Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Texas
Being involved in a car accident can be shocking and can leave you disoriented and unsure of what to do and how to protect your legal rights. Contacting the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover for help is a quick and effective way to orient yourself and to begin safeguarding your legal options.
For more than 30 years, Troy has advocated for the rights of injured Texans in San Antonio, Central, and South Texas. He represents clients who’ve been injured in all kinds of car accidents, including:
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents
- Accidents resulting in serious injury
We have a reputation as one of the premier personal injury firms in the region and have won compensation on behalf of thousands of clients. Troy A. Brookover is also Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, a distinction that just over 1 percent of personal injury attorneys in Texas have been granted. This honor acknowledges his skill, comprehensive understanding, and experience in representing personal injury clients.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in San Antonio and someone else is (at least partially) to blame, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover to find out how we can help.
If You’ve Just Been Hit and Are Still at the Accident Scene
If you’ve just been hit and you’re scrolling this page on your phone while trying to figure out what to do next, you can either take these steps in order or you can call 911 for medical assistance and then call our firm so that we can walk you through your next steps. It isn’t always easy to process information in the aftermath of a wreck and that’s okay. We’re here to help.
Check Yourself for Injuries
The first thing to do after being involved in a car accident is to check yourself for injuries. Visually inspect yourself for lacerations or bruising and have someone else examine you for any injuries you may not initially notice on your head, neck, or back. Carefully test your range of motion for any pain. If you notice any injuries or feel any pain, limit your movement and call 911 to seek emergency medical services. And remember: you may have suffered internal or soft tissue injuries that are not immediately apparent, so you should be sure to seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you feel fine.
Check on Your Passengers
If you can move, you should also check on your passengers, examining them for any visible injuries or signs of physical distress, such as difficulty breathing or unconsciousness. You should also check on the drivers and occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident.
Get to Safety
If you can safely drive your vehicle, enable your hazard lights and pull it to the side of the road or as far to the right shoulder as possible to avoid impeding traffic. If you are waiting for police, EMS, or a tow truck, you should wait in your vehicle to avoid the risk of being struck by a vehicle passing the accident site.
If your vehicle is disabled, you should put on its hazard lights (if possible), exit it, and safely walk to the right shoulder, to the sidewalk, or a nearby bus stop or parking lot, being careful to stay as far off the roadway as possible. Do not move unreasonably far from the accident scene, or you may be charged with leaving the scene of the accident.
Call 911 and Wait for Help
If someone requires immediate medical attention, you or someone nearby should call 911 to request emergency medical services. If no one needs paramedics, you can instead contact the local police department or state police to report the accident and have a law enforcement officer dispatched to the scene of the crash to investigate and prepare an accident report.
If you do not report your wreck to law enforcement by calling 911 or contacting the relevant law enforcement agency, you should still file an accident report with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Under Texas law, you must report any auto accident to law enforcement that results in at least $1,000 of apparent property damage or which results in injuries or death.
Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident, including:
- Names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses
- The make, model, color, and registration number of all vehicles involved in the crash
- The name of every driver’s auto insurance provider and their policy subscriber number
You should remain polite when speaking with other drivers involved in the collision but avoid discussing accident details with them. Any statements you make about the accident in front of another driver can be considered an admission of fault, and the other driver’s insurance company may try to use your statements against you.
Document the Scene
If you are physically able to, you should record details about the scene of the accident while you’re still there. If not, ask for help from uninjured witnesses. You should:
- Identify the officers at the scene – If the police have been notified of the accident, make sure to get each responding officer’s name and badge/service number. The police accident report will also identify the officer who wrote the report and may identify other officers who assisted in the response and investigation.
- Take pictures – Use your cell phone to take photographs and video of important details of the accident. Be sure to capture the damage to each vehicle involved in the accident, any skid marks left by the involved vehicles, any debris or damage from the vehicles in the roadway, the traffic signals or controls at the scene, each driver’s visual perspective and anything that may have obstructed their view, the condition of the road surface, and the weather, lighting, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident.
- Write down names – Be sure to write down the names and contact information of each driver involved in the accident and for each passenger.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact details – In addition to exchanging information with other drivers, you should also talk to any other bystanders who saw the accident. Ask them to write down or record a brief statement about what they witnessed. At the very least, make sure to get their names and contact information in case you need them to provide a statement for your insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Obtain a copy of the police accident report – After the accident, also remember to request a copy of the police accident report. You can obtain a copy directly from the police department that completed the report or from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Our firm can help you to promptly notify your insurance company about the accident. You can likely report the accident using your insurance company’s mobile application, by phone, or via email. Many auto insurance policies require drivers to notify their insurer of an accident within a certain number of days, usually anywhere from seven to 30 days depending upon the insurer. Insurers want prompt notice that their policyholder has been in an auto accident so that they can conduct their own investigation before evidence is lost as the accident scene is cleaned up, vehicles are repaired, and people’s memories of the accident begin to fade.
If you fail to notify your insurer about the accident within the time frame stipulated in your auto policy, you may end up losing your eligibility for various coverage under your policy, including liability coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. With that said, because anything that you say to an insurance representative can be used as an excuse to devalue or reject your claim, it is a good idea to connect with our firm before connecting with your insurance company.
How a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in San Antonio, an attorney from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can help you prepare and pursue a claim for financial recovery for your injuries and losses by:
- Compiling evidence, including post-accident vehicle inspections or logs from vehicles’ electronic data recorders
- Working with accident reconstruction experts, if needed, to piece together what happened before, during, and immediately after the crash
- Calculating your losses by gathering your bills, invoices, and income statements and consulting with your medical providers and (if necessary) vocational and financial experts to determine your future anticipated expenses and losses
- Negotiating with insurance companies to try to reach a settlement that pays you fair compensation for the losses you’ve sustained in the accident
- Fighting for your rights if your case goes to court