preserve the value of a personal injury claim that might have arisen. Follow as many of the below-described steps as you can.
Do not risk your health, however. Consider the seriousness of your injuries. If you cannot take some of these actions yourself, have a friend or a family member do them for you. Contacting an experienced attorney in Dallas can also help guide you through the personal injury process. The lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers offer free consultations 24/7 throughout Dallas County.
Step 1: Secure Your Immediate Environment
If your car, or another driver’s car, is blocking the road, you risk another accident. Move the car out of the road or alert oncoming traffic with flares. Keep flares in your vehicle in case of just such an emergency.
Step 2: Contact Dallas Emergency Services
If the accident produced injury or property damage, you need to summon the police and remain at the accident scene. Call 911 for the Dallas police and, if necessary, an ambulance. Leaving the scene of an accident (except by ambulance) is a crime in Texas if any injury or property damage was involved.
Some injuries take hours or even days to manifest symptoms. If you suffer injury but don’t seek immediate medical treatment, you are inviting the opposing party to claim that you had a pre-existing injury. The pre-existing injury defense, if successful, might completely relieve the defendant of liability.
Step 3: Document Everything
Gather as much evidence as you can from the scene of the accident, if your injuries allow you to. Use your cell phone to photograph anything that might be relevant. Document injuries, property damage, the absence of any warning signs, and even the sky if the weather might have been a factor. Obtain eyewitness contact details. Do not apologize or admit fault.
In a Dallas car accident, Texas law requires you to exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver. It’s also a good idea to photograph the other driver’s license plate as soon as you can, just in case they try to run.
Step 4: Notify Your Insurance Company
Notify your health insurance company or your auto insurance company. The terms of your policies might require you to notify your insurer of the accident promptly. This may be true even if you plan to rely on the other party’s liability insurance policy.
Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state. It requires its drivers to purchase auto accident liability insurance. You can file a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy. Contact a lawyer if the at-fault party lacks insurance or sufficient insurance to cover your claim. A lawyer in Dallas might be able to help you find an appropriate legal strategy to recover compensation.
When dealing with the insurance company, don’t sign anything. Don’t agree to a recorded statement or describe the accident in detail without your lawyer’s advice.
Step 5: Suspend All Your Social Media Accounts While Your Claim Is Pending
The universal advice is to avoid talking about your case on social media. You can also suspend your social media accounts altogether until you resolve your claim. The insurance company and the at-fault party can use social media posts, including photos, as evidence against you. At the very least, set your account to private and don’t accept friend requests from strangers.
Step 6: Keep Detailed Records
Create online and offline files dedicated to documentation and information about your accident. Keep a copy of the police report, all correspondence with insurance companies, medical bills, expense receipts, and relevant documents. Maintain a “pain diary” that details daily how your injuries affect your life. You can use this to prepare for a meeting with a lawyer.
Step 7: Talk to a Lawyer in Dallas, TX
Schedule a case consultation with a reputable personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers in Dallas, Texas will happily schedule a consultation free of charge and obligation. If the attorney likes your case, they may agree to represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any legal fees unless you win. If you win, the attorney’s fee amounts to a minority percentage of the amount you win.
Following the above steps after an accident in Dallas can help you get the compensation you deserve.