Shelander Law Offices

Steps to take after a car accident

Auto accidents happen every day in Texas. If you've been lucky enough to never have been in a car accident, do you know what you need to do if it ever does happen to you?

There is actually quite a bit that you need to do following a car accident. When injured, in a state of shock or just overwhelmed by the situation, it can be easy to forget what you are supposed to do.

Be prepared

The best thing anyone can do is be prepared for an accident to happen. This does not mean that you should go out every day thinking you 'll get in an accident. It just means to have what you need in your car in case a collision occurs. Some things to have in your car at all times include:

  • Auto insurance information
  • Registration
  • Safety kit

You never know how long you will be at the scene or how long it will take authorities to get there. A safety kit that includes food, water and first aid supplies can be a real lifesaver.

After an accident — at the scene

After an accident, what you can do all depends on your physical state. If injured or stuck in your car, you may not have the ability to do very much. If you are able to walk around, things you should do after an accident include:

  • Remain at the scene
  • Call for help
  • Evaluate your injuries and the injuries of anyone else involved
  • Turn on hazard lights
  • Take photos or video of the scene
  • Take photos or video of vehicle damage
  • Gather driver information
  • Gather witness information

If you cannot do any of these things, do your best to remain calm and wait for assistance. There is no need to discuss the accident, admit fault or sign any papers -- unless police need you to. Police will gather the information you need to pursue insurance claims when you have the ability to do that.

After an accident — after leaving the scene

After you leave the scene, if injured, your first priority is to take care of yourself. In the days or weeks following the event, you'll want to contact insurance companies, obtain a copy of the police report, document what you remember about the incident and keep track of all your resulting losses. If negligence contributed to your car accident, you may seek compensation for your losses. All the information you gather at the scene or after the event may help your case.

Keeping your cool after a car accident happens can be a challenge. Just do your best, take care of yourself and seek help if you wish to pursue civil claims in order to seek financial restitution.

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245 North 4th Street
Beaumont, Texas 77701

Phone: 409-234-1479
Fax: 1-409-833-3935
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