What To Do After An Auto Accident
Failure to stop can result in serious criminal consequences.
2. RENDER AID!
If anyone is injured:
1. Render first aid if qualified.
2. Stop Bleeding.
3. Call a doctor or an ambulance or both.
4. Do not move an injured person in any way that could possibly add to his or her injury.
3. PROTECT THE SCENE FROM FURTHER DAMAGE
You may be liable for damages to approaching drivers, unless they are properly warned.
If the highway is obstructed at night, illuminate the accident scene if possible.
4. CALL AN OFFICER
Policemen, Highway Patrolmen, Sheriffs and their Deputies are trained accident investigators whose testimony may be invaluable in establishing your civil claim for damages.
5. GATHER INFORMATION AND WRITE IT DOWN
Don’t trust your memory. Contact our office for a free accident card for your car.
Don’t guess – be specific.
1. Measure skid marks.
2. Step off distances.
3. Obtain names and addresses of witnesses.
Drivers are required by law to exhibit their driver’s license to each other.
6. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY
Even if you feel you might be at fault, it is best to make no statement. You may learn later that the other driver was equally at fault, or more so.
Emotional comments can be misconstrued by others, or may be misquoted.
At the scene of an accident, spectators are curious. It is best to remain silent.
Let your lawyer talk for you later – you get the FACTS.
7. SEE YOUR DOCTOR
Serious injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed. If there is the slightest chance you may be injured, see a doctor.
8. CONSULT YOUR LAWYER IMMEDIATELY
The sooner your lawyer is brought into the matter, the better he or she can advise you and protect your rights. Your lawyer can obtain statements from the witnesses while their memories are fresh, and do many other things to insure that the true facts are preserved.
Get your lawyer’s advice before giving any interviews or statements to investigators or adjusters.
9. REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
An accident report is required by law to be filed with the Department of Public Safety within 10 days from the date of the accident if there is an injury, death, or total damages exceeding $500.00. An official form is available from the Police, Sheriff’s Department, Highway Patrol, or Texas Department of Public Safety.
10. INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY PROMPTLY
Failure to do so may void your policy. Effective January 1, 1982, vehicles operated on the streets and highways of Texas must be covered by liability insurance or other evidence of financial responsibility. The Department of Public Safety enforcement personnel will accept as evidence of insurance the insurance policy for the vehicle or an instrument issued by the insurance company confirming coverage of the vehicle. This instrument must contain at least:
1. a statement that the coverage meets the minimum prescribed by law;
2. the name of the insurance company;
3. the name of the insured;
4. the period of the policy; and
5. the policy number.
Evidence of insurance should be carried in the vehicle or with the driver of the vehicle. As a condition of driving, every owner and/or operator is required upon request to furnish such evidence to a law enforcement officer or to another person if involved in an accident.
Failure to show evidence of insurance or financial responsibility carries, upon conviction, certain statutory penalties including a fine and possible suspension of license and registration privileges.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, call The Law Office of Kerry H. Collins and Associates for a free evaluation. We’ll make sure you get the attention you deserve.